'De Minett', the Luxembourgers' nickname for the iron-red earth region in the south, is mainly characterised by its industrial heritage and the bright red iron ore that dominates the landscape. With its iron ore, the 'Land of the Red Rocks' was the origin of significant economic development and rapid prosperity that has taken shape in the Grand Duchy since the mid-19th century.
Witnesses of industrial culture
Former industrial sites, preserved or partially turned into habitats, bear witness to the industrial era and lead the visitor through the country's steelmaking history.
At Rumelange, the National Mining Museum (Musée national des mines, MNM) explains how iron ore was extracted and used, and interesting trails allow you to discover the industrial past.
Steam train and fairy tales
The industrial park at Fond-de-Gras, where an engine belching steam pulls a 1900s train every weekend from May to September over the stretch of track from Rodange to Fond-de-Gras, is one of the many adventures that families, history fans and nature-lovers can experience in the Land of the Red Rocks.
For families, animal- and nature-lovers, and romantics looking for a diversion from the discovery of the country's industrial past, the 'Parc Merveilleux' (Fairy Tale Park) in Bettembourg offers exotic animals and fairy tales that will delight the hearts of young and old.
City of Science, Research and Innovation
Less fairy tale like, the sites in the region often resemble living places where the memory of a glorious industrial past is now cultivated through rehabilitation or highlighting of these sites.
Thus, in Esch-sur-Alzette, the former industrial site of Esch-Belval, home to the country's last blast furnace, is currently being converted into the City of Science, Research and Innovation, an academic and residential district, and a recreational and cultural centre.
Recreation, culture and architecture
The southern part of the country has a wide-ranging cultural offer, with pop and rock festivals, several theatre venues (including the Kulturfabrik, Rockhal and Esch Municipal Theatre), museums and art galleries.
In Esch-Belval, remnants of the iron and steel industry stand alongside biomedical laboratories, start-ups, and the ultramodern buildings of the University of Luxembourg.
This desire for modernisation and promotion is also reflected in the urban architecture of the main towns of the 'Minett' region — Esch-sur-Alzette, Dudelange and Differdange — where modern buildings fit into an architectural backdrop often dominated by old bourgeois mansions with Art Nouveau facades.
Multicultural and dynamic, the Land of the Red Rocks has managed to evolve while still maintaining and promoting its industrial heritage.