All the Fun of the Fair

Schueberfouer 2016, Luxembourg

You may already know that I am largely based out of Luxembourg, a tiny little country in the heart of Europe just 82km by 57km – the only Grand Duchy in the world!

Although controlled at some point by just about everyone in the vicinity, Luxembourg has actually been around for over a thousand years; its first recorded history was in 963 AD.

Photo: Wikipedia

Photo: Wikipedia

One of the things I really look forward to every summer is the Schueberfouer, the annual funfair situated in the enormous open-air Glacis car park in the centre of town.  It was founded by John I of Luxembourg, better known as John the Blind, King of Bohemia and Count of Luxembourg, on 20th October 1340.  The founding document stated:

It will begin on the eve of the feast of St Bartholomew and will last a full eight days. 

Even today the fair remains linked to the traditional opening date of St Bartholomew’s day, 24th August, although it now goes on for nearly three weeks.

The name Schueberfouer is thought to originate from the name of the market place where it was first held, the Schuedbuerg – now the “Plateau du St Esprit” (Luxembourgish: Helleggeescht-Plateau), which today serves as the residence of the courts of justice of Luxembourg.  “Fouer” is the Luxembourgish word for “fair”.


Photo: A Murphy

Another unconfirmed theory links the term “Schueber” to the old German word “Schober” (in English: barn), which would refer to the original agricultural role of the fair. Indeed, for almost 450 years, the fair was mainly a large and regionally very important market for everything from agricultural products and livestock to cloth, pottery and other household items.  There’s still a wide aisle that runs the whole back length of the fair where you can buy leather goods, kitchenware, tee-shirts, jewellery, toys and glass ornaments.  During the 18th century, shows and games were slowly introduced, but it was not until the early 20th century that a Ferris wheel and a rollercoaster first appeared.  Today you’ll find such devilish rides as the Catapult, the Wild Mouse and the supremely awesome Hangover Tower.

I have been to the Schueberfouer twice already this year and am bound to go again before I leave on my next trek to………(watch this space guys!)  The weather has been fantastic, the local Bofferding beer freely flowing, the Mettwurst and Teddy at the fairGromperekichelcher utterly delicious; and I even managed to throw a couple of mean darts and win a cuddly toy for the missus lol .  😀





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