The town seen from the Gaalgebierg parc
Map of Luxembourg with Esch-sur-Alzette highlighted in orange, and the canton in dark red
|Area rank||? of 102|
|• Rank||? of 102|
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|Time zone||UTC+1 (CET)|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC+2 (CEST)|
Esch-sur-Alzette (Luxembourgish: Esch-Uelzecht pronounced [ˌæʒ‿ˈuə̯ltsəɕt], German: Esch-an-der-Alzette [ˌɛʃ ʔan deːɐ̯ ʔalˈzɛt] or Esch-an-der-Alzig, French: Esch-sur-Alzette) is a commune with town status in south-western Luxembourg. It is the country's second "city", and its second-most populous commune, with a population of 35,040 inhabitants, as of 2018[update].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 town. The town 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.
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. 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.
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, definitely halting its operations in 1997. The blast furnaces were replaced by an electric furnace that is fed with scrap metal rather than iron ore.
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 Utopolis Belval and the Rockhal, Luxemburg’s biggest concert hall, schools, flats and Belval Plaza, a shopping centre, have been built in the last years.
The area around the old blast furnaces will host different structures of the University of Luxembourg, many research centres and the national archives. Two of the University's three faculties will relocate there: The Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Education Sciences already moved in the summer of 2016, and will be followed by the Faculty of Sciences, Technology and Communication in 2017 or 2018.
Places of interest
Esch-sur-Alzette is home to the National Museum of the Resistance, which has material related to the resistance to German occupation during the Second World War. Lucien Wercollier's sculpture The Political Prisoner is in its entrance hall. Other tourist attractions include the large park, and the Berwart Tower, built in 1621.
Esch is home to the Conservatoire de Musique. Founded as a school of music in 1926, it achieved Conservatoire status in 1969.
There are two cinemas in the centre of the town, called the 'Ariston' and the 'Kinosch' and a third one called 'Utopolis Belval' is situated in the former industrial wastelands Belval. The main theatre is the Théâtre d’Esch. There is also the Kulturfabrik, a cultural centre in a reconverted abattoir which hosts performances of various kinds. The town is the site of one of the six regional headquarters of the Grand Ducal Police.
The town has the longest shopping street in Luxembourg.
Government and politics
Esch is governed by its communal council, consisting of 19 councillors. Elections take place to this body every 6 years, under a system of proportional representation. Currently the mayor is Vera Spautz, of the Luxembourg Socialist Workers' Party (LSAP). The governing majority on the council consists of the LSAP and The Greens. The council that is currently in office reflects the 2011 local election results. Its mandate will run out in January 2018.
|2011 election results|
|G||Luxembourg Socialist Workers' Party (LSAP)||38,48%||9||0|
|Christian Social People's Party (CSV)||19,22%||4||1|
|Democratic Party (DP)||7,50%||1||0|
|Communist Party of Luxembourg (KPL)||5,25%||1||1|
|Alternative Democratic Reform Party (ADR)||3,85%||-||1|
'G' denotes parties that went on to form the governing majority.
The most recent elections were held on 8 October 2017; the results are listed below. This new council will take office in January 2018.
After the elections, a coalition agreement was signed between 3 parties, the CSV, the Greens, and the DP, who will form the new governing majority on the council. The designated new mayor is Tom Schlesser of Dei Lénk.
|G||Christian Social People's Party (CSV)||30,87%||6||2|
|Luxembourg Socialist Workers' Party (LSAP)||27,86%||6||3|
|G||Democratic Party (DP)||9,11%||2||1|
|Communist Party of Luxembourg (KPL)||4,14%||-||1|
|Alternative Democratic Reform Party (ADR)||3,29%||-|
|Pirate Party of Luxembourg||1,66%||-|
For national elections to the Chamber of Deputies, Esch is located in the Sud constituency.
Esch is in the heart of the traditional footballing heartland of the south of the country, and the town was the first place in the country to embrace the game. The first two football clubs in the country, CS Fola Esch (founded in 1906) and Jeunesse Esch (1907), both come from the town. Jeunesse have been the most successful Luxembourgian club, winning an unrivalled twenty-seven National Division titles; combined with twelve Luxembourg Cup victories, Jeunesse have won eight Doubles. They play at Stade de la Frontière, in the south of the town. Fola were very important in the early history of the sport in Luxembourg, winning five titles up to 1930. Fola's home stadium is Stade Émile Mayrisch, in the south-east of Esch, which it shares with its sister athletics club CA Fola Esch. In 2017 US Esch (who play round the back of the sport centre in Lankhelz) joined Jeunesse and CS Fola in the top flight after winning the second division Promotion d'Honneur.
At the 2006 Tour de France, Esch-sur-Alzette hosted the end of Stage 2 and the start of Stage 3. The Tour also passed through the town in 2017.
Esch-sur-Alzette is the southern terminus of the A4 motorway, which runs northwards to Luxembourg. The east-west A13 meets the A4 just to the north of Esch, and terminates at Pétange in the west and meets the German Bundesautobahn 8 at its eastern end.
Esch is one of four towns in the Grand Duchy to have more than one railway station. Esch's three railway stations, Esch-sur-Alzette, Belval-Rédange, and Belval-Université, all lie on Line 60 of the Chemins de fer luxembourgeois network.
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 (tramways intercommunales du canton Esch/Alzette, intercommunal tramway of the canton Esch/Alzette), which maintenance depot and headquarter is situated in Esch, and by the line 307,312,313 and 314 by R.G.T.R.
Twin towns — Sister cities
Esch-sur-Alzette is twinned with:
- Office for National Statistics. "Population estimates for UK, England and Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland – current datasets". statistics.gov.uk. Retrieved 5 October 2013.
- "ArcelorMittal - History". Retrieved 16 October 2014.
- "Economic and social portrait of Luxembourg : Introduction". Archived from the original on 14 November 2007. Retrieved 13 August 2017.
- "History". 1 June 2017. Retrieved 13 August 2017.
- "Utopolis.lu - Utopolis Belval". Archived from the original on 4 March 2017. Retrieved 13 August 2017.
- "Rockhal: Featured". www.rockhal.lu. Retrieved 13 August 2017.
- Site Esch/Belval - esch.lu
- "L'Université prête pour Belval". 23 May 2012. Retrieved 13 August 2017.
- "Welcome to Esch-sur-Alzette" Archived 2011-07-22 at the Wayback Machine., Luxembourg National Tourist Office. Retrieved 20 February 2011.
-  Archived January 30, 2012, at the Wayback Machine.
- "Shopping in Luxembourg - Luxembourg.lu - Visit Luxembourg". Archived from the original on 12 September 2013. Retrieved 13 August 2017.
- "Le Bourgmestre". Ville d'Esch-sur-Alzette. Retrieved 2017-10-31.
- "Le Conseil Communal". Ville d'Esch-sur-Alzette. Retrieved 2017-10-31.
- "Commune Esch sur alzette" (in French). Retrieved 2017-11-01.
- "Esch-sur-Alzette" (in French). Retrieved 2017-10-31.
- "Historic change: New CSV, DP and Greens coalition in Esch/Alzette". Wort.lu. 25 October 2017. Retrieved 2017-11-01.
- The others are Luxembourg City (5 stations), Dudelange (4), and Mamer (2)
- "Linien und Fahrpläne (Gültig ab 5. Dezember)". www.tice.lu. Retrieved 2016-12-06.
- "Bus". Mobilitéitszentral. Retrieved 2016-12-06.
- "Puteaux - Qu'est-ce que le jumelage?". Mairie de Puteaux [Puteaux Official Website] (in French). Archived from the original on 2013-11-26. Retrieved 2013-12-28.
- Pessotto, Lorenzo. "International Affairs - Twinnings and Agreements". International Affairs Service in cooperation with Servizio Telematico Pubblico. City of Torino. Archived from the original on 2013-06-18. Retrieved 2013-08-06.
|Wikivoyage has a travel guide for Esch-sur-Alzette.|
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Esch-sur-Alzette.|
- (in French) Official website of the town of Esch-sur-Alzette
- A large private collection of pictures of the town and its surroundings — articles in German, French and Luxembourgish
- HoloGuides : Esch/Alzette - photos, events, etc.
- FEATS Newsletter, December 1999 - discusses quite a few matters relating to Esch