Place d’Armes is one of Luxembourg City’s central squares. It has served as a local gathering place for centuries. Take a break from sightseeing and stop at one of the surrounding restaurants and cafés. During the summer, you might also catch a concert taking place on the bandstand.
Nicknamed the “Parlor of the City,” this square dates back to the 17th century. It was later paved by the French troops of Louis XIV to be used for parades and training drills. Today, the square is lined with a variety of restaurants and cafés, from McDonald’s to locally owned establishments. Find a seat on a terrace and try a traditional Luxembourgish dish like Judd mat Gaardebounen, a casserole of smoked pork neck and broad beans with a creamy sauce.
Check out the monument honoring Luxembourgish writers Michel Lentz and Edmond de la Fontaine. Inspect the monument’s pillar, which is inscribed with Luxembourg’s motto: “Mir wëlle bleiwe wat mir sin.” (We want to remain what we are.) The lion at the top of the monument is a symbol of the Grand Duchy.
Don’t miss the brocante (antiques/flea) market, which takes place in the square every second and fourth Saturday of the month. The stalls at this small market are stocked with an interesting mix of china, antique furniture, old postcards and other knickknacks.
Look at the Cercle Cité, an imposing building dominating the square. Now a convention and exhibition center, the building once served as the meeting place for the European Coal and Steel Community, a precursor of the European Union. Admire the frieze on the building’s façade which depicts Countess Ermesinde handing over the charter of freedom to the citizens of Luxembourg in the 13th century.
One of the best times of year to visit the square is during the summer, when numerous open-air concerts and events take place. Visit during the winter holiday season to see the city’s annual Christmas Market.
Place d’Armes is located in Luxembourg’s historic center. Reach the square by bus or walk easily from most areas of the city.