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Minett Mash-Up: Episode 19 – Mirka Costanzi X Nature Conservation Centre Ellergronn

Legends, drama, education and mermaids


On our way along the Minett Trail, we had planned to stop at the Kabaischen “Pump It Up” in the City of Esch. But it’s not open to the public at the moment, so we had to make a last-minute change. We welcomed our guest at the permanent exhibition “Transition Now” at the Ellergronn Nature Conservation Centre, just a stone’s throw away from the Kabaischen, on the site of the former Cockerill mine.

In this episode of our travelling podcast, we meet Mirka Costanzi. Mirka was the driving force behind the Esch2022 project “De roude Fuedem duerch de roude Buedem”, which was organised in 6 of the 11 municipalities of the Minett UNESCO Biosphere and continues even after the end of the Year of Culture.

Our guest: Mirka Costanzi

Mirka Costanzi is care worker and she has studied theater education and works at the “Rotondes” cultural centre. She is also involved in the artists’ collective “Maskénada”, which regularly organises cultural events in unusual places and locations. Maskénada was also involved in the realisation of Mirka’s idea for the project “De roude Fuedem duerch de roude Buedem”, in which Mirka revived old sagas and legends of strong women from our region.

© IK-CNCI & Minett UNESCO Biosphere

These legends were, of course, the subject of our conversation. But we also talked to Mirka about her Italian roots. Bouldering, yoga and mermaids were other topics of conversation, as well as Zolver, the village where Mirka lives.

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Our Minett-Location of the month: Esch-Alzette

The City of Esch-Alzette

Esch is the second largest city in Luxembourg after the capital and the secret capital of the Minett region. Today, more than 36,000 people live in Esch, more than 50% of whom are not Luxembourgers.

Before the development of the iron ore industry, Esch, which was probably founded in the 8th century, was a small town with less than 3,000 inhabitants. With the newly created jobs, the population of Esch grew rapidly at the end of the 19th century. Initially, the workers came mainly from the Ösling region, but after a short time the town had to rely on foreign workers, often from Poland and Italy.

In 1937, Luxembourg’s first airport was opened in Esch, with regular flights to London. Since 2005, a new city district has been built on disused parts of the Esch-Belval steelworks, which houses the University of Luxembourg, other state administrations and the Rockhal, Luxembourg’s largest concert hall.

Ellergronn Nature Conservation Centre

The Ellergronn Nature Conservation Centre is one of the five centres of the Luxembourg Nature Administration. It is located on the site of the former John Cockerill mine, the only fully preserved mining site in the Greater Region.

Since a few months, the visitor centre houses not only a museum dedicated to the history of the mine and the work of the miners, but also the permanent exhibition “Transition Now”, dedicated to the Anthropocene and the impact of mankind on our planet.

© IK-CNCI & Minett UNESCO Biosphere

Our quiz:

The first question of our quiz takes us back in time and to the summit of the Zolwerknapp. Next to the Zolwerknapp is a second hill, the Lëtschef. In the Middle Ages, both hilltops were home to knights of prey who had a deep and bitter enmity for each other. What were their names?

  1. Alexander & Tara
  2. Philippe & Tara
  3. Alexander & Philippe


Ellergronn is one of the oldest nature reserves in Luxembourg. In which year was the whole valley protected?

  1. 1979
  2. 1988
  3. 1997


Links to the topics we talked abour in this episode: 


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