Coordinates: 49°29′49″N 5°58′50″E / 49.4969°N 5.9806°E / 49.4969; 5.9806
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Esch-Uelzecht (Luxembourgish)
Esch-sur-Alzette seen from Gaalgebierg Park
City Hall
Rue de l'Hôpital and St. Joseph's Church
Rue de l'Alzette
Belval Campus
Coat of arms of Esch-sur-Alzette
Map of Luxembourg with Esch-sur-Alzette highlighted in orange, and the canton in dark red
Map of Luxembourg with Esch-sur-Alzette highlighted in orange, and the canton in dark red
Coordinates: 49°29′49″N 5°58′50″E / 49.4969°N 5.9806°E / 49.4969; 5.9806
Country Luxembourg
 • MayorChristian Weis (CSV)
 • Total14.35 km2 (5.54 sq mi)
 • Rank81st of 100
Highest elevation
426 m (1,398 ft)
 • Rank32nd of 100
Lowest elevation
279 m (915 ft)
 • Rank84th of 100
 • Total36,625
 • Rank2nd of 100
 • Density2,600/km2 (6,600/sq mi)
  • Rank1st of 100
Time zoneUTC+1 (CET)
 • Summer (DST)UTC+2 (CEST)
LAU 2LU0000204
Click on the map for a fullscreen view

Esch-sur-Alzette (French: [ɛʃ syʁ alzɛt]; Luxembourgish: Esch-Uelzecht [ˌæʒ ˈuəltsəɕt] ; German: Esch an der Alzette [ˈɛʃ ʔan deːɐ̯ ʔalˈzɛt] or Esch an der Alzig) is a city in the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg and the country's second-most populous commune, with a population of 36,625 inhabitants, as of 2023. It lies in the south-west of the country, on the border with France and in the valley of the Alzette, which flows through the city. The city is usually referred to as just Esch; however, the full name distinguishes it from the village and commune of Esch-sur-Sûre which lies 45 kilometres (28 miles) further north. The country's capital, Luxembourg City, is roughly 15 km (9.3 mi) to the north-east. Esch was selected as the European Capital of Culture for 2022, alongside Kaunas and Novi Sad.


The town was mentioned for the first time in 12 April 1128 in a message for Pope Honorius II.[1] For a long time Esch was a small farming village in the valley of the Uelzecht river. This changed when important amounts of iron ore were found in the area in the 1850s. With the development of the mines and the steel industry the town's population multiplied tenfold in a couple of decades. In 1911 the steel- and iron-producing company ARBED was founded.[2] The development of the steel industry, especially in the south of the country, provided Luxembourg with sustained economic growth during the second half of the 19th century.[3]

In the 1970s, as a result of the steel crisis, the mines and many of the blast furnaces were shut down, the last one, in Esch-Belval, definitively halting its operations in 1997.[3] The blast furnaces were replaced by an electric furnace that is fed with scrap metal rather than iron ore.[4]

Today the industrial wastelands on Belval left behind by the steel industry, are being redeveloped and converted into a new, modern town quarter. New cultural buildings such as the cinema Kinepolis Belval[5] and the Rockhal, Luxembourg's biggest concert hall.[6]

The area around the old blast furnaces will host different structures of the University of Luxembourg, many research centres and the national archives.[7]

Government and politics[edit]


Esch is governed by its communal council, consisting of 19 councillors. Communal elections take place every 6 years, under a system of proportional representation. Currently the mayor is Christian Weis, of the Christian Social People's Party (CSV). The governing majority on the council consists of the CSV, the DP and The Greens.[8]

2017 election results[9]
Party Popular vote Seats Change
G Christian Social People's Party (CSV) 30.87%
6 Increase 2
Luxembourg Socialist Workers' Party (LSAP) 27.86%
6 Decrease 3
G The Greens 13.54%
3 Increase 1
G Democratic Party (DP) 9.11%
2 Increase 1
The Left 9.53%
2 Steady 0
Communist Party of Luxembourg (KPL) 4.14%
- Decrease 1
Alternative Democratic Reform Party (ADR) 3.29%
Pirate Party of Luxembourg 1.66%
Total 19
2023 election results[10]
Party Popular vote Seats Change
Luxembourg Socialist Workers' Party (LSAP) 29.57%
6 Steady 0
G Christian Social People's Party (CSV) 29.55%
6 Steady 0
G Democratic Party (DP) 10.85%
2 Steady 0
G The Greens 9.17%
2 Decrease 1
The Left 7.92%
1 Decrease 1
Alternative Democratic Reform Party (ADR) 5.56%
1 Increase 1
Pirate Party of Luxembourg 5.31%
1 Increase 1
Communist Party of Luxembourg (KPL) 2.08%
Total 19



Places of interest[edit]

The Lankelz miniature railway operates on Sunday afternoons and public holidays from May to mid-October.[12]

Esch is home to the Conservatoire de Musique.[13]

The city has the longest shopping street in Luxembourg.[14]


Film production[edit]

The Venice filmset in Esch (2001)

In 2001, a Luxembourg film production company had depicted a 40,000 m2 and 15 meter high backdrop built for the feature film Secret Passage with John Turturro on the Terre Rouge, a site of a former steelwork in Esch-sur Alzette. The filmset represents the contemporary Venice of the 16th century with a 600 meter long copy of the Grand Canal and 118 house facades. The "Venice-sur-Alzette" was built for around 5 million Euro and was one of the largest open-air film sets in European film history.[15]

Between 2001 and 2007 many film productions used the gigantic filmset. Among others the feature films The Merchant of Venice with Al Pacino and The Girl with the Pearl Earring with Scarlett Johansson were shot in Esch. In the summer of 2007, the filmset was torn down because the weather was affecting the buildings.

European Capital of Culture for 2022[edit]

The city of Esch-sur-Alzette was selected as the European Capital of Culture for 2022, alongside Kaunas and Novi Sad.[16]


Sign at Esch-sur-Alzette railway station

Esch is connected by the bus lines 1,2,3,4,5,7,12,13,15 and 17 of the communal public transport company T.I.C.E[17] (tramways intercommunales du canton Esch/Alzette, intercommunal tramway of the canton Esch/Alzette), which maintenance depot and headquarter is situated in Esch, and by lines 307, 312, 313 and 314 of the R.G.T.R.[18]

Stade de la Frontière

Notable people[edit]

René Deltgen, 1935
Victor Thorn


Twin towns — sister cities[edit]

Esch-sur-Alzette is twinned with:[19]


  1. ^ Georges Buchler: Esch-sur-Alzette. Guide historique. 2020. p. 19 [in French]
  2. ^ "ArcelorMittal - History". Archived from the original on 28 March 2015. Retrieved 16 October 2014.
  3. ^ a b "Economic and social portrait of Luxembourg : Introduction". Archived from the original on 14 November 2007. Retrieved 13 August 2017.
  4. ^ "History". 1 June 2017. Retrieved 13 August 2017.
  5. ^ " - Utopolis Belval". Archived from the original on 4 March 2017. Retrieved 13 August 2017.
  6. ^ "Rockhal: Featured". Retrieved 13 August 2017.
  7. ^ "Site Esch/Belval -". Archived from the original on 2015-10-17. Retrieved 2013-09-06.
  8. ^ "Le Conseil Communal". Ville d'Esch-sur-Alzette. Archived from the original on 2012-01-29. Retrieved 2024-02-13.
  9. ^ "Esch-sur-Alzette" (in French). Retrieved 2017-10-31.
  10. ^ "Esch-sur-Alzette" (in French). Retrieved 2024-02-13.
  11. ^ "Population par canton et commune". Retrieved 11 January 2022.
  12. ^ "Welcome to Esch-sur-Alzette" Archived 2011-07-22 at the Wayback Machine, Luxembourg National Tourist Office. Retrieved 20 February 2011.
  13. ^ "Conservatoire de Musique -". 30 January 2012. Archived from the original on 2012-01-30. Retrieved 13 January 2020.
  14. ^ "Shopping in Luxembourg - - Visit Luxembourg". Archived from the original on 12 September 2013. Retrieved 13 August 2017.
  15. ^ "Das Mädchen mit dem Perlenohrring - Venedig Filmkulisse" – via
  16. ^ "European Capitals of Culture". Retrieved 2022-05-08.
  17. ^ "Linien und Fahrpläne (Gültig ab 5. Dezember)". Retrieved 2016-12-06.
  18. ^ "Bus". Mobilitéitszentral. Retrieved 2016-12-06.
  19. ^ "Affaires Internationales". (in French). Esch-sur-Alzette. Retrieved 2019-09-03.

External links[edit]