The paths through the Grünewald

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The cycling trail Lux­em­bourg-​Echter­nach is main­ly situa­ted on the old “Char­ly” rail­way line.

Since ever the Grünewald for­est is crossed by a net­work of paths and roads. The very same path you are stand­ing on now has also a very rich his­toric back­ground. At the begin­ning it has been a roman road, then lat­er the rail­way line for the “Char­ly” train and today it has been trans­formed into a nation­al cycling trail. The ancient Roman road called “Kiem” in Lux­em­bour­gish, lead from Reims to Tri­er. It came from the actu­al Kirch­berg (near the high­way to Lux­em­bourg-Tri­er) and crossed the Grünewald up to Sen­ninger­berg (near the new water tank). On its way it is part­ly still very well pre­served. It con­tin­ued its line near the actu­al “rue des Romains” to Nieder­an­ven via Mens­dorf. Hostert had been con­nect­ed to this “main road” by a “sec­ondary road”. Anoth­er sec­ondary road con­nect­ed Oetrange and Altri­er (Schanz) and crossed the Sen­ninger­berg (called main road) near the new water tank site. From Sen­ninger­berg to Wald­hof this road had once been called “Heed­wee”. The “Kill­wee”, cross­ing the Grünewald from North to South is also dat­ed back to Roman times.

The Roman road called “Kiem”

After Ger­ma­nia had been  con­quered and inte­grat­ed in the Roman Empire, the Roman sol­diers began to con­struct roads with the help of slaves and the pop­u­la­tion. The impor­tant con­nec­tion Reims-Arlon-Tri­er had been con­struct­ed around the year 44 p.Chr. Many sim­i­lar roads were used for mil­i­tary pur­pos­es, allow­ing to the Roman army to trans­port more effi­cient­ly its legions and mil­i­tary equip­ment.

Pro­file of a Roman road.

For strate­gi­cal­ly impor­tant or city roads the Romans used stone pave­ment. Before the con­struc­tion the ter­rain had to get cleared on a width of 60 m on both sides of the line. All the trees or bush­es were stubbed in order to min­i­mize the pos­si­bil­i­ty of even­tu­al hold-ups. The road was slight­ly cam­bered so that the rain water could eas­i­ly be evac­u­at­ed into a lat­er­al trench. An aver­age roman road was always wide enough for 6 sol­diers to march one beside the oth­er. This same width also allowed 2 vehi­cles to pass at the same time with­out any prob­lem.

Along these Roman roads there had been set up a strong net­work of watch­tow­ers with always very clear views over the sur­round­ing region. The for­mer pres­ence of such tow­ers is proved in Arlon, on the “Tossen­berg” , on the “Marché aux Pois­sons” in Lux­em­bourg City, on Sen­ninger­berg and on the “Wid­de­berg”.

Charly”

The nar­row rail­way line, in ser­vice from 1904 until 1954 was also cross­ing the Grünewald. This line with a length of 45.8 km was used to trans­port per­sons and goods. The con­struc­tion and keep­ing of this line allowed the local pop­u­la­tion to find work and bread. After the aban­don­ment of the line, the rails had been tak­en away  and today the old track is main­ly used as part of the nation­al cycling trail going from Lux­em­bourg-City to Echter­nach.

Main road crossings in the Grünewald

With the con­struc­tion of the high­way Lux­em­bour-Tri­er in 1970, between Weimer­shof and Sen­niger­berg the South part of the Grünewald (4500 ha) had been sep­a­rat­ed from the rest of the wood­en area. The high­way cuts through the Grünewald from North to South.

 

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