Skate Philharmonie Kirchberg
© Thomas Linkel

Open and Diverse The city is a halfpipe

9 minutes

Skateboarding is not a crime

Destination(s): Luxembourg City

“Skateboarding is not a crime” — this catchphrase in the skateboarding community rings especially true in Luxembourg City. Skaters learn to appreciate architecture and aesthetics from an early age. And everyone’s a winner, even the city — it attracts young, urban and open-minded people from all over the world. 

There are seven steps on the wide staircase in front of the west portal of the Notre-Dame Cathedral (also known as the Mariendoum), an impressive Gothic edifice constructed in the 17th century. With powerful panache, Ornello takes a run-up on his skateboard, rolls up the steps, jumps off, switches the board under his feet mid-flight and lands at the base of the steps with both legs on the board, before doing ano-ther loop. He grins: trick nailed. It’s as though the steps – along with the square in front of the cathedral, which fills the space of a good two tennis courts – were made for skateboarding. This is the go-to place for Luxembourg’s skaters.

Skate Cathedral Luxembourg City
© Thomas Linkel
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Luxembourg Dreaming

Skating in front of the cathedral has been a thing for more than 30 years – before Ornello, Tom, Gilles and Nico were even born. Now in their late twenties, they are old hands in the Luxembourg skating scene. At first, Nico, who hails from Munich, found it strange that you could skate undisturbed in front of the cathedral. In many cities, skaters are banished – public spaces are built, or subsequently amended, to make skateboarding impossible. But not in Luxembourg City, where the scene is widely accepted.

The Péitruss skatepark bears witness to this. “The Péitruss is one of the largest and most beautiful skateparks in Europe, right in the heart of the city where any tourist can also stumble upon it,” Nico explains. The skatepark has made the scene larger, more multicultural and more diverse: “Many women have started to come, as have younger people, while not forgetting older skaters whose boards had previously been gathering dust for years, thanks to the great park on their doorstep.”

Skaters find unusual spots everywhere, from the steep, curving streets that lead down to the Grund, to the old city with its medieval houses, swarming with steps, walls and handrails.

Skatepark Luxembourg City
© Thomas Linkel

Steep curves, big contrasts

In between the modern glass and steel buildings of the Kirchberg plateau are large squares that make for a skater’s paradise. “The contrasts we have in Luxembourg City, where the UNESCO World Heritage site rubs arms with ultra-modern Kirchberg, are hard to find anywhere else. It’s like a wormhole between two worlds. In other parts of the city, old and new are directly alongside each other, such as the old post office and the shiny new Galeries Lafayette. Of course, that too offers something special for skateboarders,” says Nico.

Urban planning for all

Also on the Kirchberg plateau is the Philharmonie. In front of its glass façade soar hundreds of high, slender columns, while the sides of the building run in wave shapes – the perfect ramp. Skaters were in mind when the square behind the Philharmonie was designed: the urban planners asked them how they should shape the benches so that they wouldn’t wear down too quickly. The solution: metal edges, over which the skateboards can skid. Cool skaters against a cultural backdrop. The city truly is a halfpipe.

Skating hotspots

  • Philharmonie: Luxembourg’s most famous skate spot, which has been widely covered in international skating media. An open space where everyone is welcome, including devotees of other urban sports, such as BMX (1, Place de l‘Europe)
  • Cathedral: A skate spot steeped in history. Skaters have been coming to this sacred site since the 1980s. The jumps over the many steps are spectacular (Boulevard Roosevelt).
  • Alima: This school campus is another classic skate spot in Luxembourg. A good surface, as well as high-quality ledges and blocks. Skateable at any time outside school hours (Lycée Aline Mayrisch, 30, Boulevard Pierre Dupong).
  • Péitruss Skatepark: One of Europe’s largest and most beautiful skateparks, located in the green valley running through the urban capital. Old hands and up-and-coming skaters alike flock here (2, Rue Saint-Quirin).
    Skater Kirchberg Luxembourg City
    © Thomas Linkel

    Beyondthe city limits

    • Skateplaza Belval: Skaters rock in the south too! Skateplaza Belval is modern, spacious, and in the heart of a green area in the Minett, also known as the Land of the Red Rocks. The Rockhal, shops and cafés in this hip new Esch-Belval quarter are only a skateboard jump away. (100, Avenue du Blues, Belval).
    • Dudelange Skatepark: The Schmelz skatepark and dirtline in Dudelange attracts a lot of visitors, especially in the summer months. The park is also the venue of the annual Park and Ride Competition, better known as Dudelange on Wheels (Route de Thionville, Dudelange).
    • Kaul Skatepark: Way up north, on the Kaul campsite, lies an especially beautiful and modern skatepark within Activity Park Kaul. It also plays host to regular events and training courses (60, Campingstrooss, Wiltz).
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