Schengen - The birthplace of a Europe without borders
The name Schengen is synonymous with open borders and unrestrained mobility. The Schengen Agreement is considered worldwide as a milestone on the path to a united Europe. Its signing in 1985 on board of the passenger ship MS Princesse Marie-Astrid on the River Moselle was indeed a momentous event in European history.
Schengen was chosen because of its ideal location in the Three-Border-Region. Its here where the three Benelux countries meet Germany and France. The abolition of controls at the internal frontiers consolidated the Member States of the Schengen Area. Now the Schengen Area counts 26 Member-States and the Agreement allows over 400 million Europeans travelling without barriers.
With its unique position in the Three Border Region, Schengen will provide you with a first-hand experience of the European spirit - whether through its award-winning wines, made from grapes grown in three countries, or during a hike on the cross border "Traumschleife Schengen grenzenlos" ("Dream Tour Boundless Schengen"), one of the region's finest walking trails.
The Schengen Agreement is much more than about freedom of movement within Europe. Several measures were adopted by the Member States under the Schengen Agreement (source: eur-lex.europa.eu):
- removal of checks on persons at the internal borders;
- a common set of rules applying to people crossing the external borders of the EU Member States;
- harmonisation of the conditions of entry and of the rules on visas for short stays;
- enhanced police cooperation (including rights of cross-border surveillance and hot pursuit);
- stronger judicial cooperation through a faster extradition system and transfer of enforcement of criminal judgments;
- establishment and development of the Schengen Information System (SIS).
European Museum Schengen
To accommodate the growing demand of tourists and those interested in the EU, the Centre Européen, administrated by the association Schengen asbl, was built in 2005. The European Center Schengen houses a café, a branch of the Europe Direct Network (a series of information centres on EU policies) and the European Museum Schengen. The Europe Direct Contact Center acts as a local intermediary between the EU and its citizens. Covering the entire territory of the EU, the Europe Direct network aims to provide information and advice on questions pertaining to the EU and its policies, while actively promoting the local and regional debate on EU-related issues. Information leaflets and documentation are available free of charge.
Complementing the interactive European Museum Schengen, which opened in 2010, a new pontoon on the River Moselle accommodating the Tourist Information Centre was completed in time for the 30th anniversary of the signing in 2015. The eye catching building was designed by the renowned local architect François Valentiny, whose work features prominently in the region. The Tourist Information Office is open all year round and provides visitors with extensive information on our offer of sightseeing tours in the region. It also organizes group visits on request.
The main attraction, however, remains the European Museum, which has recently been refurbished and updated to provide a comprehensive overview on all things related to the Agreement.
Wine and Nature
A mild weather characterizes the small, romantic village with special flora in the Luxembourgish Moselle. The vineyards of the region benefit from this exceptional climate and the loamy Keuper Marl sediments, which produce particularly well-balanced wines. The geography around Schengen is marked by an open-sided valley and rounded hilltops. The excellent reputation of wines from the Luxembourg Moselle extends far beyond the Grand-Duchys borders. Discover the famous "Coteaux de Schengen" range of wines at a tasting session with local producers.
Besides the vineyards, the natural reserves haff Réimech, "Strombierg" and "Grouf" shape the panorama of Schengen. Adventure paths and didactic panels, which guide through this special natural environment, will enchant even hardened urbanites.
Ee Schlass fir Schengen
"A lock for Schengen"
Symbolising the 26 countries that form the Schengen Area, the Columns of Nations in front of the European Centre will receive 11 additional stars, allowing visitors to identify all member states and their respective symbols. Alternatively, in the vein of the idea of "love locks", visitors are invited to express their attachment to the idea of open borders and the spirit of the Schengen Agreement by adding their personalised padlock to a specially designed sculpture.