Arlon is the Capital city of Luxembourg which is the southernmost province of Belgium. Arlon is one of the oldest cities of Belgium and is the smallest provincial capital of Belgium. Archaeological facts suggest that the city remained a trading post for the Romans. Some of those objects and evidence are displayed in the Archaeological museum of the city.
Arlon is a wonderful place to visit for culture, history and outdoor activities. The city has beautiful surroundings, rolling hills, green fields and natural trails. The city is also famous for its high standard Belgian Cuisine. The city has a huge variety of restaurants, cafes, bars, pubs and stalls. The small city can be covered within a day but to enjoy all the attractions and food, a minimum of 2 days stay is recommended. You can also extend the stay if you want to explore the nearby Grand Duchy of the country of Luxembourg famous for the Ferrero Rocher chocolate factory. There is a Luxembourg city in the Luxembourg country. Arlon is located in the Belgian Luxembourg province.
History of Arlon Belgium
Many Roman sculptures and monuments have been found to suggest the dominant presence of Romans in Arlon. The earlier buildings like Thermae stayed in use by the population till 1060. In 13th century, the count of Arlon built a castle on the Knipchen hill. The region went into troubles of war with France, Spain and Southern Netherlands in 1556 after the abdication of Charles V’s empire to his son Philip II of Spain.
Almost half of the city of Arlon including the castle was destroyed in 1558 by the French Troops. A large part of the city was destroyed by a fire in 1785. Arlon was among the first cities invaded by Germans in 1914. Arlon was again invaded in the World War II. The mayor of Arlon collaborated with the occupying Germans. Later in 1946, he was shot.
How to Reach Arlon Belgium
You can take trains from all the major Belgian Cities like Brussels, Namur, Liege etc. It takes 2 hours and 45 minutes to reach Arlon from Brussels by train. Arlon is 20 minutes away from the Luxembourg city by train.
14 Things to do in Arlon Belgium
Eglise Saint Donat
Eglise St Donat stands today on the ruins of the first castle which was built by the first count of Arlon. The castle was destroyed by the French troops in 1558. This small church was built by the Capuchin Monks on the ruined castle site in 1626. A fortified wall was built around the church in 1681. The church was dedicated to Saint Donat in 1719 after a lightning strike hit the place. The church remained even after the foundation of Capuchins was abandoned. The church was renovated and restored in the 20th century. Now it is one of the most beautiful attractions of the city.
Church of Saint Martin
The foundation stone of the Church of Saint Martin was laid in 1907 and the building was completed in 1914 when the World War Started. This church has a Gothic architectural style. The initial plans were made by the architect, Van Gheluwe from Namur. Later, after his death, the plans were revised by the architect, De Noyette. The church is dedicated to Saint Martin who visited the city of Arlon during his lifetime. This beautiful church attracts the foreign visitors as soon as they enter Arlon.
This museum is located on Rue des Martyrs and displays a fascinating collection of historical objects found in Arlon. Here you can learn about the history and facts about the buildings that were discovered and the objects as well. The museum displays the significant presence of Roman era in the city of Arlon. Most of the signage around the collection is not in English so you need an English guide to understand the exhibits. These exhibits include pottery glass, tools, jewelry, gold rings, swords and badges.
Gaspar Museum is located just across the street from the Archaeological Museum. This museum is in a house that was owned by a distinguished Gaspar family in Arlon. Jean-Marie Gaspar was a sculptor and Charles Gaspar was a photographer and collector of arts. Charles Gaspar donated the house including his collection to the city of Arlon. The museum displays the sculptures of Jean-Marie Gaspar, lavish furnishings and the collection of Charles including the historical heritage of Arlon. The museum also organizes temporary exhibitions about the art and history of Arlon and the surrounding region. The highlight of the museum is a 15th century altarpiece.
Bicycle Museum of Arlon Belgium
The bicycle museum in Arlon displays the information about the humble beginnings of bicycle in 1817 and its evolution to the modern day. There are many objects and artifacts related to bicycle in the museum. There are many different old and new designs of bicycles on the display. There are also some very antique pieces of bicycles which you might have never seen before.
Arlon’s Roman Towers
There are two famous roman towers in the city of Arlon. They are located on the Grand Place. These were built by Romans to take refuge from the Germanic Invasions. The material from the destroyed civil monuments and cemeteries were collected and the fortifying walls of the towers were built from them and huge sandstones were used in the foundations. Many dismantled sculptures were also used in the construction of walls. Some of the remains of these sculptures are present in the Archaeological Museum of Arlon. Some of the sculptures of Neptune are still somewhat intact and can be seen.
Memorial of General Patton
General Patton was a prolific United Sates Army man. He was nicknamed as Old Blood and Guts. He was famous for his successful advancement into Belgium through France during the second world war. His memorial marks the exact spot where he assembled his troops for the Battle of the Bulge.
Visiorama of Arlon Belgium
Visiorama is the perfect spot for the beautiful panoramic views of the city of Arlon. In addition, the Visiorama allows the wonderful views of four countries from one place. This place has been recently built on top of a high hill in Arlon. The visitors can listen to an audio guide while looking at the landscapes. This makes the visit more interesting and interactive.
Town Hall of Arlon Belgium
This building was built in between 1842 to 1843 for the Athenee Royal (public secondary school) of Arlon city. It also served as a boarding house for the pupils. In 1918, the building suffered a lot of damage because of heavy bombardment in the city. After that it took many years to restore the building. The renovation works became faster in 1967 and by 1976, the city hall was also expanded to create more space. A sculpture by Jean-Marie Gaspar has been installed in front of the town hall.
The Atrium of Arlon Belgium
The Atrium is a beautiful garden open to welcome the visitors and tourist. The garden displays interesting historical information of Arlon. There is an interactive model of the city in Atrium that displays the map of the main monuments of the city. Visitors can learn about the development of the city and the positioning of the surrounding walls of Arlon. The Atrium is also a famous meeting and departure point for the guided tours of the city.
Avenue de la Gare
This new railway station replaced the old one in 1873 when the Belgian State railway took control of the network. The new building replaced the old wood and stone building. This station was designed by a sand colored limestone on base of a blue stone by the architect Van DE WinjGaert. After the construction of the building, the area in the surroundings also developed quickly with fine ART Nouveau buildings and some cottages which were the home of railway workers. The whole avenue was beautifully renovated from 2002 to 2003.
This beautiful castle is located in the village of Guirsch near the Arlon City. This is a private castle which belongs to the family of Wykerslooth de Rooyesteyn. The castle is not open for public visit. It was constructed between 1749 and 1763.
Beautiful Countryside of Arlon Belgium
The countryside of Arlon is extremely beautiful and peaceful. This is a perfect place for a calm walk or a bicycle ride. You can get the information about many interesting routes from the tourist information center. There are many amazing walking routes which are suitable for all ages.
You can also hire a bicycle and enjoy a superb calming tour enjoying the wind and beautiful scenery. You will feel the urge to bicycle especially when you have visited the bicycle museum in the city. Bicycling within the city will provide you equal joy and tranquility.
Festivals of Arlon Belgium
Arlon hosts many amazing festivals between the months of March and May. Several musical concerts, parades, food and festivities decorate the festival environment. During the long festival months, the city keys are given to the carnival prince. There will be many stalls of food, famous local cuisines and the Lambic Beer. Lambic beer smells and tastes different than usual beers and is a special product of Arlon city. Visitors also enjoy a lot of great shopping during the festival seasons and enjoy discounted prices on many products. There is also a mall in Arlon city with more than 40 shops.