After works to bring the Casemates de la Pétrusse up to standard and to enhance their value, they reopened their doors to the general public on June 5th, under a new concept. The project was led by the Luxembourg City Tourist Office (LCTO), in collaboration with the City of Luxembourg.
Spotlight on the new Casemates: “Rocks coming to life”
Thanks to an innovative audiovisual scenography, conceived in collaboration with “Tido Brussig Szenerien”, the Casemates de la Pétrusse are shining again. Light and sound effects have been installed to guarantee an unforgettable experience for visitors.
Tom Bellion, director of the LCTO, is delighted with the reopening of the Casemates: “We have all been looking forward to this moment and are very happy that the Casemates de la Pétrusse are once again accessible to the public. As a major tourist attraction in the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg, their reopening represents an added value not only for the capital, but for the entire country. Under the slogan “Rocks coming to Life”, visitors will venture into the underground galleries of the capital and will be fully immersed in the history of the Casemates.”
For the development project, scenographer Tido Brussig was inspired by the Casemates’ eventful and multifaceted history in order to create a tailor-made scenography: “The aim of the scenographic design of the Petrusse Casemates is, in addition to communicating basic information, to convey the atmosphere of the actual uses – which, contrary to expectations, were and are non-military in nature.”
The history of the Casemates
Being part of the huge underground military defense system of the former fortress-city whose origins date back to the year 1644, it is not surprising that most people associate the Petrussian Casemates with military purposes. In reality, this was never the case.
Over the decades, the Casemates have been used for various purposes. As early as 1871, the “d’Schéiss” shooting society set up its shooting ranges in the Casemates. In the 1890s, the gardeners Backes and Schneider cultivated mushrooms in the “Pastetchen” ravelin. At the beginning of the 20th century, concerts, beer festivals and charity bazaars were held in the casemates. The “Compagne des Grands Vins de Champagne E. Mercier”, founded in 1858, started its production in 1886 near the station and used the casemates to store their bottles. During the two world wars, the Casemates du Bock and those of the Pétrusse were used as shelters and could protect 35,000 people in case of alert or bombing.
On July 22, 1933, the first visitors – initially equipped with torches – were able to enter the Casemates de la Pétrusse. During the first season, there were already 5,000 visitors in “the longest casemate network in the world”. Since 1994, the fortifications of the city of Luxembourg and its old quarters have been included in the UNESCO World Heritage List.
For more information: luxembourg-city
Photo credit: Blitz / Luxembourg City Tourist Office