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The coordinator of the “Nei Schmelz ” project

On our journey along the Minett Trail, we stop this time in Dudelange. The “Floater” on the water basin of the former Dudelange steelworks was the first Kabaischen to be inaugurated and is one of the most spectacular simply because of its location. The construction site that will be coming up on the site of the former steelworks in the next few years will also be spectacular. With the “Nei Schmelz” project, the “Fonds du Logement” is developing 1,600 residential units for over 3,000 new residents on around 33 hectares.

Dudelange is getting a completely new district and redevelopment work on the site will now begin in stages in October. By 2028, the first flats in the new district should be completed and the southern part of Dudelange will have a new look.


Our guest: Michel Gira

Our guest this month is responsible for coordinating the major projects that the Fonds du Logement will realise in the coming years. These are on the one hand the project “Nei Schmelz” and on the other hand the project “Wunne mat der Wolz” in the north of Luxembourg.

In our conversation, Michel Gira tells us more about his daily work, introduces us to the ambitious development project in Dudelange and gives us a little insight into the ecological aspects that are being taken into account in the construction of this new neighbourhood.

In addition, we also talked to Michel Gira about his passion for handball and an old legend from Dudelange was also a topic.


Our Minett location of the month: Dudelange

City of Dudelange

Like so many other towns and villages along the French border, Dudelange developed at the end of the 19th century with the emerging mining and steel industry. Within a few years, a small farming and craftsmen’s village became an industrial town, which by 1900 already had over 10,000 inhabitants.

Today, around 22,000 people live in the “Forge du Sud”, which, however, no longer has an active smelter since 2005. Instead the LNS (Laboratoire National de Santé) and the CNA (Centre National de l’Audiovisuel) are now located in this town, which is surrounded by two nature reserves to the west (Haard) and east (Waal).

Kabaischen of the month: Floater

The “Floater” in Dudelange on the water basin of the former smelter is unique in several ways. It is the only Kabaischen that stands on water, and it is a new building inspired by something old. The floater’s façade and the walls inside the building represent the face of a former open-pit mine.

The concept of the Kabaischen in Dudelange comes from the office M3 Architectes. The architect was Gil Greis. The artist who worked on the “Floater” and came up with the idea of incorporating the open-pit quarry face into the look of the building is Franck Milten.


Notre quiz :

Butschebuerg is a district of Dudelange and there are ruins of an old castle on the Gehaansbierg above Butschebuerg. There is also a legend about the destruction of the castle. Who is this legend about?

  • of a virgin
  • of a goblin
  • of a wolf


The exhibition “The Bitter Years”, curated by Edward Steichen in 1962, can be seen in the water tower of the “Diddelenger Schmelz”. What was the title of the photographer with Luxembourgish roots who lived in New York at the time?

  • None, as he was a freelance artist
  • Consul General of Luxembourg in New York
  • Director of the photography department of the Museum of Modern Art in New York 


Links to the topics we talked about in this episode:

  • Fonds du Logement: public institution whose aim is to create affordable housing
  • Nei Schmelz: a major project of the Fonds du Logement in Dudelange, which will create 1600 new housing units
  • Wunne mat der Wooltz: another major project by the Fonds du Logement in Wiltz, creating almost 1100 housing units
  • HBC Schëffleng: Handball club from Schifflange, playing in the second highest Luxembourg league this season
  • Floater: Kabaischen of the Minett Trail located in Dudelange
  • Minett Trail: 90-kilometre-long premium hiking trail through the 11 municipalities of the Minett UNESCO Biosphere
  • Pom’House: pumping station of the former Dudelange steelworks, together with the water tower an architectural ensemble of industrial culture in the south
  • Diddeleng: City and municipality in the south of Luxembourg
  • D’Kollektiv: local association that has been actively working since 2016 to breathe new life into the wasteland of the old Dudelange steelworks
  • VeWa: a cultural site on the site of the old steelworks in Dudelange, which will become a part of the “Nei Schmelz” project of the Fonds du Logement
  • Minettsdapp Brauerei: microbrewery brewing beer on the site of the Nei Schmelz since 2023
  • Skate Park: place for skateboarding managed by the non-profit organisation “Parc and Ride”
  • Urban Garden NeiSchmelz: Community Garden on the “Nei Schmelz” site in Dudelange
  • Gare Italien: actually “Gare Dudelange-Usines”, one of the 4 CFL stations in Dudelange
  • Diddelengerbaach: small river that rises in France and flows through Dudelange and Bettembourg before flowing into the Alzette river
  • Butschebuerg: district of Dudelange at the foot of the Mont St. Jean
  • Elisabeth von Hunolstein: Maiden of the Legend of the Mont St. Jean near Dudelange
  • „The Bitter Years”: historical photo exhibition on display in the water tower in Dudelange
  • Edward Steichen: US photographer of Luxembourgish origin whose artistic legacy can be seen in Dudelange and Clervaux


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