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Esch-sur-Alzette

(4.2/5 based on 180+ reviews for 5 attractions)
Things to do: sightseeing, zoos & aquariums, parks
Esch-sur-Alzette is a commune with city status in south-western Luxembourg. It is the country's second city, and its second-most populous commune, with a population of 33,286 inhabitants. It lies in the south-west of the country, on the border with France. The town is usually referred to just as Esch, but there is also a village and commune further north named Esch-sur-Sûre from which to distinguish it. It lies in the valley of the Alzette, which flows through the town. The capital, Luxembourg City, is roughly 15km to the north-east.HistoryFor a long time Esch was a small farming village in the valley of the Uelzecht river. This changed when important amounts of iron ore were found in the area in the 1850s. With the development of the mines and the steel industry the town's population multiplied tenfold in a couple of decades. In 1911 the steel and iron producing company ARBED was founded. and the development of the steel industry, especially in the south of the country, provided Luxembourg with sustained economic growth during the second half of the 19th century.In the 1970s as a result of the steel crisis the mines and many of the blast furnaces were shut down, the last one, in Esch-Belval, definitely halting its operations in 1997. The blast furnaces were replaced by an electric furnace that is fed with scrap metal rather than iron ore.
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