More than anywhere else, people in Luxembourg are defined by their homeland. Whether it's Vianden or Marnach, Walferdange or Remich, Esch or Dudelange, attachment to your home territory suggests a grounding in a traditional way of life and makes defending one's 'native land' a top priority.
Culture, literally and figuratively
Knowing that the fruits of the earth can be reaped by whoever cultivates it, literally and figuratively. economic development and adapting the landscape go hand in hand. At the end of the 1960s, Luxembourg underwent significant development and prepared to expand by acquiring several buildings around Boulevard Royal, then in Rue Aldringen, where work to construct a new building began in 1968.
Symbolic importance of new and refurbished buildings
Notable landmarks include Ernster’s city-centre bookshops, the Grosbusch depots in Ellange, and the Bernard-Massard building adorned with Luxembourg flags, which has taken pride of place in the centre of Grevenmacher for nearly 100 years. One of the most spectacular interactions between entrepreneurs and the environment is undoubtedly the rehabilitation of the Grund under the stewardship of Georges Lentz since the mid-1970s. Although the brewery is no longer sited on the banks of the Alzette, the family house is still there and the entrepreneur has worked hard to transform a neglected area into a site of exceptional note, acclaimed by tourists and residents alike.
Geographic roots and respect for the surroundings
In that Luxembourg is the centre of economic activity expanding well beyond its borders, respect for the land is a pillar of the country’s identity. The ground on which these economic activities are based is also historic. It is striking to see the extent to which the country is invested – not just with memories but especially with intentions, ambitions, hopes and affection. Voyages Emile Weber, for example, was set up in 2009 on the very site where the family’s ancestors cultivated their orchard. They have turned it into an economic activity which respects the surroundings, the landscape and its identity. The building sits comfortably in the natural surroundings, with ecologically-sourced materials inoffensively providing the backdrop for its development.
Companies taking Luxembourg into the international arena
Awareness of the limitations of the national market has driven some companies to gradually extend their sphere of activity beyond the borders of the Grand Duchy. Bofferding is drunk in the Grande Région, while Grosbusch fruits and vegetables have found a new market in the Sarre. Bernard-Massard wines are sold not only in Belgium, France and Germany, but also in Canada and Finland. As Charles Krombach from the company Heintz van Landewyck says: “Our entire history is conditioned by the politics of the country and Europe. Given the rigours of the country’s geography and the limited potential of our domestic market, we have had to look further afield.” This expansionist movement has naturally evolved in tandem with the interests of rising generations. As they travel the world, the ‘next gen’ increasingly see their future looking outwards from Luxembourg.
Histoires de Familles
Banque de Luxembourg and the publishing house Maison Moderne have produced a book tracing the history of ten Luxembourg business families, Reading these stories shows how much the history of the country has influenced the course of these businesses, and how they, in their turn and along with many others, have shaped the life and evolution of the Grand Duchy.
Available from bookshops and online from eshop.maisonmoderne.lu