Echternach Travel Guide

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The medieval market square in Echternach

The medieval market square in Echternach

Marc Theis

Echternach is the major town in the area known as "Little Switzerland", so called because of its craggy sandrock formations and myriad of small streams criss-crossing the region's dense forests, a genuine hikers paradise!

Luxembourg's only Saint, St Willibrord, a monk from Northumbria, built an abbey in Echternach, that was to become a major centre of Christianization. Even today, a pilgrimage to St Willibrord, the world's only "Dancing Procession" is held on Tuesday after Whitsun (cf www.luxembourg.co.uk/dancproc.html). In the Middle Ages, the abbey produced highly decorated copies of the Bible, encrusted with gems and precious stones. Facsimiles are on show in the Echternach Abbey Museum.

Although badly damaged during the Second World War, Echternach was successfully reconstructed and the small town has regained much of its former glory. The narrow streets, the medieval ramparts and old patrician houses look great in their new shape and form.

Highlights in and around Echternach include the Gorge du Loup, the Museum of Prehistory and the 7th-century basilica and Benedictine abbey. Echternach is about 30 km northeast of Luxembourg city.

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March 23, 2006 change by giorgio

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