Art Enthusiasts Find Haven Amid Luxembourg’s Forests

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Clervaux art scene

Luxembourg’s heart, culture-wise, beats amidst the leafy sprawl of the Éisleck, the Ardennes region. This rural area, replete with rolling hills, craggy valleys, and verdant plateaus, is often a favourite for outdoor pursuits like hiking and cycling. Two natural parks and the country’s largest lake weave trails that stretch hundreds of miles within.

Nestled within this verdant enclave are 17 towns and villages of the Clervaux municipality, now making waves in the art world. The town of Clervaux, the largest among them, brims with outdoor exhibitions, intimate concerts, and globally-renowned photography displays. Let’s delve into some of these captivating experiences.

Visit the home of world-renowned photography collections

Clervaux, the self-proclaimed photography capital of Luxembourg, owes its title to the UNESCO-recognized The Family of Man exhibition. Showcasing 503 monochrome photographs by legendary artists like Henri Cartier-Bresson, Dorothea Lange, and Robert Doisneau, this iconic collection was first displayed at New York’s Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in 1955. It traveled the globe for ten years before settling in Clervaux’s 12th-century castle, thanks to MoMA’s then-photography director and Luxembourg-native Edward Steichen. Nearly seven decades on, this anthology still resonates, embodying themes such as birth, love, friendship, work, and death, and serving as a post-World War II peace manifesto. Many of its photographs have become 20th-century icons.

Explore open-air photography galleries

The Family of Man is not Clervaux’s sole photographic jewel. The Clervaux — Cité de l’Image project morphs the town’s thoroughfares into a sprawling outdoor gallery, with yearly changing installations. Visitors can witness the works of budding photographers from Luxembourg and elsewhere, showcased in diverse open-air spots from the ancient brick-lined arcades to the bustling market square. A complimentary guided tour enhances the experience, introducing visitors to the town’s historical landmarks.

Unearth the region’s vibrant cultural hotspots

Clervaux’s cultural devotion is instantly apparent. Konschthaus op der Gare, an art hub situated opposite the station, encompasses three galleries and hosts events from readings to cozy concerts. Visitors can appreciate the art, interact with resident artists, or just relax in the shared space. Those interested in WWII history can visit the Museum of the Ardennes Counteroffensive within Clervaux Castle to see artifacts from the Battle of the Bulge, including original uniforms, documents, and weapons.

The surrounding region also offers gems like Marnach’s Cube 521 cultural center, which hosts concerts, dance and theatre performances, lectures, and children’s events. Cube 521 also organizes the Clervaux Castle Summer Music Festival, spotlighting the varied Luxembourg music scene through thrilling live concerts. The town of Wiltz, a short drive from Clervaux, hosts the annual Wiltz Festival in a 16th-century chateau, offering a rich array of jazz to reggae performances.

Getting there

Direct flights operate daily from London to Luxembourg’s Lux-Airport. From there, a bus ride to Luxembourg Central Railway Station and a northbound train to Troisvierges, stopping in Clervaux, completes the journey. The trip from Luxembourg City is about an hour, and like all public transport in the country, is free of charge. For more details, visit visit-clervaux.lu.

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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Clervaux art scene

What is unique about the Clervaux region in Luxembourg?

Clervaux is unique for its blend of rich culture and natural beauty. Located in the Éisleck forest region, it is renowned for its outdoor exhibitions, intimate concerts, and globally recognized photography displays. The town is also home to an array of historic and cultural landmarks, making it an attractive destination for art lovers.

What is the UNESCO-recognized ‘The Family of Man’ exhibition?

The Family of Man is a UNESCO-recognized photography exhibition that is now housed in Clervaux. The collection features 503 black and white photographs by renowned artists like Henri Cartier-Bresson, Dorothea Lange, and Robert Doisneau. It explores themes such as birth, love, friendship, work, and death, serving as a post-World War II peace manifesto.

What cultural venues can be visited in Clervaux?

Visitors can explore a variety of cultural venues in Clervaux. Konschthaus op der Gare is a popular all-in-one art space hosting exhibitions and intimate concerts. The Museum of the Ardennes Counteroffensive inside Clervaux Castle provides insights into the region’s WWII history. Cube 521 cultural centre in Marnach hosts various performances and the Clervaux Castle Summer Music Festival.

How can one travel to Clervaux?

Direct flights operate daily from London to Luxembourg’s Lux-Airport. From the airport, visitors can take a bus to Luxembourg Central Railway Station and then a northbound train to Troisvierges, stopping in Clervaux. The journey from Luxembourg City to Clervaux is approximately an hour, and all public transport in the country is free of charge.

What other activities are available in the Clervaux region?

In addition to the art and cultural experiences, Clervaux is also a haven for outdoor enthusiasts. The surrounding Éisleck region is a natural paradise, with numerous hiking and cycling trails, two natural parks, and the country’s largest lake. Additionally, the annual Wiltz Festival in the nearby town of Wiltz is a popular event, featuring music and theatre performances.

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