Lush transformations at a former industrial site
[This visit occurred a number of years ago.]
Formerly a site of heavy industry, the northern portion of the French municipality of Audun-le-Tiche, adjacent to the City of Esch-sur-Alzette in the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg, has been thoroughly greened over. There are various ponds, close to the border and the nearby Route départementale. Already for decades, clean water in a pond known as 'Étang Are' has successfully allowed fishing to be a pursuit for local people (1).
What with clean waters and lush vegetation, the spectacle at Audun-le-Tiche offers a contrast in the former image of what readers of William Blake would know as 'dark satanic mills'. I have supplied, below, a photo from over 100 years ago of a scene from Audun-le-Tiche, when the steel industry along the border region with Luxembourg brought the presence of many blast furnaces.
Interestingly, as a close examination of the photo, below, will reveal, the name of Audun-le-Tiche prior to World War One was Deutsch-Oth, and what is now the Moselle department of France was then part of Germany.
Thus there have been various transformations at Audun-le-Tiche since World War One: in political jurisdictions (2), in official languages and now in lush, clean manifestations of the natural world. It is the sort of place where one can close one's eyes and sense being in a highly tranquil place in the middle of the countryside; or imagine a scene of heavy industry many decades ago; or think of conflicts with Nazi German invaders: all of which in one way or another have a measure of accuracy.
The address of 'Étang Are' is: Route Départementale, 57390 Audun-le-Tiche.
November 16, 2020
(1) See also (in French): https://www.sportenfrance.fr/lorraine/moselle/audun-le-tiche/570380016-etang-are
(2) What is now the Moselle department was previously French prior to the Franco-Prussian War; it was also attached to Germany during World War Two and known as Gau Westmark.
Some sourcing: Wikipedia
Also worth seeing
In Audun-le-Tiche itself is a Merovingian necropolis museum. There is some interesting church architecture.
Esch-sur-Alzette , Luxembourg (distance: 4.1 kilometres) has a Resistance museum, with a focus on opposition to Nazi German occupation in World War Two.
How to get there: The nearest large international airport to Audun-le-Tiche is Luxembourg (Aéroport de Luxembourg ), at Findel, from where car hire is available. For North American travellers making the London, England area their touring base, airlines flying to Luxembourg include Luxair (from London Heathrow Airport and London City Airport) and CityJet (from London City Airport). The French railroad company SNCF maintains a station in Audun-le-Tiche but uniquely in France the service is operated by the Luxembourg railroad company CFL via Esch-sur-Alzette. Please check with the airline or your travel agent for up to date information. Please refer to appropriate consular sources for any special border crossing arrangements which may apply to citizens of certain nationalities.
MJFenn is an independent travel writer based in Ontario, Canada.
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