Leisure & Surroundings
Echternach is the ideal starting point for discovering the beautiful scenery of the Muellerthal and the « Little Luxemburgish Switzerland ». A large number of activities, from hiking, biking, climbing or rafting can be organized and there is a large number of cultural activites or historic sites which are worth a visit.
Echternach – the eldest town in Luxembourg
Echternach is one of Europe’s earliest centers of culture and christinisation. Saint Willibrord from Northumberland founded a Benedictine abbey here in 698 which, in the 19th and 11th century, became an artistically refined writing school. The museum of the abbey located in the cellars of the ancient abbey documents the work of the monks.
Echternach – an impressive architecture
With ists 5.600 inhabitants, this medieval town shows many monumental works like the Roman villa (1st until 5th century), the ancient Peter and Paul parish church, with its Merovingian, Gothic and Romanesque elements, built on a Roman castellum. There are furthermore the Roman Basilica (11th century) rebuilt after World War II, the 8th century crypt, the ancient town walls with its towers, the abbay, the Orangerie, the Rococo Pavilion and the ancient patrician houses on the market square (18th century).
Echternach – cultural city par excellence
In the year 2008, Echternach had been rewarded by the European Commission as “European destination of excellence”. In 2010, the famous Dancing Procession that always takes place on Whit Tuesday became part of UNESCO’s Intangible World Cultural Heritage. The International Festival of Echternach is organizing every year high quality classic concerts, a program which is completed by a broad range of cultural activities by the Trifolion, Center for Culture, Tourism and Congress.
A hiker’s paradise for the whole family
Being located amidst the beautiful nature of the Mullerthal Region – Luxembourg’s Little Switzerland, Echternach offers a wide range of hiking tracks for the whole family. Absolute highlights are: the “Gorge des loups” (the wolves’ canyon) and the Mullerthal Trail.
A variety of leisure and sportive cycle routes
Echternach is also an interesting destination for hikers of any level with its quiet cycling routes along the river Sure, its sportive mountain bike trails and its bike park situated at the lake.
The lake, a leisure area for everyone
You can walk around the lake or paddle on it, experience the Adventure Island with its outdoor park, and indoor climbing wall, visit the Nature House. Huge events like the e-lake party attract thousands of people during the summer.
Saint Willibrord and the Dancing Procession
In the year 698, the Iro-Scottish monck Willibrord, Archbishop of Utrecht , received an estate situated in Echternach from Irmina, abbess in Trier. This allowed Willibrord to build a monastery, which should become later an important spiritual and cultural centre.
Soon after Willibrord’s death in 739 great crowds of pilgrims started to come to the grave of the saint. The dancing procession may very well have originated in these gatherings. A document of 1497 for the first time mentions springen-heiligen (“dancing saints”).
Every year on Whit Tuesday some 12-14,000 pilgrims take part in the procession, among them eight to nine thousand dancers.
In 2010, the Dancing Procession has been inscribed on UNESCO’s Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity
1.You start in front of the tourist office.(near the Basilica)
2.THE BASILICA OF SAINT WILLIBRORD
Shortly after the year 700 Saint Willibrord ordered the construction of hisfirst church here which is located just below the main nave of the present Basilica. The 21 m long remainsof the Merovingian construction had been discovered after World War II. A second church of aboutthe same size of the present church had been built around 800. A big fire in 1016 caused severe damage to the building; the new construction had been finished in 1031. The main feature of the Roman Basilica was the alternation of pillars and columns, a style which had been copied later on in the Rhineland. After the pillage by French Revolution troops in 1794, the Basilica had been transformed into a china factory. After 1861, an association called “Willibrordus Bauverein” suggested thereconstruction of the building and decided to restore it in neo-gothic and neo-roman style. In 1944, during the German attack, the building had been destroyed and then rebuilt from 1948 to 1953. The crypt seems to go back to Carolingian times, the frescos were peinted during the 14th century.
3. THE BENEDICTINE ABBEY
When leaving the Basilica, you stand in front of the Prelates’ building of the abbey which had been built in Lothringian style from 1727 to 1726. This square building of 75 m each side contains a convent and a patio. It had been designed by Léopold Durand, an architect from St. Avold and built by the constructing family Mungenast from Austria. The abbey was dissolved in 1797. Since 1899 it has been a high-school.
4. THE MUSEUM OF THE ABBEY
Close to the right corner pavillion you come to the basement of the abbey which is the Museum of the Abbey. It contains hand written documents such as faksimiles from the EchternachSchool, working material, colours, video tapes, a copy from Willibrord’s tomb, which give insights into the abbey’s history.
5.THE ABBEY’S GARDEN, THE ORANGERIE 1735-1736
You cross the courtyard towards the rotunda and walk through an arch with a steel gate to discover the abbey’s gardens. The statues on the front side of the building illustrate the four seasons. The scultures had been made by German sculptor Ferdinand Tietz from Würzburg in Germany.
You walk back into the prelates’ courtyard and from there into the western courtyard with its chestnut trees. You turn right, pass below arcades to reach the municipal park. In the former abbey’s pleasure gardenalong the river Sure you can see the.
Which had been build in 1761 by Paul Mungenast. An elegant stairecase leads to the first floor to a room of 100 square meters, where an audiovisuel programme shows examples of rural architecture as well as the abbey’s influence on rural architecture (the show lasts about 15 minutes).
When leaving the pavillon, you turn left and walk through the municipal park. You will discover three panelsdocumenting the following subjects: the influence of the abbey’s gardens on private gardens,
theship constructors of Echternach, the Sure bridge and its evolution in time. When walking out of the municipal park, you will see, on your right, behind the parking, a part of the ancient city wall with parts from battlements. Turn again left, pass in front of the Sure bridge to reach an other part of the
7.FORTIFIED TOWN WALL
Which goes back to the 10th century in its most primitive form and had been enlarged during the 13th century.It was 2000 m long, had 20 towers and 4 gates. The biggest part of the construction had been destroyed only during the 19th century. The towers which were saved from demolition were sold and transformed into lodgings in 1813. If you pass the corner tower, just walk along the 12 to 15 m large canal which had been partly filled with water in 1998. You pass along the 4 towers which have been restored for touristic purposes, particularly the one situated in Hoovelecker Buurchmauer. Also notice the ancient public hospital on your right which has been recently restored. You cross Route de Luxembourg, take rue des Tonneliers and the turn right into rue André Duchscher to discover rather surprisingly
8.THE GOTHIC HOUSE
This rare witness of the Middle Ages collapsed partly in 1996 which caused severe damage to the window frames. Special analyses in 1995 however enabled its reconstruction in the year 2000. The same style of three-lobe-windows can be seen in Metzand in Trierwhich indicates that they belong to the 14th century. A dendro-chronologic analysis proves the the wood from the construction belonged to trees that were cut in 1299. Now go back to Rue André Duchscher, walk through part of the pedestrian zone and reach the market square where you will see
9.THE LAW CROSS
(“Urtsel”, the column of justice) which was supposed to demonstrate the abbot’s supremacy vis-à-vis citizens as far as judgement matters were concerned. In 1774, the rich citizens wanted to dismantle this symbol of middle-age power and replace it by a fountain, a project which had been carried out by French Revolution troops in 1794.
The cross was set up again in 1938 in front of the City hall, only to be destroyed again a few years later in 1944. In 1982, it had been set up again in its original place on the market square according to 18th century plans. On the market square you notice above all
The present features of this ancient palace of justice which was built partly at the end of the 14th century go back to the restoration in the year 1444 where a big fire broke out. The “Dingstuhl” (or seat of deliberations which were held in these public halls) also included a torture room and a prison. The passage from gothic to Renaissance style can be seen on the monumental window frames. The statutes of Virgin Mary, King Salomon and the cardinal virtues had been added to the front side during restoration works in 1898. The monument itself had been restored in 1993.
You leave the market square, go to Rue de la Montagne to discover big stone blocks which were erectedto commemorate 1300 years existence of the City of Echternachin 1998. You walk upstairs to
11.PETER AND PAUL CHURCH
Which had been built upon the remains of an ancient Roman construction.During Merovingian times, this had been a small convent which had been offered to Willibrord in 698 by Abbess Irmina from Oeren (Trier). In the 10th and 11th century a 3-nave church had been built and was enriched by a gothic ceiling in 1480.
The vaulted frescos appeared during the late Gothic. Several transformations had been carried out later. You walk down the steps which lead to the memorial to the victims of World War II and you will reach
Which hosts the PrehistoricMuseum.The building’s origins (which could have been a farm) are unknown, the vaulted ceiling however goes back to the 15th century.
Elements which go back to late gothic style can be seen on the front side. Before it became a museum, the building had been used as a hospital, a china workshop, a school and a house. You’ve to visit this remarkable museum.
When coming out of the building, you cross the street (rue du Pont), pass the Willibrord fountain and walk upstairs to reach
13.THE GARDEN PAVILLON – “PARLODROME”
At the entry, you can see one of the 12 columns which had been built in Luxembourgto commemorate the millenium. The music has been composed by music educator Jean-Marie Kieffer. At the background, you can see a garden pavillon which has been recently restored. The texts on Echternach are spoken in 5 different languages .
14.THE CHAPEL OF OUR LADY
Which had been built in 1654 by Abbot Petrus Fisch in late Renaissance style.This had been the church for this part of the city and it had also been the garrison chapel. It had been destroyed in 1944-45 and had been restored from 1947 to 1952.
15.THE ROMAN VILLA
This is one of the biggest of its kind in central Europe(118 x 62 m). It had been discovered in 1975 during excavation works for the artificial lake (1st to 5th century). While walking around the lake, you will come to a rather modern construction called INFOFORUM which is a thematic museum (A). First climb to the terrass of the building to have an all-over view of the location. You are looking upon the part which was inhabited (pars urbana); the rual part (pars rustica) situated behind the hedge, had not been uncovered yet.
In the INFOFORUM models and drafts about the various construction periods make you discover every-day-life scenes from the Romans. In an audio-visual room you can watch films and 3D projections. In a shop, you can find the appropriate literature about the exposed subjects. By visiting theremains “in situ” which are explained by means of drawings and reconstruction examples, you will discover the heating systems, a sauna, the baths, a reception room, etc…(B) On the north-west wing a Roman garden HORTUS AMOENUS has been planted which contains specimen that had been cultivated at Roman times (C).
Close to this, on your right, behind a hedge, there is a tent of 150 square m called AUDITORIUM, musicaet vox where you can listen to roman music, poetry and speeches from Roman times. This tent can also be used for concerts, conferences, theatre and group activities .
Museum of prehistory & porcelain from Echternach
The exhibition focuses on the technical evolution of lithic tools and weapons over a period of more than a million years. On display are extremely rare artefacts and some models of stone-age machinery and the “Loeschbuer”, the eldest man of Luxembourg. Furthermore, the museum accommodates a remarkable collection of 19th century porcelain from Echternach.
The Roman Villa Echternach
The modern visitors’ center provides a clear and vivid picture of everyday life in the manor of the Roman villa and is one of the biggest Roman Villas north of the Alps. Scaled models of the manor and recreated scenes with life-size figures and give an idea of the luxurious interior of the villa with its lavishly decorated thermal baths, its magnificent reception and dining rooms, its kitchen and its privat living rooms.
Museum of the AbbeyThe Museum of the Abbey in the vaulted cellars of the abbey palace (1727) features facsimiles of the most beautiful manuscripts of the famous Echternach scriptorium. It also provides manifold information about Willibrord’s life and work. The beauty of the exhibition rooms as well as the quality of the exhibits and audivisual presentations make a visit to the museum an unforgettable experience.
The Documentation Center about the Dancing Procession
The Documentation Center displays paintings, texts, maps, photos and films about the history and organization of the Dancing Procession and the eventful history of the Basilica. Devotional objects are exhibited in some showcases; a statue and a reliquiary present St. Willibrord as a popular saint. The remnants of funerary monuments from the former abbay (11th – 18th century) are to be seen in the adjoining corridors.
Golf in Christnach; 18-hole Master course and 9-hole Compact-Course. Driving Range with video check.
Golf & Country Club Christnach
Dive into the fascinating world of drinking water and visit the 55-meter high “Aquatower” in Berdorf. The “Aquatower” opens in April, features an exhibition on water and offers spectacular views on the surroundings of Berdorf.
106, rue de Consdorf
Rock formations, woods – get the flow while mountainbiking in the Mullerthal Region – Luxembourg’s Little Switzerland
When you pass on our single trails through the woods, along rock formations and small romantic brooks, your whole body will feel the fast change of landscape. Test your concentration and your technical know how on our steep downhills. Feel the flow and be one with nature!
Mountainbiking in the Mullerthal Region – Luxembourg’s Little Switzerland is fun!
Rent a Bike Mëllerdall – Mountainbike Rental:
“Rent a Bike Mëllerdall” is a network of bike rental stations in the Mullerthal Region. City bikes, mountain bikes and children’s bikes are available or hire at various locations.
For more inormation: www.rentabike-mellerdall.lu
18 Montée de la Pétrusse
Die offizielle Homepage der Tourismusregion Mullerthal – Kleine Luxemburger Schweiz – Untersauer.
Bilddatenbank der Region.
Die offizielle Homepage der Landestourismusorganisation Office National du Tourisme mit allen wichtigen Informationen zum Land Luxemburg als Reise und Urlaubsland.
Präsentation von Luxemburg anhand von 10 thematischen Videoclips.
Das Ministerium für Mittelstand, Tourismus und Wohnungsbau gibt auf dieser Seite Auskunft über seine Aufgaben, die Struktur des Tourismus in Luxemburg sowie seine aktuelle Entwicklung.
Offizielle Website der Initiative LEADER Mullerthal.
Website der Luxemburger Ardennen.
Offizielle Website der Regierung mit allen Ministerien und Verwaltungen.
Offizielle Website des deutsch-luxemburgischen Naturparks.
Die spektakulären Felsformationen auf deutscher Seite.
Auf dieser Homepage finden Sie Tipps für Wander- und Radtouren in ganz Luxemburg.
Offizielle Website der luxemburgischen Eisenbahn.
Fahrpläne und Preise des öffentlichen Transports.
Busline 111 / 112 / 110 Luxembourg-Echternach
Busline 485 Grevenmacher – Echternach
Die „Luxemburgische Radinitiative“ stellt sich vor.
Übersichtskarte mit Beschreibung der Radwege.