It is Easter Monday and I am engaged in a normal enough tradition for me; listening to the Hall of Fame Countdown on Classic FM.
I missed it last year, when, apparently, the 1812 Overture swooped in from nowhere to claim the Number 1 spot. It made a change from the dirge that is Vaughan Williams’ Lark Ascending. Don’t get me wrong – VW has a couple of pieces that I really like. The Lark Ascending, however, is a classical B side for a record that didn’t make the top 100 singles chart. I question the taste of Classic FM listeners some times. They’ve put both Bruch’s first violin concerto and Elgar’s cello concerto outside the top ten. You can find the chart here.
Interestingly, I’d love to see a chart of the recordings they chose to play. I’ve heard Daniel Barenboim’s name a lot today.
Anyway, apart from that, Easter in Luxembourg in 2019 has been absolutely gorgeous. It’s hard to believe that one week ago we had snow and it made a valient attempt to stick, freeze and generally cause confusion. This weekend has been absolutely stunning. I had planned to spend the weekend sewing but so far, I have spent it washing fabric, looking at the weather and thinking, you know what I have that new camera
So yesterday I did a 6km walk around Luxembourg. It’s the walk I inflict on visitors, more or less, with a few bits left out. Out of the 126 photographs I took only 26 made the cut.
This is Fondation Pescatore, one of the oldest, if not the oldest, residential care home for elderly people in the world. It opened in 1855. Near it is a memorial to all the soldiers who fought in the Battle of the Bulge in 1944. The building is a mish mash of styles, but the main entrance is neogothic. The place also has an outdoor gym and a lot of lovely places for residents to sit and take their ease.
Near Fondation Pescatore is the Pfaffenthal lift, which is a glass elevator, but not quite in the mode of Willie Wonka. This is the view from the top.
This is the old jail. It’s been renovated lately and it’s connected to the old court house buildings which are in the possession of the Luxembourg government now. I believe the court house houses the Department of Foreign Affairs. A key piece of information is that this place had a mobile guillotine for dealing with justice swiftly, as it were.
If you go to the City of Luxembourg Museum, in one of the galleries there are a set of drawings of Luxembourg when it was a fort. There are very few representations of Luxembourg as a fort as drafting any imagery of it was concerned an act of treason which could put the fort at risk. I wonder sometimes how many wannabe artists bit the dust on this one.
This is the building now housing the Department of Foreign Affairs. It was recently renovated and on Open House Day (which was in the height of summer last year), you could do tours of it. If I remember rightly though, we could not take photographs. That being said, it’s a stunning building and I love the front of it.
Nearby is the Palais Grand Ducal, which you can usually tour on Saturdays in July and August. Worth doing, mainly because it is a stunning building, but also, because it’s got a great map room. The building was not originally built as a palace but as an administrative building, and it was occupied by the Nazi soldiers during World War II. They painted over some seriously old wall art with white wall paint – you can see remnants of it here and there. But it was wanton destruction all the same. I loathe war.
A two minute walk away you’ll find the double spired Notre Dame Cathedral which has some distinctions in my experience – one, it is the only cathedral which is not fully detached (it has buildings attached either side) and it has the most beautiful pillars which are beautifully and abstractly decorated. The organ is not too shabby either. Plus the sun was shining in the stained glass windows. I could not resist them.
This is looking towards Pfaffenthal from the viewing spots near the legal district. There’s another elevator here to get you down to the lower level but this one is drilled into the rock so no glass elevator.
Finally, this is the current Town Hall in Luxembourg (there’s actually another one which I didn’t include in yesterday’s gallery. You’ll find this building on Knuedlerplatz.
I love Luxembourg.
Today then was Easter Monday and clearly I have not been here on Easter Monday before as I was not familiar with the ceramic fair. Especially, they sell a lot of bird shaped ocarinas. The city was full of children playing their ocarinas which means the place echoed to the sound of whistling birdies.
It. Was. Packed. And overwhelming. There were stalls every where. There were a few buskers around including a very decent slide guitarist. And the queue outside the ice cream shop was unending.