Schengen (Luxembourg)

All passport holders who need a visa to enter Europe, would have definitely heard the word 'Schengen' a hundred times! Me too! But somehow, it never struck me on why its called the Schengen visa and not European visa! Sometime back the lovely couple bloggers Swati & Sam, visited the town of Schengen and then it struck me!!! How on earth, did I never think of why a 'Schengen' visa is called so..... This little town is in the little country of Luxembourg, at its meeting point with Germany & France! 


When we visited Luxembourg City, our plan was also to visit Schengen as well. But unfortunately, public transport that connects the 2 is miserable, more so in weekends! There were only 4-5 buses per day and traveling within Luxembourg city made me realize, the buses 'may' not be really on-time! Traveling with a toddler, depending on public transport, that's only once-every-2-hrs frequent was a bit scary and we dropped the idea! Quite amusingly, this village is well connected from Trier, with a train connection once every hour! So that's what we did! 

The train's last stop is Perl and a short walk from there across the Mosel river to cross the border and we were in Luxembourg's Schengen! 'Schengen' visa is called so, because the agreement for unified Europe was signed here in a ship called M.S. Princesse Marie-Astrid, on river Mosel, between Belgium, France, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, and West Germany on June 14, 1985, to begin with! Then slowly one by one rest of the countries joined in! Today, there is a few days worth of things to do in Schengen! We didn't have much time, so chose to spend half a day there. 


Our first spot was ofcourse, Musée Européen Schengen. This is an interesting place to spend sometime. Europeans would perhaps relate more to this, than non-Europeans. Its more a display of how the whole concept of combined European region came into being, when what happened etc. There's a small corner for kids to make their own (fake) Schengen visa! There's a display of various passports, flags etc of each & every member countries. 


Just opposite to the museum are 3 pillars with 26 stars on each of them with figurines depicting each country in some stars like Grand Place, Mannekin Pis & Atomium on Belgium's star, Parthenon, Olympic rings & Discobolus on Greece's star, Eiffel Tower on France's star, Moose on Finland's star etc. This is called Columns of Nations. Ofcourse, there's a star for UK as well. Now I'm waiting to see if they'll remove it or keep it after Brexit!!!!!


Close to this on one side is a piece of Berlin Wall and on another side is an installation called Padlock for Schengen. Its inspired by Love Locks and is an open pyramidal structure with rods on it for every EU member country, so visitors can add a padlock on the rod meant for their country. France & Germany has the most locks, being neighbours and the least locks are from the far-away Malta! Behind this is the Tourist Information Centre, on a pontoon boat on the Mosel river!!!


Just next to the Museum is a small garden walking into which is the Schengen Castle. The tower here, belongs to 13th C CE and is overgrown with greenery. Beside it is the palace of the 18th C CE. These are not open to public, but the baroque garden in front of it is.
A walk towards the Mosel Bridge from here brings you to another art installation. This was rather unimpressive and to top it up, there was a road blocker 'on' it! Beyond the bridge is the Monument of Schengen Agreement! This is close to where M.S. Princesse Marie-Astrid was on Mosel River when the agreement was signed.

From here a walk across the road leads to vineyards and a walk on it, is such a refreshing feel. Infact the entire train ride from Trier to Perl, if filled with vineyards on either sides. One of the vineyards here is called the Markusberg. Mosel region's wine is one of the high quality German wines. There are several wine tours that happen in this region as well, both in Germany and Luxembourg. If you have your own transport and/or have a few days in Schengen, going on a winery tour would be possible. 
Btw, the town of Schengen has the European Heritage Label. Its a tag given by European Commission, to certain sites, which have significance towards European history. Its kinda an equivalent of UNESCO label, but given by EU for sites in EU! Click to look at the list of places with European Heritage Label covered in this blog.

To Get There:
Nearest Railway Stations: Perl BF (served by Germany) & Apach (served by France)
Nearest Bus Stop: Schengen Ennen am Doref (served by Luxmbourg)

Walking Map of Schengen - do-able in 1-2 hrs (opens/downloads as PDF)
More complex & difficult hiking trails are listed in the visitschengen's website.

Entry tickets & timings:
Musée Européen Schengen: Free; 10:00AM to 5:00/6:00PM in winters/summers respectively
Rest of the places: Free; 24x7

Bhushavali

An ardent traveler by passion. I am a wanderlust.. Read more about me here.

17 comments:

  1. I was totally unaware of the fact, that Schengen is a city. Wondered why it is connected to the Visa. Beautiful place and lovely pictures in your blogpost.

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  2. I was in Luxembourg once when I was 14. It's been a while, but your post brought back so many memories. I had no idea about the transportation. It must not have been fun to have to figure that out on your own, but I am going to make note as I plan to head to Europe soon. Thank you!

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  3. Is Schengen a name of a city? I really didn't know about it before. Though as you have said, I of course knew about the Schengen Visa. I am planning to visit Luxembourg next year while crossing to Germany from France, and I am surely going to visit Schengen, now that I know of it.

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  4. HAHA!! Neither did I ever paid any attention to why it is called a Schengen Visa and never in a hundred years I would have thought that it would be named after some tiny town in Luxembourg. Well!nevertheless I love how Schengen looks so pretty and compact, just like Lego town. I had no idea that Luxembourg had 5-6 buses connecting to Schengen every day which sound pretty less for a city that size.

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  5. This is first, I didn't know that Schengen is a city. Europe travel is one of the many in my travel list. And one I got my Shenzhen visa, ohh dear that will be fantastic!

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  6. Wow good to know that Schengen is name of a place other than visa. I was not knowing it before reading your post but it would really beautiful as it is lying on cross-section of Germany & France. Musée Européen Schengen looks interesting and informative as they show how European countries are united and there different regions, flags and other details. Thanks for sharing as I would love to visit this place.

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  7. I have never been to that part of Europe but it looks like an interesting place to visit. I would definitely like to try the Mosel wine! It is a shame that transportation into the town isn't very accessable.

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  8. I would love to visit Luxembourg .. especially for the Mosel wine! I learned about Mosel wine when I was in Germany last fall and I loved it. I'm sorry you had to learn about the bus system the hard way, but thank you for sharing it with all of us. We are all better for it now. :)

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  9. I too wondered why the visa was called Schengen. Thanks for the info.

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  10. I'm a bit embarrassed to admit that I didn't know that Schengen was a city! It sounds like an incredibly interesting city. The museum sounds so interesting, and I imagine I could spend the better part of a day wandering through it. I find European history so interesting and would love to learn more about it. I also love that they have an area where kids can make their own visa- that's adorable. The entire city sounds like an open-air museum when you learn something wherever you go. I can't wait to check it out one day!

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  11. That's so interesting! I'm a bit ashamed to admit that even as a European I didn't know there was a town in Luxembourg called Schengen. I knew about the Schengen zone and the Schengen Agreement, but never thought about it being named after a town. It sounds like a really interesting place to visit to learn more about Europe.

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  12. I learned something new today, I didn't know why it was called Schengen visa. Europe seems to have interesting history. Apart from public transport, Padlock, Schengen Castle, train ride from Trier to Perl looks fun and exciting to do while visiting Luxembourg.

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  13. Just like you, it had never struck me either why Schengen visa is called so and so it was really interesting to read about it - such a charming town in Luxembourg. I am glad to know that the town is well connected via train from Trier since we rely public transportation mainly during our travels. It is always fun to learn about historical facts like the one about the treaty to unify Europe was signed on the ship in the Mosel River here at Schengen. A visit to Musée Européen Schengen looks like a must-do when in Schengen. Inspired to visit this destination now after reading your post!

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  14. The place where 3 countries meet! Not bad! I think it is definitely one of the top interest points in Luxembourg. It has now historical significance.
    Heh... I was there in museum of EU... and helped them correcting mistakes in Russian version of the guide.

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  15. I went to Luxembourg but Never heard of the museum of shengen. I guess I have the image in my mind of the thtet pillars with the starts from some news or something. Thanks yo this post j learnt what it actually means. It looks like an interesting place with a lovely surroundings.

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  16. I went to Luxembourg but Never heard of the museum of shengen. I guess I have the image in my mind of the thtet pillars with the starts from some news or something. Thanks yo this post j learnt what it actually means. It looks like an interesting place with a lovely surroundings.

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