Living local history
After our stop in Dudelange last month, we visit the Kayl Valley in October. The narrow valley, carved into the landscape over the years by the Kaylbach, a tributary of the Alzette, is a place full of history and stories, which is the focus of this episode.
We take you on a journey through the history of the municipality. We also talk with our guest about his work as a gravedigger and his desire to keep the memory of the deceased inhabitants of Kayl alive.
Our guest: Carlo Hamling
Carlo Hamling is deeply attached to his hometown. Born in Kayl, he has been interested in the history of his valley since his youth and knows it like no other. His passion is contagious and he enjoys sharing his knowledge with local schoolchildren in the form of workshops.
Carlo is also an avid collector of historical objects, which he has donated to the new “Musée Ferrum” in Tétange for public display.
© Minett UNESCO Biosphere
Our Minett-location of the month: Tétange
The municipality of Kayl-Tétange
The municipality of Kayl is made up of the villages of Kayl and Tétange. It is bordered to the east by the largest nature reserve of Luxembourg, the “Haard”, and to the west by the nature reserves “Léiffrächen” and “Brucherbierg-Lallengerbierg”. Today about 10.000 people live in the commune.
There were no steelworks in the municipality of Kayl. Mining dominated industrial activity in both towns in the 20th century. However, in addition to the mines, there were several companies in Kayl and Tétange that supplied the mining and steel industries. Miners’ shoes and lamps were produced here.
The Kabaischen of the month: Den alen ARBED‘s Büro
Six sleeping accommodations await curious visitors here, where decades ago the wagons were weighed down with the precious ore-bearing rock “Minett”. The old administration building of the local mining company is literally dripping with history: from here, the ore went to all the steelworks in the region, creating part of the wealth that the Grand Duchy enjoyed in the 20th century.
The work to transform this old administrative building had a very clear vision: to preserve and respect the existing historic basic shape of the building. The architects Tetra Kayser Associés were responsible for the project. As a result, the exterior façade has remained unchanged, and the interior continues to reflect the building’s industrial past.
In 1910, discussions began on the construction of a regional tramway in the south of Luxembourg. Four years later, the municipal syndicate TICE was set up to build and operate the tramway. In 1927, the first trains of the “Minettstram” ran from Esch to Dudelangen via Kayl, but also from Kayl to Rumelange. Until when the “Minettstram” was in operation?
For centuries there was a water castle in Kayl, built in the 13th century. However, the castle was not preserved and was only rediscovered in the 20th century. When exactly were the foundations of the old castle in Kayl found?
- In 1943, after an air raid during the Second World War
- 1970 during a farmer’s field work
- 1980 during work to canalise the Kaylbach river
Links to the topics we talked about in this episode:
- Musée Ferrum: local museum in the Schungfabrik in the town of Tétange
- Schungfabrik: cultural centre of the municipality of Kayl in the village of Tétange
- Bärbelendag: intangible heritage of the Minett region, celebrated on the 4th of December
- Bremshaischen: part of the Langenaker mine, completely renovated in 2018 by the local administration of Kayl
- Roman Villa „op Schurel“: one of several Roman villas discovered in the Kayl valley
- Water Castle of Kayl: former castle in the present village centre of Kayl, the foundations of which were rediscovered in the 1980s
- Coat of arms of Kayl: the coat of arms shows a griffin
- Airmen’s memorial: commemorates a plane crash in the 1950s
- Overview of the history of Kayl: short summary of the important historical moments of the municipality
- Bëschkierfecht Käl-Schëffleng: one of the first forest cemeteries in Luxembourg
- Jean Schortgen: first worker to be elected to the Luxembourg Parliament
- Mathias Hubert: founder of the shoe factory in Tétange
- Jean-Baptiste Nau: Luxembourgish poet who wrote texts in Luxembourgish already in the 19th century
- Minettswee: historical walk thgrough Tétange
- Den alen ARBED‘s Büro: Kabaischen of the Minett Trail in the municipality of Kayl
- Léiffrächen: pilgrimage site in honour of the Virgin Mary in Kayl
- Marian apparition at the Léiffrächen: article in the daily newspaper “Tageblatte”, published on the 21st of November 1947
- Monument National des Mineurs: Monument in Kayl commemorating the miners who died in Luxembourg’s iron ore mines
- Fonderie Massard: industrial factory in Kayl, existing since the 19th century
- Lutepitti: actually Pierre Schiltz, manufacturer of miners’ lamps and local politician in Kayl
- Karbittsluucht: miner’s lamp that was produced in Tétange, among other places
- Bromeschbierg: 382m high hill in the municipality of Kayl, part of the Léiffrächen nature reserve
- GIGL Kayl: an employment initiative which, among other things, looks after the Léiergoart
- Gasworks of Kayl: gasworks created at the beginning of the 20th century and in operation until the 1970s
- Kayl anti-aircraft battery: : Anti-aircraft battery stationed in Kayl during the First World War
- „Das hübsche Mädchen von Kayl“: novel by Erich Urban, who was stationed at the anti-aircraft battery in Kayl
- Minettstram: tram that ran in the Minett region between 1927 and 1956
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