Local Heart, Global Soul

December 6, 2013

Grand Duke William II Rides High…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

In continuation of  the day before yesterday’s post, we find ourselves in Luxembourg’s City’s central city square called “Place Guillaume II”

Laying in the heart of Luxembourg’s historic Ville Haute quarter Wikipedia tells me that “It is colloquially known as Knuedler, from the Luxembourgish language’s word for ‘knot’, referring to the knot in the belt worn by Franciscan friars.

The western half of the square is dominated by Luxembourg City Hall in the southwest, whilst the equestrian statue to former Grand Duke William II, after whom the square is named, is the prominent feature of the eastern half.

The Grand Duke of Luxembourg is the monarchical head of state of Luxembourg. Luxembourg has been a grand duchy since 15 March 1815, when it was elevated from a duchy, and was in personal union with the Netherlands until 1890. Since 1815, there have been nine monarchs of Luxembourg, including the incumbent, Henri.

The square was originally the site of a Franciscan monastery, hence the colloquial name. However, in 1797, during the French Revolutionary Wars, the monastery was dispossessed by occupying French soldiers. In 1804, the visiting Napoleon presented Place Guillaume II to the city as a gift.

In 1829, plans were put in place to build a new town hall on the square and that same year, the deconstruction of the former monastery was completed, the material from which was used in the new building which was completed in 1838, and first used by the city council.

However, due to the ongoing Belgian Revolution, the official unveiling could not be held at the time. Instead, the town hall was officially unveiled on 15 July 1844 by Grand Duke William II, as was the statue in his likeness in Place Guillaume II.

Place Guillaume II is used as an open air music venue, hosting the Rock um Knuedler rock concert each year since 1991.”  Not only a slice of  history but also some beautiful  details both on the statue and the plinth for my art inspiration file… artistry on all levels.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Velveteen) used with permission

(photograph © Velveteen) used with permission

(photograph © Velveteen) used with permission

(photograph © Velveteen) used with permission

(photograph © Velveteen) used with permission

(photograph © Velveteen) used with permission

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Place_Guillaume_II

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grand_Duke_of_Luxembourg

December 4, 2013

Seeing The Renovations As They Happen, Well Kind Of…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Another page from my 2012 travel diary as Family Kiwidutch take visiting Singaporean friend “Velveteen” on a whirlwind tour of as many European places and adventures as we can.

At this point of our travels we can be found in Luxembourg City and we are checking out the local sights.

There are some renovations going on in and around Luxembourg’s Place Guillaume II  main central city square, and I was just in time to photograph two workmen straightening out and then rolling up a massive poster.

Sadly there was no Hollywood moment where a hero or villain crashes through the paper making good an adrenaline filled speedy escape  (clearly I have an over-active imagination) but I waited a moment in hope anyway.

Other billboard posters on the large protective fences show us just how much work is going on behind the scenes, and I love this kind of thing. After all if you are going to inconvenience people by closing public and historic buildings why not take the chance to show the work in progress, the projected final result and a bit of history whilst you do it.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

December 3, 2013

Beautiful Lions, Flags and Bicycles …and Pigeons too, For Once.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

In continuation of yesterday’s post we are arrived in Luxembourg City and managed by sheer good luck to have found the beautiful main square called “Place Guillaume II“.

There’s an imposing building on the far side of the square immediately identified as  the  “Hôtel de Ville” (City Hall) and whilst I love the neoclassical style of the building, it’s the imposing lion statues on plinths outside that grab most of my attention.

They appeal to my artistic fancy so I take photos from several angles for my art archive that I keep to refer to for inspiration at a later date.

The Luxembourg flag is one that could easily be mistaken for the Dutch one, because it’s the same tricolour formation and almost in the same colours: a horizontal red at the top, white in the centre and blue at the bottom… However the Luxembourg blue stripe is a far lighter shade than the Dutch one. Since The Netherlands can boast that  our flag has been in continuous use since 1572 and is the oldest tricolour flag  in the world still in national use, it’s clear who copied who. The colours originated from those used in Luxembourg’s Grand Duke’s coat of arms, and the coat of arms of Luxembourg, which consists of an ensign with light blue and white striped background with a large heraldic style red lion in the centre.

Some in Luxembourg have campaigned for the ensign flag to become the national flag because the current one is so often mistaken for that of The Netherlands, but so far without success. I also liked the beautiful cast iron lamps around the square, and the evidence that this is a bicycle friendly city. The cycle stand takes up the space of a singe car, as demonstrated with a large car-shaped cut-out and cycle routes abound. The paving cobbles are arranged in beautiful patterns, and the local pigeons were very tame indeed, I’ve never managed to get so close or get better photographs than these before.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

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