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Esch 2022, projects along the Minett Trail

By Press release June 22, 2022
Léiffrächen Léiffrächen Photo by Pulsa Pictures_ORT SUD

Since the very beginning, Esch2022 has embraced the concept of culture in all its dimensions and in accordance with the European Commission's criteria defining the concept of European Capitals of Culture.

Besides classical disciplines like art, music, dance and theatre, we also offer culinary and traditional arts as well as outdoor leisure activities - often remixed with each other and in combination with innovation and technology, all within the context of the tourism industry. The aim is to make the entire region sustainably attractive for residents as well as visitors. These include: The hiking trail “Minett Trail” with individually designed guest lodges, the so-called “Kabaisercher” (ORT Sud projects) and the app “discovARminett” (Esch2022 project, initiated by the Naturschoul Lasauvage, in cooperation with the ProSud municipalities). Also, there will be different artistic projects providing stimulating entertainment, especially this year.

The Minett Trail is open

The more than 90-kilometre-long “Minett Trail” connects all eleven municipalities of the Pro-Sud Syndicate and was opened in its entirety at the beginning of 2022. It is divided into ten stages of varying lengths and is adapted to the needs and demands of all types and levels of hikers. The trail passes all the railway stations of the villages, thus ensuring a connection to the free public transport system. This offers visitors a comfortable opportunity to explore the diversity of the south of Luxembourg through its nature, industrial history and towns.

The trail crosses several nature reserves in the Minett region. Among others, it connects the former open-cast mines (e.g. Prënzebierg-GieleBotter), the Fond-de-Gras and the Haard-Hesselsbierg-Staebierg nature reserve in Dudelange, as well as the university district of Esch-Belval, the town centres of Petange and Dudelange, various woods, etc. The Minett Trail also includes the entire offer of the already existing “Minett Tour”, a network of industrial heritage sites and museums. Sites such as the “Minett Park” in Fond-de-Gras in the municipality of Differdange guarantee plenty of fun for the whole family, for example on a ride with the historic steam train “Train 1900” or with the mine train “Minièresbunn”.

“We like to refer to the Minett Trail as a declaration of love for the Land of the Red Earth because it showcases the entire Esch2022 region, which bears the UNESCO Man and the Biosphere label. It connects all the Pro-Sud municipalities with their urban as well as rural areas with numerous sights, gastronomic and cultural attractions. This is what adds diversity for hikers and walkers,” says Lynn Reiter, Director of the ORT Sud. “Thanks to the new accommodation facilities along the trail, the so-called ‘Kabaisercher’, the visitors will soon have the opportunity to prolong their stay in some of the municipalities.”

Esch2022 projects along the Minett Trail

As part of Esch2022, we have linked an eclectic cultural programme to the Minett Trail. These sometimes multidisciplinary projects highlight the exploratory journey through the different sites with installations, acoustic or visual features, fairy-tale walks, etc. They include the projects In the Field, Déi Well danzen am Bësch, Desire Lines, Spieglein Spieglein - miroir miroir and E roude Fuedem duerch de roude Buedem, which take place in Differdange/Lasauvage, among other locations. More about the Community of the Month and the projects along the Minett Trail can be found on the website of Esch2022.

The Municipality of the Month, Sanem (22/06-21/07) showcases itself through its project “Loop”, which is taking place throughout the whole year with numerous individual projects, and is also linked to the Minett Trail. Along the trail you will also find the Source Bel-Val pavilion, which is a permanent structure that will last beyond Esch2022. This pavilion is a place of culture that invites visitors to linger. Here, you can learn about the forgotten history of the Source Bel-Val through an audio tale and an augmented reality experience.

Preview of the Minett Cycle

Cyclists will soon have new opportunities to actively discover the ProSud municipalities. In the midst of the pandemic, Esch2022 had initiated a project called Minett Cycle, which is intended to attract and motivate visitors to the region far beyond 2022. Since 2020, the project partners have included Visit Minett, the Directorate General of Tourism, the different municipalities and the members of the working group initiated by Esch2022. The Minett Cycle represents another example of a sustainable project and follows national strategies to promote active mobility in Luxembourg. The first three partial routes that belong to the national cycle routes and are therefore signposted, with a total length of around 60 km, are now open for cycling:

PC8 Belvaux - Kayl
PC6 Sanem - Bettembourg
PC9 Sanem - Kockelscheuer
The remaining routes will be opened successively as the catalogue of measures and signposting is being implemented. From autumn onwards, there will also be a connection for cyclists and pedestrians between Luxembourg and France, linking Micheville (F) with Esch-Belval (L).

Augmented Reality (AR) app “discovARminett”

With the aim of promoting sustainable and local tourism, Esch2022 is also keen to promote the development of new, innovative and creative tourism offers. One of them is the AR app “discovARminett”, enabling visitors to interactively discover the tourist, cultural and historical highlights of the region using their smartphones. On a total of 14 tours and at over 100 locations, this app tells the story of the various municipalities in the south of Luxembourg and neighbouring France in the form of pictures, stories, texts and audio files. Each tour is accompanied by its own map with suggested routes. Whenever users reach a hotspot, they will find a marker from where they can use their smartphone camera to focus on the building and virtually discover that location at a certain time in the past through the available information. The app is free of charge and can be downloaded for iOS and Android.

“We wanted to develop an AR app that explains history in a pedagogically meaningful way by using innovative technology. When we discussed the idea with the municipality of Differdange and Esch2022 at the end of 2019, we all quickly realised: this app should not only focus on Lasauvage. Therefore, we are very happy that the project is now on track and includes the entire region,” says Georges Theis, teacher at Naturschoul Lasauvage.

“Thanks to the discovARminett app, visitors have the opportunity to get to know the Esch2022 region in Luxembourg and France and its exciting past in a very fun way. We hope this will inspire young explorers to become even more enthusiastic in a cross-border spirit,” says Thierry Kruchten, Head of Tourism, Mobility and Sustainable Development Esch2022.

One of the discovARminett tours in France is located in Micheville. It is at the starting point of the 20-kilometre cross-border circular trail linking France with Luxembourg, created as part of Esch2022 by the French municipalities (CCPHVA) and the ORT Sud under the coordination of the GECT Alzette Belval. The trail can be hiked from this summer onwards.

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