Les casemates du Bock

Bock Casemates - Bockkasematten - archaeological Crypt and Casemates

Useful Information

Location: Bock, Luxembourg city center.
Open: MAR to OCT daily 10-17. [2006]
Fee: Adults EUR 1.75, Children (4-12) EUR 1, Students EUR 1.
Groups (10+): Adults EUR 1.50.
Classification: SubterraneaCasemates
Light: LightIncandescent Electric Light System
Guided tours: self guided
Address: Les casemates du Bock, Montée de Clausen, Luxembourg, Tel: +352-222809, Fax: +352-226753.
As far as we know this information was accurate when it was published (see years in brackets), but may have changed since then.
Please check rates and details directly with the companies in question if you need more recent info.


963 purchased by Ardennes count Siegfried.
1644 first underground tunnels built during the Spanish domination.
1737-1746 underground works to place 50 canons and a garrison of 1,200 men on the rock.
1875 all buildings destroyed except for one tower.
1933 opened to the public.
1994 inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List.


The Bock is a sort of rock in a meander of the river Alzette, formed by the erosional forces of the river, cut out of the Jurassic Sandstone which forms the plateau. Surrounded by the river valley on three sides, it is connected to the plateau on the fourth side to the west. This geographic situation is commonly used to built castles, as the three sides are easy to defend, and the fourth side is needed to enter the castle. This side is fortified by a thick wall and a moat.

The Bock Promontory was purchased in 963 by Siegfried, Count of Ardenne. He created the first fortification, which proved easy to defend and played a strategically crucial role. It remained a typical Medieval castle until the 18th century, when the Austrians converted it into an extraordinary fortification. From 1737 to 1746 underground works were carried out, to place 50 canons and a garrison of 1,200 men on the rock. When the whole fortification was destroyed in 1875, the underground remained almost untouched.

Today the casemates may be visited again. The entrance is located on the surface of the Bock, it is reached from the city by walking down Rue Sigefroi, which is also N1 at this place. A stair leads down to the entrance and ticket office. First the Archeological Crypt is entered. A huge cavern is formed by the modern road above, which is built on a concrete bridge. Modern technology is used to preserve and protect the castle structures of the first Dukes of Luxembourg. Several plates explain the history of the city fortifications.

A stair leads down into the casemates. A long tunnels runs straight down the rock, deep below the surface and parallel to the road above. Numerous side passages brach off, sometimes wide chambers, sometimes passages, often balconies which provide a view into the Alzette valley, both to the south and the north. The balconies were once used to install canons. One of those historic cannons is still on display, the other chambers are either empty or used for art exhibitions.

Finally the casemates are left onto Rue Sosthene Weiss, which runs along the former castle moat.

Bock Casemates Gallery