Municipality of Niederanven
Flower-filled meadows cuddle the soul and spirit
Niederanven is much more than the “Route de Trèves” Road that runs through it. All you have to do is put your foot down and explore the area from end to end. You'll discover a municipality rich in architecture and, above all, bursting with life and nature.
Our rambling article will begin with an expression said to me by an elderly lady I met in the hall of the town hall, while I was looking through the local promotional brochures. I had a warm and friendly chat with her. I told her that the commune looked very pleasant and that I'd just had an extraordinary walk along the Aarnescht path. She replied "fantastic" and added that there were many other walks to be had in the region. I ask her if she lives locally. She replies with a dazzling smile: "Yes, and for a long time now; I'm so happy to be living in Niederanven!
You couldn't have asked for a better welcome to Niederanven!
Nature is everywhere in Niederanven. Situated in the Syre valley, the area encompasses several dry and wet nature reserves, including forests and natural springs. The Schlammwiss, located between Uebersyren and Mensdorf, is the largest reed area in Luxembourg and is home to a number of rare bird species. Grunewald is Luxembourg's largest forest area and covers the country's largest groundwater reserve. The Aarnescht nature reserve is famous for its variety of orchids.
The commune of Niederanven comprises the following localities: Ernster, Hostert, Niederanven, Oberanven, Rameldange, Senningen, Senningerberg , Waldhof and the Hoehenhof site, which houses the Cargocenter and a Cargolux maintenance centre.
The A1 Highway and the National 1 trunk road run through the municipality. Luxembourg-Findel airport is partly located in the municipality.
Over the last 20 years, the local authority has focused on creating public buildings with remarkable contemporary architecture, reflecting a bold vision. These buildings, with their spectacular modern appearance, coexist harmoniously with the traditional buildings that reflect the local rural heritage. What's more, thanks to its proximity to both the capital and the airport, the town is experiencing a major boom, marked by the construction of many exceptional homes and residences. The town's privileged environment, with its vast, undulating landscapes and many nearby woodland walks, is a major factor in this boom.
There are plenty of exciting activities and places to discover in the area, from remarkable buildings to natural sites. However, the concept of this walk is to let your intuition guide you on one or two outings, which leads us to highlight four key points in this report: the Aarnescht nature reserve, the Syrdall Schwemm (the municipal swimming pool), the “Parc de l'Europe” Park and the Kulturhaus Niederanven cultural centre.
The Aarnescht trail: Nature at its best!
The Aarnescht is a breathtakingly beautiful nature reserve. One of the first nature reserves in Luxembourg, it was officially declared a nature protection area on February 1st 1988. Covering a total area of 75 hectares, the Aarnescht is former farmland with a microclimate similar to that of the Mediterranean, providing a home for thermophilic flora and fauna. It is characterised by its steep, wind-sheltered, south-facing slopes. The natural area is made up of a number of biotopes, many of them the result of geological and climatic features: semi-dry limestone grasslands, orchards, oak woods, beech woods, pine and spruce forests and wet meadows with mullein. Two-thirds of the 34 native orchid species have been recorded in the Aarnescht. Many of the butterflies and grasshoppers that live here are on the Red List of Threatened Species. In protected areas, sustainable use and the promotion of agriculture are a priority: manual mowing, scrub clearance and grazing with sheep are still practised.
The nature reserve is criss-crossed by a 5.5km hiking trail, laid out by the "Amicale de l'Aarnescht" association in collaboration with the water and forestry administration and the Niederanven municipality. A delightful walk for all the family! The starting point for this trail is right next to the town hall in Oberanven.
The “Parc de l'Europe” Park
Inaugurated on June 22nd 2011, the “Parc de l'Europe” Park extends over two hectares behind the town hall in Oberanven. It is a beautiful landscaped area with botanical gardens, play areas and a discovery trail through the trees. New signage allows visitors to scan the QR code and consult information on each type of tree at www.niederanven.lu. The park's name is a symbol of European co-existence in Niederanven, where almost half the population is of non-Luxembourg nationality.
Syrdall Schwemm : A holiday atmosphere!
At the Syrdall Schwemm, we receive a warm welcome from Marc Schäffer, the pool manager. He tells us all about the history and characteristics of the facility. Having held the position of manager since the pool opened in 2010, he was also involved in the planning and coordination phase of the project. He obviously knows the building down to the last detail, and his enthusiasm and pride are completely understandable: the Syrdall Schwemm is without doubt one of the most beautiful aquatic centres in Luxembourg, both for its remarkable architecture - with its original design and harmonious integration into the surrounding landscape - and for its interior layout, characterised by its brightness and user-friendliness.
The pool is laid out in a compact, sloping volume that opens out generously towards the rear, where the swimming pools are located, offering a splendid view of the green surroundings. It is equipped with all the facilities required for a quality aquatic centre, including different pools, a large slide with integrated audio and light system, a bistro-restaurant, a beauty area and much more. The outdoor pool, heated and open all year round, is surrounded by a vast expanse of lawn with terraces - a real pleasure in fine weather. "You'd think you were on holiday in a southern country," exclaims Mr Schäffer.
The sauna area also offers optimum comfort and a relaxing atmosphere. It includes two Finnish saunas, an organic sauna, hydromassage showers and a steam room, all complemented by a pleasant private terrace.
For years, the Syrdall Schwemm has been a well-deserved success: in summer, when the weather is fine, it welcomes up to 1,500 visitors a day! Visitors come from the local area, but also from further afield, given the reputation of this aquatic centre. "It's a pool for all the family," adds Schäffer. "We offer a full programme of swimming lessons, courses for schools, fitness classes, aqua-seniors, aqua-baby, aqua-fit... Some days, it's wonderful to see how all the generations come together at the Schwemm!
The history of the project
In 2001, the three communes of Contern, Niederanven and Schuttrange decided to build an intercommunal swimming pool. The Grand Ducal Decree of November 1st 2003 established the “Syndicat intercommunal Syrdall-Schwemm” (Inter communal Syndicate of Syrdall-Schwemm). An architects' competition was launched to draw up the project, and on June 14th 2005 the Stuttgart firm "4a Architekten" was chosen as the winner. The preliminary project was approved on October 11th 2006 by the Syndicate's executive committee and on March 15th 2007 by the Minister of the Interior. The final project was adopted on September 10th 2007, and on September 24th 2007 the Minister gave the go-ahead for construction of the Syrdall Schwemm. Construction work began in September 2008. In 2010, the Inter communal Syndicate changed formation: the Commune of Schuttrange wanted to leave the Syndicate and was replaced by the Commune of Betzdorf, elected as a new member. The financial contribution was redistributed as follows: Niederanven 70%, Betzdorf 20% and Contern 10%. The swimming pool was opened to the public in December 2010.
Kulturhaus Niederanven : LCulture for all tastes
You can't miss it on the road to Trier. Set in a large 75-acre park, the Kulturhaus Niederanven consists of the "Thorn House", a former manor house, and a new building, the two parts being linked by an exhibition gallery. The Thorn House, built in 1850, was acquired by the local authority in 1998 with the aim of creating a centre to promote art and culture. In 2001, the project was put out to tender and awarded to the architects Steinmetzdemeyer.
We meet Stéphanie Neiers, Artistic Director, who takes us on a tour of the premises and tells us about the origins of this fine cultural centre.
Stéphanie Neiers: "From 1999 to 2002, the Ministry for the Family made 'Thorn House' available to refugee families from Kosovo. At the same time, the cultural centre project came to fruition and the work was spread out between 2004 and 2007. Some elements of Thorn House were preserved, notably the historic façade, but the interiors were refurbished to house an art gallery on the ground floor and offices on the upper floors. In 2007, the non-profit organisation Kulturhaus Niederanven was set up, and in March 2008, the new cultural centre, Kulturhaus Niederanven, opened its doors to the public.
What is the purpose of the Kulturhaus?
"The Kulturhaus is intended to be a regional meeting place, open not only to local residents, but also to anyone with an interest in culture. Our programme is extremely diverse, including theatrical and musical performances, workshops and film screenings, art exhibitions and literary performances. We pay particular attention to shows for children, in response to demand from local families. We also offer courses and workshops in arts and crafts, sewing and weaving, as well as seasonal activities for children.
The contemporary structure is characterised by its singular, open and highly versatile character.
"In fact, this space can be modulated according to the needs of each show, offering great flexibility. However, this requires the stage and technical elements to be dismantled and reassembled each time. This constraint is offset by the advantage of being able to adapt the configuration to each type of performance. So we can offer more demanding shows, such as poetry slams, by limiting the number of spectators, while still creating a cosy, friendly atmosphere. This adaptability also allows us to offer young artists the opportunity to make their debuts in a more intimate setting that's conducive to exchange."
A quick word about this magnificent park, is it sometimes included in your programming?
The park, which belongs to the local authority, is a venue that we use for special occasions. For example, during music festivals or open-air cinema screenings. Weather permitting, we also organise small literary performances, children's shows and workshops in this leafy setting. It's a charming addition to our programming and a way of using this public space to offer outdoor cultural experiences.
What are the highlights of the summer?
The music festival on June 17th; an open air poetry slam festival on June 30th ; a musical show for children on 2nd and 3rd July: "De Kapitän Mullebutz a seng Séisswaassermatrouse si Schneekeg!