On 10 February 2018, the Bock Casemates will reopen to the public. In 2017, the fortifications drew some 136,037 visitors, making them Luxembourg City's most popular tourist attraction. A trip to the casemates carved out of the Bock promontory, the historical heart of the city, is a must for all visitors to the capital, taking them deep inside the former fortress.
A history lesson in the city centre
The Bock Casemates were installed by the Austrians in 1745-46 to strengthen the citadel's defensive capabilities. They were part of an extraordinary network of 23km of underground tunnels carved out on several levels and up to 40m into the rock face. The main 60m-long gallery leads to cannon chambers that offer spectacular views over the city. The Bock Casemates could accommodate a garrison of 1,200 soldiers with all their equipment and about fifty cannons.
For four centuries, Luxembourg was under foreign rule, and the leading engineers of its successive masters (Burgundy, Spain, France, Austria and the German Confederation) turned the city into a powerful fortress that was the envy of Europe. After the casemates were dismantled in 1867, as agreed in the Treaty of London to guarantee Luxembourg's neutral status following the decline of the German Confederation, they were shortened to 17km. In the 20th century, some of the underground galleries were opened to the public. They remain a firm favourite with tourists in Luxembourg City. From 30 March to 16 September 2018, guided tours with commentary will be available three times a day.
(Source : press release from the Luxembourg City Tourist Office)