Luxembourg will open access to the underground mines to the public this summer. Visitors can enter Haute Martelange no less than 42 meters underground into the mine of the former slate quarry. The slate mine of the Slate Museum in western Luxembourg is one of the landmarks that reveals Luxembourg's rich industrial history. Not only in Haute-Martelange, but also in the southern region of Minett, much can be found from the heyday of steel and iron ore mining. This year, this region is in the spotlights: Esch-sur-Alzette, the region's largest city, will be the European Capital of Culture in 2022. Europe.
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A tour of the industrial heritage in Luxembourg
The Slate Museum reopens
In Haute-Martelange, the local economy was mainly driven by the slate industry. The former slate quarry of the Musée de l'Ardoise, the Slate Museum (slate museum), is open to visitors from this summer after years of renovation work. Visitors can explore the impressive underground world on a guided tour of the ancient slate extraction chambers. They descend more than 400 steps to the renovated mine chambers at a depth of 42 meters. With modern audiovisual projections, the underground world from the 20th century is impressively brought back to life.
National Mining Museum
Located in the wooded area of the Kayl valley, the town of Rumelange played an important role in the industrial history of southern Luxembourg. In the National Mining Museum a historic collection of tools and machines in underground mine chambers dating back more than a hundred years of iron ore mining history. Visitors can take a ride on the historic miner's train.
The open air museum Minett Park brings old times back to life. Fond-de-Gras – once the industrial center of the iron and steel industry – is one of the places to visit. From the steaming steam train '1900' to the dark mines where miners once toiled for many hours, here the visitor is introduced to the rich steel past of the region. During the Minett Tour you visit the various highlights by train, bicycle or on foot. Another train, the 'Minièresbunn', runs partly through an old mine. On local railbikes ('draisines') you can cycle on an old railway line. The Minett Park stretches between green valleys and forests, making it an ideal hiking destination.
Minett, also called 'the land of the red earth', owes its name to the red, iron ore-bearing soil. For a long time, this part of the country played a major role in the worldwide success of the Luxembourg steel industry. The history of Luxembourg is strongly marked by its industrial culture, and it has managed to continue to develop. The unique mix of the industrial past and contemporary architecture and technologies makes the Minett region a special part of Luxembourg. The capital Esch-zur-Alzette is this year's European Capital of Culture.
Cockerill Museum: from mine to protected nature reserve
Until a few decades ago, Ellergronn was still used for the extraction of iron ore. The 'Katzenberg' mining area south of Esch-sur-Alzette has been transformed into a beautiful nature reserve since the mine closed in 1970. The unique coal mine of the Cockerill Museum played an important role in the economic prosperity of Luxembourg for a long time. Combine a walk through this nature reserve with a visit to the restored mining site.