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This year, the Luxembourg Youth Hostels Association is celebrating its impressive 90th anniversary. To mark this milestone in style, the association has put together a colourful programme that celebrates the history of youth hostels as well as nature and the community. Let's take a look at the origins of our association, but also take a glimpse into its future.
How it all began - an idea conquers the world
The year 1909 is generally regarded as the birth of the International Youth Hostel Association, now known as Hostelling International. That year, German primary school teacher Richard Schirrmann was on a multi-day hike with his class when one evening a heavy thunderstorm suddenly struck. With no one prepared to take in the soaked group of pupils, the class ended up sheltering in an abandoned school.
That night, Schirrmann decided to set up a network of hostels where students could stay overnight in safety during field trips. In 1912 he opened the world's first permanent youth hostel at Altena Castle. Within a few years, with the help of many others, he had established a network of youth hostels throughout Germany. Many other countries followed suit.
How an idea conquered Luxembourg
The constituent meeting of the Ligue Nationale Luxembourgeoise pour les Auberges de Jeunesse - now known as Les Auberges de Jeunesse Luxembourgeoises asbl. - took place in the spring of 1934. Shortly after its foundation, the new youth organisation received the patronage of the Grand Ducal Court. In 1935, another milestone in the organisation's development was the establishment of a hostel in a municipal building, the Luxembourg City Stadium. The city also provided the association with an office in one of its buildings. Truth be told, however, the history of youth hostels in Luxembourg began a year earlier - the first youth hostel opened its in 1933 in Steinfort.
Modern amenities, timeless adventures: the youth hostels of today
Youth hostels have evolved from the days of hostel parents with large dormitories to modern service facilities with state-of-the-art infrastructure that maintain their charitable and pedagogical mission. They offer a wide range of accommodation and facilities for different groups, regional food, an exciting activities programme and event for all ages. The ASBL also runs crèches, Maisons Relais and youth centres, where almost a thousand children and young people are looked after every day.
Future plans and innovations
In 2024, Luxembourg's youth hostels will continue to focus on innovation and quality. They will further develop their network so that they can continue to welcome many guests for another 90 years. The youth hostel in Hollenfels will be completely renovated and modernised. In Luxembourg City, an extension is being built to better meet the many requests. A new youth hostel is also planned in Ettelbrück. In the meantime, the association is looking forward to celebrating the opening of the new youth hostel in Vianden soon - hopefully in the anniversary year.
Tree planting initiative for the environment
A highlight of the anniversary year is the partnership with "Natur an Ëmwelt" for the planting of 90 trees. Not only does this campaign underline the Youth Hostel Association's commitment to the environment, it is also a sustainable gesture that will inspire future generations.
The past in pictures
A temporary exhibition will be staged at the end of the year to reflect on the 90 years of the association. Everyone is invited to contribute their own memories, photos or stories. The Association encourages the public to take an active part in bringing the history of youth hostels to life.
Stamp card for members
Starting in March, personal stamp cards will be available free of charge in all Youth Hostels. Every member can get his own card and, by collecting 8 stamps, secure an additional free overnight stay in a Luxembourg youth hostel.
Anniversary discovery tours
For nature lovers and adventurers, the youth hostel association offers a special hiking programme - 90 years and 90 km. This circular hike in the picturesque Müllerthal region covers 90 kilometres in three days. In addition, a cycling package is offered for families who want to explore 90 kilometres in three days.
The Luxembourg Youth Hostel Association warmly invites the public to join this special anniversary and celebrate history, nature and community together.
Old Youth Hostel in Wiltz, now closed.
Old Youth Hostel in Echternach - Entrance
Old Youth Hostel in Echternach - Dining room
The First Youth Hostel located in Steinfort - Winter 1940
Old Youth Hostel in Rodange
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