"DUDELANGE FORGE OF THE SOUTH" Dudelange by Rubycon

Dudelange Travel Guide: 12 reviews and 15 photos

The town

Official name: Ville de Dudelange
Nickname: Forge du Sud (Forge of the South)
Population: 18 000 inhabitants (70% natives, 30% immigrants, mainly of Italian and Portugese descent), living in a peaceful co-existance

Dudelange is located in the South of the Grand-Duchy of Luxembourg. About 18 km (11 miles) from the capital Luxembourg it lies just near the border to France.

The 3rd biggest city and the 4th largest municipality or commune of the country, Dudelange has easy access by road to all towns in the greater Saar-Lor-Lux region due to one of the major motorways passing nearby.

Dudelange, a former mining and steelworks town has in the past years fundamentally changed it's appearance from a purely industrial city with steelworks and chimneys in the centre town to a commercially orientated city with new and non-pollutng industries on the outskirts of the city, thus increasing the living qualities considerably.

The changes are most noticeable by looking at the housefronts and seeing how they are turning from sooty black and dull grey to bright colours.

The ugly duckling is turning into a swan

History

Not much more than a village through the dark and middle ages, the face of Dudelange changed rapidly at the end of the 19th century with the discovery of iron ore, locally called "Minett", within the region. Mining began and steelworks were erected. Throughout the South of Luxembourg and the adjacent region of Lorraine in France, Dudelange was in the heart of "Steel Land". The mines and furnaces were owned by the former Luxembourg steelcompany A.R.B.E.D. (D standing for Dudelange), now regrouped in the Arcelor company, the second biggest steel producer in the world.

So much manpower was needed, that thousands of immigrants began flocking in, in search of jobs, mostly Italian workers from the poorer regions of Northern Italy. They settled down in a suburb which nowadays still bears the name "Little Italy"

The steelworks also became very important during both World Wars when they were forced to produce for the enemy occupants.

The afterwar years brought prosperity to Dudelange until in the mid 1970's the mines closed down due to the fact that a better quality ore could be extracted from other parts of the world at a cheaper price. This ore from overseas was then transformed in steelworks near the great ports in Europe. Dudelange and it's steelworks with their speciality "Sheet metal" had to cut down dramatically. It was hard to experience the fate of depending on one major employer, The population stuck together, workers were re-located to other sites, local and national authorities made their best to attract new industries. Together they succeeded and thus prevented the local workforce and their families from moving in the search for new jobs.

In 2005 the last machines in the former steelworks are scheduled to stop working, thus putting an end to over 120 years of steelmaking. It will be the end of a glorious era and the beginning of a new one.

My hometown

Of course I'm biased putting the words of this chapter into writing. I am proud of my hometown having spent over 30 years of my life here.

Dudelange can certainly not compare itself with the bigger cities in the region, like Luxembourg, Metz or Saarbr├╝cken but there are certain things to see and to do.

Many Europeans, especially from Belgium, the Netherlands, Germany and Scandinavia might have heard the name of Dudelange before, when driving on to France to their summer holiday destinations.
(It's the last exit on the motorway before entering France). You might even have passed through Dudelange before. There is more to the town than just cheap petrol, cigarettes and alcohol. Why not plan in an extra day and pop in. You will meet a great bunch of people waiting to welcome you.

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:My hometown Great people
  • Cons:none....my hometown again
  • In a nutshell:Come and see for yourself
  • Intro Updated Jan 28, 2005
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Comments (2)

  • fabrice's Profile Photo
    Jun 24, 2007 at 11:32 PM

    must be nice to work and live in Luxembourg

  • Narviking's Profile Photo
    Sep 27, 2004 at 9:38 AM

    What a pity I missed your town when I had my wonderful vacation in Luxembourg last year :( Greetings from Norway !

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