It was a cold rainy spring day when we visited Luxembourg City, admiring it’s tremendous ramparts and fortified walls and enjoying its historic charm. During our wandering, we came across a rather large church and as we were wet and cold, thought it might be a good opportunity to go inside, look around some, and dry out a bit.
There is a lovely statue of Virgin and Child positioned between the doors which you’ll see as you enter the cathedral, a statue which had a “newish” feel to it, although I’m not certain when it was crafted.
This was the Notre-Dame Cathedral (also called the Cathedral of the Blessed Virgin), which was built between 1613 – 1621 by the Jesuits as the church to their adjoining college (which today is the National Library). The church is built in the late Gothic style, but has Renaissance decorative elements. Today it is the only cathedral in Luxembourg.
The Jesuits left the city in 1773 and Empress Maria Theresa gifted the church to the city. It became a parish church. Pope Pius IX elevated the church making it Notre-Dame Cathedral in 1870. The church was enlarged just before the second world war.
It’s an attractive church, certainly not grand on the scale of many of Europe’s great Cathedrals, but about what you’d expect for this smaller city and country. The Gothic features are evident in the Nave.
The crypts contain the remains of many of the Grand Dukes and Duchesses of Luxembourg. It also contains the tomb of John the Blind, king of Bohemia and count of Luxembourg from 1310 to 1346.
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