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MINETT MASH-UP: EPISOD 10 – JULIA RUHMANN X WIKKELHOUSE (BIERGEM) 

Minetter artist and environmental activist 

 

We continue our journey of discovery through the Minett UNESCO Biosphere in the February episode of our “Minett Mash-Up” podcast. We make another stop on the Minett Trail and this time we welcomed our guest in one of the three Kabaisercher” (lodgings) in the Municipality of Mondercange. These Kabaisercher are located right behind the cultural centre “Beim Nëssert” in Bergem and are also a topic of this episode because of the special concept that characterises these constructions. 

But the main focus of this episode with our guest Julia Ruhmann is on art and commitment to our planet. Julia is a true “Minetter” – she comes from Dudelange and now lives in Esch. 

Our guest: Julia Ruhmann 

Even as a child, Julia Ruhmann was enthusiastic about art. Imagination and creativity are simply part of her life. Julia studied communication design in Mainz and now works as a communication designer for “Youth4Planet” Luxembourg.  

© Minett UNESCO Biosphere / IK-CNCI / MUAR

Julia Ruhmann is not only committed to sustainable development through her work for “Youth4Planet” but also as an independent artist. Every time one of her artworks is sold, she donates part of the earnings to selected NGOs working to protect the environment and to improve the quality of life in other parts of our planet. Nature conservation is not only an important part of Julia’s life, nature is also a central element in the artist’s creative process. 

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Our Minett location of the month: Bergem 

The municipality of Mondercange 

Bergem is one of the four towns of the municipality of Mondercange. Besides Bergem and Mondercange, Foetz and Pontpierre are also part of this 21.4 km2 municipality, which is located on the northern border of the Minett UNESCO Biosphere. 

Unlike other municipalities in the south of Luxembourg, Mondercange has never had an industrial past. During the heyday of Luxembourg’s steel industry, many residents of the municipality earned their living in the steelworks located near the French border. 

Kabaischen of the month: The Bergem Wikkelhouses 

In 2023, every episode of our podcast will be recorded in a Kabaischen” along the Minett Trail. This 90-km hiking trail connects the 11 municipalities of the Minett UNESCO Biosphere and is the common thread on our journey through the Land of the Red Earth this year. 

For this episode, we met with our guest in a Wikkelhouse in the municipality of Monnerich. 

The concept of the Wikkelhouses comes from the Netherlands. These are small shelters that are built out of cardboard. It is a sustainable way of building that was chosen for Bergem because there was no adequate historic building available in the municipality that could have been converted into a tourist lodging. 

© Minett UNESCO Biosphere

These are located in a small park with a communal garden behind the cultural centre “Beim Nëssert” in Bergem, therefore. Three Kabaisercher were built and are available for booking individually or as a whole (can accommodate up to 12 guests in total). 

Eise Quiz 

South of Bergem is located in the Natura2000 ” Upper Alzette Valley” area. This nature reserve is home to a bird species which, in Luxembourg, can at best be observed in the Syr valley near Münsbach. Which species is it

  1. The white stork
  2. The black stork
  3. The eagle owl 

 

After the renaturation of the Alzette river, which was launched after the devastating floods of the 1990s, it did not take long for the white stork to find a new home here. For the past 10 years, the white stork has returned every year to breed. 

How many layers of cardboard are the walls of the Bergemer Kabaisercher made of?    

  1. 24 layers
  2. 44 layers  
  3. 64 layers 

 

In addition to the 24 layers of cardboard, the Wikkelhouses are made of a wooden construction, using local wood (whenever possible). Due to their light weight, Wikkelhouses do not need a foundation and can be erected virtually anywhere. 

Links to the topics we talked about in  this episode:

 

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