Visiting Trinity Church, Luxembourg City: remembering Grand Dukes and a Prussian garrison

Flag of Luxembourg
Flag of Luxembourg | Source
Trinity Church, Luxembourg City
Trinity Church, Luxembourg City | Source
Royal pew enclosure, Trinity Church, Luxembourg City
Royal pew enclosure, Trinity Church, Luxembourg City | Source
Map of Luxembourg
Map of Luxembourg | Source

Historic church building in Baroque style

This impressive, Baroque building, situated in a country which is strongly Roman Catholic in character, has actually housed a Protestant congregation since the year 1817. This historic building, with its conspicuous tower, is situated in Luxembourg City's rue de la Congrégation.

The circumstances of this congregation's establishment were as follows: Following the disruption of the French Revolutionary wars and the subsequent, Napoleonic, the Congress of Vienna of 1815 established a Prussian garrison in Luxembourg City, which remained there until Luxembourg was demilitarized in the 1870s. Since, in common with many Prussians, members of the garrison was mainly Protestant, a church building was set aside for their use; some descendents of these former Prussian soldiers continue to live in Luxembourg today, they and their families having long ago acquired Grand Ducal nationality.

1890 also marked a significant stage in the history of this Lutheran congregation. When, in 1890, the Luxembourg government decided upon a strict application of the Salic Law, thus denying Queen Regent Emma of The Netherlands any Grand Ducal role in Luxembourg, members of the Nassau-Weilbourg dynasty came successively to the Throne (1). A feature of the early Nassau-Weilbourg Grand Ducal family was that its members were practising Protestants. Thus, also, Trinity church became for a while associated with the reigning dynasty, which also also attended the church regularly. A special, Grand Ducal pew enclosure in the church building's interior may still be seen (2).

A Medieval chapel, sponsored by Friedrich von Meysenburg, is known to have occupied the present site from 1333. Subsequently, a convent was founded here.

However, the building itself in its present form largely dates from 1730, when it was rebuilt on the instructions of the Bishop of Trier, after an earlier edifice was destroyed by troops of French King Louis XIV. The Baroque features of the church, which include a striking entrance, are particularly significant, since they mark the first appearance of the Baroque style in Luxembourg.

Trinity Church, Luxembourg City, is known in French as Eglise de la Trinité and, in German, as die Dreifaltigkeitskirche.

Notes

(1) However, the application of the Salic Law was short-lived, because, in a highly pragmatic move, the government of Luxembourg subsequently accepted the ascension of Grand Duchess Adelaïde in 1912.

(2) Subsequently, for many decades, the Grand Ducal family has usually attended the nearby (Roman Catholic) Cathedral.

Also worth seeing

In Luxembourg City itself, its many visitor attractions include the Cathedral, the Pont Adolphe over the Pétrusse Valley, the Grand Ducal Palace and the St. Quirin church.

Clervaux (distance: 65 kilometres) has striking ecclesiastical architecture, a castle, and Battle of the Bulge memories.

Audun-le-Tiche , France (distance: 22 kilometres) has a Merovingian necropolis museum and a recently restored, former Protestant church dating from the period of German Imperial annexation.

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How to get there: The nearest large international airport is Luxembourg (Aéroport de Luxembourg ), at Findel, from where car rental is available. For North American travellers making the London, England area their touring base, airlines flying to Luxembourg include Luxair (from London Heathrow Airport and London City Airport) and CityJet (from London City Airport). For up to date information, please check with the airline or your travel agent. You are advised to refer to appropriate consular sources for any special border crossing arrangements which may apply to citizens of certain nationalities.

MJFenn is an independent travel writer based in Ontario, Canada.

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