The Land of the Red Rocks Fostering the industrial past to build the future

The Land of the Red Rocks - called the Minett by Luxembourgers - lies in the South of the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg. Also known as the RedRock region, it owes its name to the bright red colour of the ore that was at the heart of the success of the iron and steel industry in Luxembourg during the industrial era.

In fact, the region reveals a beautiful industrial  heritage that  serves as a  witness for  the momentum of the past, but also for the capacity for  innovation in an area that is now geared  towards  sciences and  cutting- edge research. The industrial and nature park/railway  fleet Minett Park  takes you back to the 19th century aboard two historical trains. The  Luxembourg Science Center  is dedicated to learning through experimentation. Two trips that will amaze industrial history lovers and young visitors alike.

The vitality of the Land of the Red Rocks also perspires in  its trendy  cities that offer a wide range  of cultural activities. Concert and theatre lovers will delight in the multitude of cultural centres across the region. What's more, the year 2022 will represent a major shift for the region in this field: Esch-sur-Alzette will be named European Capital of Culture.

Nature and  sport  lovers will  also be  able to explore the region by  hiking  or  mountain biking. Experienced mountain bikers designed routes with multiple difficulty levels over a total of 165km. Full of red earth after their efforts, sportspersons will feel the region with great intensity. 

Travelling through time via a unique industrial heritage

With a  visit of the Minett Park Fond-de-Gras,  you can travel through Luxembourg's industrial history and discover the narrative of miners who worked tirelessly. The  Fond-de-Gras  is a small valley whose hillsides were pierced by numerous mining galleries. This valley was a major industrial site and largely contributed to Luxembourg's economic  development from the 19th century to the 1960s. Today, it is  a green and peaceful valley.

Fans  of old trains  and children will  have  a great deal of fun in the park: the  steam train known as the Train 1900 travels between Pétange and the Fond-de-Gras. The mining train  known as the Minièresbunn  takes visitors through old mining galleries in order to reach Lasauvage, a village where miners used to live. The museum  not only tells the story of the village, but also that of a group of young Luxembourgers who took shelter in a mine to avoid having to wear the Wehrmacht uniform during the Second World War.

The  Cockerill Mine Museum in  Ellergronn is a unique place of  preservation and enhancement of  an exceptional  mining  heritage. It is not only about drills and machinery, but first and foremost about the story of the men  who contributed to Luxembourg's economic success. The former Katzenberg mine is falling apart after it was operated for many decades, but it has not fallen into oblivion. A group of former miners who were passionate about their work and  wanted to share their experience to future generations decided to take control of the site. Following renovations, this museum that is nested in the Ellergronn nature reserve  is  a great site to explore!

Today, many vestiges recall Luxembourg's industrial history.
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Historical heritage and futuristic visions make the "Iron Metrople" (Métropole du Fer) a modern city open to new challenges.
© SIP / YW, all rights reserved

Culture and innovation - the core of society's development

The industrial past of Esch-sur-Alzette, the capital of the Land of the Red Rocks, also builds a  cultural future  for the region. In fact,  in the RedRock region, the culture, innovation  and rehabilitation of its heritage are intrinsically linked. As a result, cultural life  is  very vibrant and  there are modern  and alternative places that  encourage  participation and  discovery.

The  Kulturfabrik for  example, is a former slaughterhouse that has been converted into a transcultural  space. Artists in residence develop or perfect artistic creations across borders and open to all forms of art. The Kulturfabrik's team offers an annual programme with over 200 events covering - among others - cinema, literature, music, exhibitions and dance.

The  Rockhal  is Luxembourg's not- to- be-missed concert venue, where you can see famous music bands every year. It's the  perfect venue for fans of rock, metal,  pop, rap or electro.

Several  buildings  located on the  terrace of the blast furnaces in  Belval  will be rehabilitated to host performances, exhibitions and events in the context  of Esch2022, European Capital of Culture. In these new places,  culture is  rethought, reformulated and seen as  a core element of society's development.

The  theatre known  as Escher Theater is the modern classic of the region. Since it was inaugurated in 1962, it takes a cross-border and multicultural stand through a multilingual programme. Since 2018, the plays aimed at a  young audience have embodied one of the main lines of the theatre's project.

RedRock, science and research in focus

Over the last  few  years, Belval  has turned into  Luxembourg's knowledge  hub.

The area's history  across time is truly fascinating. It is probably a reflection of the country's dynamic characteristic and the fact that it's always seeking innovation. In 1850, Belval was a leisure area, before becoming home to the first steelworks in the early 20th century. In 1913, over 3,000 workers produced a total of 400,000 tons of cast-iron, 360,000 tons of steel and 297,000 tons of rolled products! Curiosity for history buffs: the area also witnessed the building of the European Union. In fact, on 30 April  1953, Jean Monnet, one of the founding fathers of the European Coal and Steel Community, carried out the first casting of European steel, a symbolic  moment that took  place in Belval.

In the  60s and 70s, the steelworks and blast furnaces were entirely converted and modernised. Bit by bit, the blast furnaces were brought to a halt in the 90s. Today, the district welcomes the University of Luxembourg. The young campus of the University in Belval  attracts, in particular, scientific institutes and research centres, such as in the fields of biomedicine and IT.

While Belval goes hand in hand with cutting- edge research, Differdange  is synonymous with  education  and  knowledge for all. The  Luxembourg Science Center  invites you in a fun and interactive environment of discovery. It will amaze children,  and, who knows, perhaps tomorrow's great scientists! 

The city of Esch-sur-Alzette has a population of more than 35,000 inhabitants, composed of more than 120 different nationalities. Esch is the second largest city in the Grand Duchy.
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The Rockhal is the country's premier concert hall, where the country's leading music groups perform every year.
© SIP / YW, all rights reserved

Nature, sport and animals

The Land of the Red Rocks is also a place where you can enjoy nature while practising sports. Mountain bike  lovers are  in for a great adrenaline rush  all along  the RedRock MTB Trail. The circuits are rated difficult and the trails are demanding and varied. Visitors who would like  to relax  while keeping fit can use one of many  hiking trails. For all tastes and audiences!

The 'Parc merveilleux' (fairy park) in Bettembourg is delightful for children. Its zoo school offers educational  workshops and  guided tours that will allow children to know the park's animals: 200 species from five continents! Why not sponsor your favourite animal to contribute to its maintenance in the park?

Immigration: Luxembourg's past, present and future

Immigration played  a major role in Luxembourg's economic development in the 19th century. In fact, the Grand Duchy now has a tangible industrial heritage that was built on the work of immigrants, Italians in  particular. History  enthusiasts can visit  the  Documentation Centre on Human Migrations (Centre de documentation sur les migrations humaines) in Dudelange and discover the story of  Little Italy. It represents a unique remembrance place and allows you to grasp Luxembourg' s society in  all its  diversity.

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