The idea for Luxembourg’s MNHA was first conceived before World War II but thanks to German occupation of the city it only finally opened in 1946. Today the museum has four permanent collections housed in a purpose-built gallery completed in the early 21st century. The Coins and Medals and Fine Arts collections are found in the revamped original museum, which is connected to a central atrium with a façade of stone cladding that houses the gift shops and café on the ground floor. Hidden beneath this — and literally carved out of rock — are three subterranean floors where the archaeological treasures are exhibited. The latest addition is the Wiltheim Wing, which was added in 2014 and comprises several modernized townhouses where Arts and Crafts from Renaissance times onwards are now on display.
In addition, the museum normally holds several temporary exhibitions at any one time and these have recently featured diverse themes such as art from the Cold War period and the work of Luxembourg artist Joseph Kutter (1894-1941), who was influenced by the Expressionists and renowned for his landscapes and nudes.
Marché-Aux-Poissons, Luxembourg. Open Tue–Wed, Fri–Sun 10am–6pm; Thur 10am–8pm. Permanent collection free; admission to temporary exhibitions adults €7; seniors & children free. The attractions of Luxembourg City are easily accessed on foot.
Address: Marché-Aux-Poissons, 2345, Luxembourg
Hours: Open Tue–Wed and Fri–Sun 10am–6pm; Thur 10am–8pm
The Modern Art Museum in Luxembourg, better known as MUDAM, is the top contemporary art museum in Luxembourg. Housed in a building designed by a Chinese-American architect, the museum is spread over three levels and 4500 square meters of display space. In an interesting contrast, the building was built onto the rampart walls of the old Fort Thungen, which dates back to 1732. The museum features a wide array of contemporary art, including photography, paintings, drawings, sculptures, graphic design, fashion and new media. It bills itself as a place for reflection and contemplation and encourages visitors to set aside any prejudices and view the art with a new look and complete freedom.
The museum is set in the Parc Drai Eechelen, which features several works of art and offers nice views of the old town.
The Modern Art Museum Luxembourg is accessible by bus 1 or 16 to the Philharmonie/Mudam stop. The museum offers free wi-fi and has a mobile app that can be downloaded free of charge. The app provides an in-depth introduction to building’s architecture and a virtual visit of the Parc Drai Eechelen. Visitors can also scan QR codes next to the works on display to learn more.
Address: 3 Park Drai Eechelen, Luxembourg
Hours: Wednesday to Friday, 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.; Saturday to Monday, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Closed on Tuesdays and Christmas Day. Shorter hours on bank holidays, Christmas Eve, New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day.
The sleepy Ardennes town of Bastogne made history back in 1944 as the site of World War II’s notorious Battle of the Bulge, when the heroic efforts of besieged American soldiers managed to hold off German forces, despite freezing conditions, heavy fire and their being outnumbered 5 to 1. More than 70 years on, Bastogne hasn’t forgotten its valiant fight, and the town’s poignant monuments, war cemeteries, battle-field memorials and museums have drawn visitors from all around the globe. Roads converge on the town from every direction (a trait that made it vitally important for war efforts), making Bastogne a convenient day trip away from nearly anywhere in the Ardennes.
Nearly all the town’s points of interest relate to the iconic battle, starting with the Bastogne War Museum and its collection of modern, interactive exhibits on World War II in Belgium. A stone’s throw away is the Mardasson American War Memorial, a five-pointed star with engraved pillars listing the names of the 76,890 American soldiers killed, missing or wounded in the battle. Other war-related sites include the Wood of Peace, planted to mark the 50th anniversary of the battle, and the Sherman Tank.
Bastogne is located 150 km southeast of Brussels, close to the Luxembourg border, and is served by regular buses from Liége, as well as from a few other towns.