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MINETT-MASH UP: Episode 13 – Nickie Lippert & Laura Hurst X Bieles-Réideng

The Tiny House Community in Luxembourg

 

 

After our stop in the Wild Woman’s Valley, where we recorded the fourth episode of our podcast in 2023, we stop for the fifth episode in another exceptional valley of the Minett. This time we are in the “beautiful valley”, which is also called “Bel-Val”. The Minett Trail crosses this area on its way from Differdange to Esch-Alzette. The Kabaischen of the municipality of Sanem is located close to the Belval-Redange train station. 

This new building is the largest of all the accommodations on the Minett Trail and was perhaps not the most suitable choice for recording an episode about Tiny Houses, as the living room of this cottage alone equals the size of a complete Tiny House. 

Our guests: Nickie Lippert & Laura Hurst

For some years now, an association has existed here in Luxembourg whose members are committed to legally establish the tiny house form of housing. A few weeks ago, the association took a step closer to this goal when the Ministry of the Interior published guidelines for the construction of tiny houses, which should enable municipalities to allow this form of housing on their territory in future. 

© Minett UNESCO Biosphere / ik-CNCI

The guide for the installation of tiny houses for local authorities, how to live in them, the concept of the tiny house itself and the difficulties that still exist in Luxembourg with regard to this form of housing are some of the topics discussed in this podcast. We talk to Nickie Lippert, the president of the Tiny House Community Luxembourg, who built her Tiny House in her parents’ garden, and Laura Hurst, an American who has been living in Luxembourg for more than ten years and wants to move into her own Tiny House by the end of the year. 

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Another topic of conversation is the mineral water Bel-Val, which was exported all over the world until 1935 and is said to have been among the best mineral waters in the world. 

Our Minett Location of the month: Belvaux

The municipality of Sanem

The Kabaischen of the municipality of Sanem is located in the town of Belvaux, close to the French border. With more than 7000 inhabitants, Belvaux is the largest village in the municipality of Sanem. The other villages are Sanem, Soleuvre and Ehlerange. With its approximately 18.000 inhabitants, the municipality of Sanem is the 6th most populated municipality in Luxembourg. 

Historically, Belvaux was able to develop thanks to the exploitation of iron ore on the Galgenberg hill in Belvaux and its proximity to the steelworks in Esch-Belval. Since part of the steelworks has been decommissioned, the new “Belval-Sud” district is being built there, which will enable the locality to further grow in the years to come. 

The villages of Belvaux and Soleuvre are the two localities in the municipality of Sanem that bear the strongest imprint of the industrial past of Minett. The other two villages in the municipality, Ehlerange and Sanem, have a more rural character. 

The Kabaischen of the month: Gîte Bieles-Réideng

This Kabaischen was recently built to accommodate visitors on the Minett Trail. It is the largest of all the Kabaisercher and can accommodate up to 12 people. However, there is no single bedroom. For overnight stays, boxes have been installed which, with the help of a curtain, offer privacy in a shared dormitory. 

A large living room with an integrated kitchen is also part of this lodge. There are showers and toilets that can be used individually. The Kabaischen almost looks like a youth hostel. Its advantage, however, is that it is located directly at the Belval-Redange railway station, with only two stops to Esch-Belval.  

© Minett UNESCO Biosphere

Our quiz:

One of the most famous landmarks in the municipality of Sanem is Mont Soleuvre, called Zolwerknapp in Luxembourgish, which can be seen from afar. It is also one of the highest points of the Minett. Can you tell us the height of the hill? 

  1. 378 m
  2. 422 m
  3. 559 m 

 

The water from the Bel-Val spring was supposed to have healing properties. This is why it has often been awarded international prizes. How many gold medals did Bel-Val spring water win at international exhibitions

  1. 5 gold medals
  2. 10 gold medals
  3. 38 gold medals

 

Links to the topics we talked about in  this episode:

  • Tiny Houses implementation guide from the Ministry of Home Affairs 
  • Facilitec: third place where one can practice and experiment with the circular economy, sharing, repairing, testing ideas and finding resources. 
  • Tiny House Community ASBL: eclectic group of people committed to establishing the alternative housing form “Tiny Houses” as a legal right in Luxembourg. 
  • Art Square Lab: service design agency in Luxembourg 
  • Transition Minett: association which aims to facilitate locally the societal transition necessary to adapt our lifestyles to the real resources of the planet. 
  • ANF: Nature and Forest Agency 
  • Source Bel-Val: Operator of the Bel-Val spring which sold its mineral water from 1893 to 1935 
  • Rockhal: Centre for amplified music, concert hall in Esch-Belval 
  • Metzeschmelz: former steel factory located between Esch-Alzette and Schifflange with a surface area of 61 hectares which will be transformed into a mixed-use eco-district. 
  • Tiny House Village Delft: a village made up of “Tiny Houses” on an abandoned industrial site. 
  • Zolwerknapp: a landmark visible from afar, the highest point of the municipality of Sanem  
  • Source Bel-Val Pavilion: pavilion built in the Belval Park during Esch2022 – European Capital of Culture by the Municipality of Sanem which retraces the history and the legends of the Source Bel-Val 
  • Source Bel-Val App: augmented reality application that accompanies the artistic and architectural project of the Source Bel-Val pavilion. 

 

This podcast is realised with the support of:

 

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