Grund, Luxembourg.

GRUND, LUXEMBOURG.

Grund, local name Gronn, is a town under the main city of Luxembourg. One can walk along the streets past Notre Dame Cathedral, follow the signs to the walkways which warn “Enter at your own risk and peril!” Or just use the lift which drops down some 500 m through the rock, I’d say also at your risk and peril. You emerge into a dark corridor with the light ahead; use the bathrooms to your right before you rush outside. Grund is a lovely little enclave, an eclosure below Ville Haute, High City; as of the latest census 784 people live there. It boasts one large church, one Michelin restaurant, and innumerable attractions plus amazing stunning views. There are shady winding streets going up and down, charming old houses, ancient fortifications, Museum of Natural History, parks and gardens, the Alzette River with lovely pathways, gorgeous views both at the tiny town in the valley and the city proper going up all around. The lush greenery, the old and new bridges, the church spires and turrets, the chestnut trees in bloom, the lizards running vertically along the old walls and rock formations. Somewhere along the embankment we stumbled on a rather ugly modern purple statue of a stylized mermaid. It turned out to be that of the river nymph named Melusina. The legend tells us that many centuries ago, the grand duke Siegfried saw a beautiful woman and fell in love with her. They got married, had many children and lived happily till he stuck to his promise, giving her a day once in a while when she was not to be disturbed. Alas, his curiosity overcame prudence once, and once is usually all it takes. He peeked into a keyhole – I mean, the duke, peeking through a keyhole? Honestly? Hasn’t he heard the story of Bluebeard? Anyway, he saw that his lovely wife was a mermaid splashing around happily with her fishtail. He was horrified; she got mad and disappeared in a flash of lightning and thunder or some such thing. Now she stays hidden in the rock called Bock, to come out once every seven years, presumably to scare passers-by. Ah, isn’t it a nice litte legend!

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