shotlandka's weebig world

By shotlandka


The friend I am staying with had language classes today at the University of Luxembourg, so I tagged along for some photography. The Belval campus is probably one of the coolest campuses in the world. It was built as part of a new town on the edge of Esch-sur-Alzette, the second biggest city in Luxembourg. Before, this was a derelict industrial site, home to a huge, but already silent, iron foundry. It was cleaned up - by a French company, apparently the Luxembourg company asked to bid for the contract said it was too expensive and difficult to do. Belval is now a mixture of old preserved foundry structures, including a small exhibition area and occasional tours of the remaining foundry buildings, wonderful modern architecture, a few derelict bits still in need of either demolition or preservation, and some blank spaces awaiting their turn for architectural inspiration. There are university buildings, a concert venue (there seems to be an appreciation of music here, street names include Avenue du Rock'n'Roll, Avenue de Swing, Boulevard du Jazz, Avenue du Blues, Rue J Lennon and Rue Le Bataclan), there's a shopping centre and what look like very cool flats. Not to mention a railway station that looks like a big white caterpillar. See the extra shots for a few more from around the university, including their brand new 'Learning Centre' (don't dare call it a library). Loved this whole place. Very friendly, but careful security, who told me to get permission to take photos as you couldn't just wander round and take them (and then suggested other good tourist options). The guy from Fonds Belval, the redevelopment organisation, who cycled across to check up on me explained they've had some issues with commercial photographers and intellectual property rights, but as I was just a tourist, it was fine. I was very proud of my rusty French that I managed to have all these conversations understanding what was being said to me and being understood! My friend and I then went back into Esch (where she lives) for dinner, I laughed to see a few things from the 'only in Luxembourg' category - like the BMW showroom with a special sign for diplomatic sales!

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