In the third part of our new series, we take a look at a huge project that never saw the light of day.

In the past, a number of major projects were drafted yet never developed at Place Clairefontaine and at Place Guillaume II, more commonly known to Luxembourgers as the Knuedler.

After the Adolphe Bridge opened in 1903, residents and shopkeepers in the capital's old town quarters began to feel disadvantaged, which is why they petitioned for a better connection between the east side of the Ville Haute quarter and the Bourbon Plateau. The idea was to create a direct route between the Passerelle Bridge and Place du Théâtre.

This project was partially implemented with the first stretch of the road going from Place du Théâtre to Place du Puits-Rouge, where you will find the Hämmelsmarsch statue today.

The second section of the road started at Place du Puits-Rouge and ended at Rue du Curé.

At that point, the municipality would have needed to buy several houses and demolish them so the road could continue in that direction. In the meantime, the project was put on hold and never completed.

At the same time, there were also plans to construct a government building. The new seat of government was planned to be adjacent to the Hotel St. Maximin. Although several plans were put forward, with the final draft dating from 1933, the project was never developed.


Project for the seat of government. / © National Archives

It took until 1952/53 for said government building to be constructed, but it could still not be used as the seat of government since it became the headquarters of the High Authority of the European Coal and Steel Community. Today, the building houses the Ministry of Education.

Similar ideas also existed for the Knuedler. After the Franciscan monastery was demolished in 1837, plans were made to embellish the square with arcades. Shops and arcades were meant to go all around the Knuedler, but shopkeepers actively campaigned against the initiative.


Sketch of what the arcades at Place Guillaume II might have looked like if constructed. / © Luxembourg City Archives

In 1871 a deal was made to decrease the size of the square with the arcade being integrated in the row of surrounding houses.

Then in 1906, the idea of a market hall was presented for the first time. Plans envisaged a huge site including a 56-metre-high tower. However, since one of the landowners refused to sell her property, this project also remained in the drawers of history.


The planned market hall.

You can find the other articles of the series here

Planned, yet never built(1): A National Museum at Rousegäertchen?
Planned, yet never built (2): A cathedral at Glacis?

Video report in Luxembourgish