In the industrial wastelands of Esch-Belval recent years have seen the emergence of the Cité des Sciences, de la Recherche et de l'Innovation (City of Science, Research and Innovation), an urban area combining knowledge, employment, housing and leisure activities. In the midst of all these new buildings stand the blast furnaces, majestic remains of a bygone age.
These giants of the iron and steel industry and the industrial heritage are the focus of the Blast Furnaces Festival, to be held from 2 to 3 July 2016 on the Place des hauts-fourneaux, facing the Rockhal.
A monument of the iron and steel era
Of the three blast furnaces that existed at the Esch-Belval site, one was sold to China, while the other two (A and B) are integral parts of the Grand Duchy's industrial heritage. They have been developed as a part of the circuit to visit the future National Centre for Industrial Culture which is to be set up inside the blast furnaces. The purpose of this new structure is to enhance the disused installations and use them for guided tours, exhibitions and educational activities on the themes of industrial culture and employment. During the Blast Furnaces Festival, visitors will have the opportunity to visit the historical remains for free.
A truly successful concept
The Blast Furnaces Festival celebrates these remains, and more generally the industrial heritage and its promotion to the general public. It's not only about preserving an architectural object, but more about staging it and making it accessible to a wider public.
A really attractive programme
On Saturday (from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.) and on Sunday (from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.), the blast furnaces can be visited for free.
The highlight that should not be missed is the show 'Pôles – dance and fire – a bipolar vision of the relation between a man and his tool', performed on 2 July at 10:30 p.m. by nightfall in front of the blast furnaces by the company 'La Salamandre' in collaboration with 'Motus Modules' (aerial dance) and Michel Moglia (fire organ).
A particular focus will be put on artists' projects, realised in the context of the residence 'Public Art Experience' on the topic 'BeHave'. The performances, sculptures, installations, films reflect the transformation of Belval's industrial wasteland into an urban neighbourhood from the point of view of ten international artists: Shimon Attie, Darya von Berner, William Engelen, Martine Feipel et Jean Bechameil, Alessandro De Francesco, Neville Gabie, Jan Kopp, Giuseppe Licari, David Rickard. Vernissage on 2 July at 6 p.m., exhibitions and performances on 2 and 3 July.
And several other events await you:
Concerts on 2 July with the Marly Marques Quintet and the group Providers
Giant zipline at a height of 60 m between the two blast furnaces and slackline
Shows for youngstersscience and music workshops, on 3 July from 11 a.m. onwards
Dancing brunch with waltz, march, cha cha cha, tango, twist and rock'n'roll on 3 July as of 11 a.m.
An exhibition 'Paysages recomposés' in the 'Halle des coulées' of the blast furnace A explores the transformation of the industrial and urban landscape of the agglomeration of Esch-Belvaux.
Aiming to enhance the heritage and the region
For decades, the 'Land of the Red Rocks' has been the scene for major economic, social and cultural changes following on from the decline in the iron and steel industry and the renewal that is starting to be visible with the establishment of a new 'knowledge' industry. The festival, an initiative of the Bassin Minier Foundation, reflects these changes with a series of events on the theme of 'workplaces'.
(Article written by the editorial team of the portal www.luxembourg.lu)