Musée Européen Schengen
Opened in 2010, the European Museum Schengen stands as the permanent exhibition of both Schengen Agreements in 1985 and 1990. Located on the tri meeting point of Luxembourg, Germany and France, the Moselle River’s locale allowed for non-authoritative neutrality and the ideal spot to change history.
So many people don’t understand the basis of the Schengen agreement, but imagine in a large mass of land with different cultures, languages, practices that one day there were no longer borders keeping you away. Places like Italy, Poland, and Austria, can visit Luxembourg, France or The Netherlands without being checked for citizenship, by car. Imagine if the United States, Mexico and Canada’s inhabitants could travel throughout each country with no fear. It broke down aesthetic barriers allowing underdeveloped countries to grow and unite Europe, or the countries apart of the Schengen Agreement.
The exhibition houses video-installation of 28 people speaking in their native tongue, interactive information to hold anyone’s attention as well creating your own faux Schengen passport. Along the parameters of the museum are outside exhibits representing all Schengen members – the bronze plaques stating the names of all 26 participants as said in their official language, the Pillar of Nations embossed with bronzes plaques symbolizing each country (the Netherlands has a marijuana leaf), and piece of the Berlin wall, which for many holds great significance. My favorite is the tradition of getting an engraved lock and placing it on your country of choice and throwing one set of keys in the Moselle River.
Caves St. Martin
Did you know you can’t call Champagne, Champagne if it’s not made in the region of Champagne in France? In Luxembourg, they are called ‘crémants’ and the taste is so exquisite and less bubbly, you may never want to have Champagne again.
In 1919, a group of men, post WWI an idea to create a cave from larger mass of rock. By 1921, Caves St. Martin was born in Remich. The home of some of the most elite wines and crémants around, Caves St. Martin has garnered several awards recognizing their achievement in taste, prestige and regional superiority. I had the fortune of being toured by the owner, rather than his daughter as she was away on vacation.
Deep in this dark cold abyss lives the transformation from grapes to wines and crémants. It was like walking into a sommelier’s fairytale. It must have been thousands of bottles being quarter turned daily, millions of grapes being harvested at the perfect moment, and each bottle being placed at the exact angle for perfection. It’s like a science experiment where any slight change could alter the outcome throwing away years of work.
That’s why for so many people, industries like this are not for those who are looking to get rich, it’s for those who understand the larger things in life, the importance of doing what you love and most of all the beauty that is winemaking.