During my stay in Luxembourg, the Wenzel Circular Walk was without doubt my favorite way to spend the time, so this article will take you step by step through the whole itinerary. This can also be considered as a 1 day travel guide to Luxembourg, because the walk holds a mix of natural, historical and cultural sights, you will need to dedicate it almost a whole day to cover everything there is to be seen. The most important thing, this tour comprises a great number of the most important sights in Luxembourg.
Best for: Nature lovers and history buffs
Families with children, couples, solo travelers, elderly travelers, history buffs, nature lovers, art enthusiasts, this itinerary has a little something for everyone. However, keep in mind that not every spot is reachable with wheelchairs and strollers.
Best time to visit: April-May or September-October
Summer is the most crowded time of the year in Luxembourg and if you want to really relax and enjoy the Wenzel tour at your own pace, you should avoid that. Also, considering that you will spend almost a whole day outdoors, you might want to avoid staying for hours on end under the summer’s burning sun. So if you have a choice, I recommend going in spring or autumn, when the weather is milder. Even better, choose April-May or September-October, because during the winter months plus March and November, the Bock Casemates are closed to visitors.
Tips for completing Wenzel Circular Walk
Wear comfortable shoes
I feel the need to specifically recommend wearing comfortable shoes, because I myself was very close to making a big mistake regarding the footwear. When I started packing for the trip, I thought Luxembourg will be a fancy modern city. You know, the “heels” kind of city. As it turned out, it is more a “hills” kind of city (at least this particular part of the city). Therefore, I’m happy I have given up the initial idea and stuck with sneakers instead. Otherwise, the cobblestone paths of the itinerary would have turned into my worst enemy.
Take supplies of food and water
It is best to prepare for this walk like you would do for a hike. Take sandwiches, snacks and water in a backpack, because I expect you will be hungry and thirsty during the day. You won’t find many shops or restaurants along the way, so don’t really count on that.
Look for the signs and follow them
The itinerary is easy to follow because of the multiple signposts that are scattered from place to place. Although there are guided tours for the Wenzel Circular Walk, they will cover only a part of it, so if you want to see the whole thing from start to finish, it is better to do it on your own. It will save you money too, and it’s way more fun. Besides, there are also many boards with pieces of information about the topography, flora and fauna, as well as the cultural and historical background of the surrounding area, so a self guided tour is totally doable.
Facts about Wenzel Circular Walk
- The name of the itinerary was given after the name of a fortification wall built between the 14th and the 15th century, under the reign of Wenceslas II, Duke of Luxembourg.
- Since December 1994, most sights from Luxemburg’s Wenzel tour, were included on the World Heritage list of UNESCO.
- The self guided walking tour of Luxemburg city can be completed thanks to valuable information regarding the history, landscape, flora and fauna being available on numerous signposts.
1. The Castle Bridge and Dent Creuse
The Wenzel Walk is a circular itinerary, but if you want to have the best experience, I strongly recommend you choose the top of The Castle Bridge (French: Pont du Chateau; Luxemburgish: Schlassbréck) as the starting point. This is a two-storey bridge that connects the cliffs of Bock Promontory. From the bridge you can see on both sides a big part of Alzette river valley.
Also, the bridge reveals a panoramic view over the old town, which is a big part of the itinerary that comes ahead, so take a moment to create a mind map. Also, right on the bridge you can see some ruins still standing tall. That structure is called Dent Creuse in French (or Huelen Zant in Luxemburgish), which means “Hollow Tooth”. The name is due to its resemblance to a chipped tooth.
2. The Bock Casemates
Right next to Dent Creuse you can find the entrance in the Bock Casemates (French: Casemates du Bock). Please note that you need to pay a fee to visit it and although there is a way to continue the itinerary even if you skip this one, I guarantee the whole experience just wouldn’t be the same. The Bock Casemates are a series of man-made tunnels, carved in the red sandstone walls of the Bock promontory. Initially, the tunnels had a total length of over 23 km, but after the French invasion in 1875, a part of them was destroyed (about 17 km survived). Still, this is the longest network of casemates in the world! Also, because the Bock Casemates were very efficient at their defense role, Luxembourg was also known in the past as the “Gibraltar of the North”.
3. The Corniche
The next part of the itinerary is called the Corniche (French: Chemin de la Corniche). It is a pedestrian route, built on a defence wall. On one side, you can see a panoramic view of the old town and the Alzette Valley. On the other side, the back side of the Luxembourg City Museum and a string of typical luxembourgish houses. It’s just delightful to take a stroll around this part of Luxemburg on a sunny day. Because of the spectacular views it offers, the Corniche is also known as “the most beautiful balcony in Europe”.
4. Grundberg Gate
Down the road you will find Grundberg Gate (or Grund Gate in short). This is a bastioned gate, built in 1632 by the Spaniards and is located in the vicinity of the river crossing.
5. Wenzel Wall
This is the famous wall that gave this itinerary its name. In the past the Wenzel Wall had a length of 875 meters. Even if it’s still impressive, nowadays the wall is no longer complete and only reminds of its past glory. Still, it has 15 gates and 37 towers, so make sure you have enough time to explore everything.
6. The Moat
The ditch was uncovered by archaeologists in 1992-1993 and it served a defense purpose. Along with this discovery, a wooden bridge as well as two moat walls were dug up and partially reconstructed.
Krudelspuert was the main door of the fortress. The historic sources first mentioned the gate in 1395. In the past, this gate leaded towards the first highway to the ancient city of Trier in Germany. Also, it connected two of the city districts: Grund and Clausen.
8. Cultural meeting place Neimenster (Neumunster)
This is the main cultural hub of the city, formed by a series of buildings with the role of a theater (Tutesall or Robert Krieps Building), as well as a museum and an expozitional centre.
Neumunster Abbey, the main building of this complex, dates back to the seventeenth century and is located right in the heart of the old city. Although nowadays it houses a cultural centre (Neumunster Abbey Cultural Exchange Centre), throughout the history it had different functions: abbey, hospital, gendarmerie center, orphanage, prison.
Guided tours of Wenzel Circular Walk
If you’re still unsure if walking the paths alone is the right choice for you, and you prefer an expert by your side to give you even more insights, guided sightseeing tours are always an option. All you have to do is book your tickets online or go to the Luxembourg City Tourist Office in Place Guillaume II and find the next tour available.
With that being said, all you have to do is pack your bags for Luxembourg. Why wait? All these cool places await you.