Minett Park Fond-de-Gras: steam train rides and a glimpse of mining
Discover the brand new draisines - the very first ones in Luxembourg!
The draisines are 4 seat rail bikes on the track linking the Fond-de-Gras with the Bois-de-Rodange.
Round trip: +/- 45 minutes
Rate: 15€ per railbike (1 railbike accomodates 4 persons, 2 persons riding); payable in cash
Nowadays, it’s hard to imagine that the peaceful little valley of Fond-de-Gras was, until the 1960s, one of the country’s leading mining centres. At the Minett Park Fond-de-Gras, over 100 years of industrial history in the south of Luxembourg are brought vividly to life. The Train 1900 steam train links Pétange with Fond-de-Gras just as it used to around the turn of the last century. The “Minièresbunn” miners’ train takes visitors through a tunnel where iron ore used to be extracted, from Fond-de-Gras to the mining village of Lasauvage and as far as Saulnes (in France). In summer, the Blues Express music festival and the Steampunk Convention make this open-air museum rock!
The Train 1900 runs between Pétange and Fond-de-Gras, on the former "Mining Line". The train line was opened in 1874 in order to transport the iron ore extracted from neighbouring mines. A truly unique experience in Luxembourg and the Greater Region - step back in time with the Train 1900.
Back when the mines were operational, mining trains were vital for removing the iron ore carriages from the mine. At present, the Minièresbunn runs between Fond-de-Gras and Lasauvage and offers a sensational experience when visiting the bottom of the mine.
One of the oldest iron and steel facilities in Luxembourg was located in Lasauvage: a forge built around 1625.
The village experienced spectacular growth owing to the Count of Saintignon. This French industrialist at the time owned mines in Lasauvage and built many buildings in the village: houses for the workers, a church, village hall, etc. Many of these buildings are still standing today and bestow the village with exceptional charm.
NATURE AND ARCHAEOLOGY
The Minett Park Fond-de-Gras extends between green valleys, plateaus bathed in sunlight and vast forests, making it the ideal destination for breathtaking walks. This lays to rest the notion that the south of Luxembourg was ruined by its industrial past.
A large-scale open-cast mine, the Giele Botter has been transformed into a hundred hectare nature reserve that is being reclaimed by the flora and fauna.
At the time of the Celts, the site of Titelberg played a major role due to an important oppidum erected in the first century BC. The excavations carried out at Titelberg testify that it was the capital of the Treviri tribe.
The site of Fond-de-Gras (approximately 1hr 30mins)
The guided tours highlight Luxembourg’s mining, industrial and railway history. During the outdoor part of the visit, visitors can access various historic buildings (grocery stores, power plants and railway stations).
Railway hall (approximately 1hr30mins)
The tour includes a visit of the facilities of the Train 1900. Its main theme is the steam train.
The Village of Lasauvage (approximately 1hr30mins)
Lasauvage’s history is that of a workers’ village and is strongly influenced by the steel industry and mining. During the visit the story of Count Ferdinand Saintignon (1846-1921), the ironmaster of Lasauvage, will be explained.
The “Giele Botter” (between 2hrs and 3hrs)
The former open-pit mine the "Giele Botter" is now a nature reserve where flora and fauna thrive again. The tour covers the industrial aspect of the site and its conversion into a protected natural area.
The Celtic Town of the "Titelberg" (approximately 2hrs)
The Celtic Town of the “Titelberg” Located on a rocky outcrop of 50 hectares, the “Titelberg” is an archaeological site of great importance. Archaeologists have discovered remains of human occupation dating back to the first half of the 1st century BC. The basement of the archaeological site contains iron ore which was already used during the Iron Age.
- Multiple different guided tours possible on request
- Guided tour of the former industrial site, of an archeological dig, ...
- Ride on a steam train or a mining railway