The parks of the Kirchberg
The Kirchberg Plateau includes three public parks, with a total area of around 30 ha.
A collection of trees and shrubs from Europe and neighbouring areas, extending across these three parks, was launched in 1994, with the planting of the first specimen oak trees along the cycle path in Parc Réimerwee. The collection currently comprises some 500 species, sub-species and different varieties. As far as possible, the plants come from documented natural sources. The parks of the Kirchberg are places of renewal for the population, and through their extensive maintenance they are contributing to increasing biodiversity in the urban environment.
The Parc Central was laid out in 1999 and 2000, to plans by the German landscape architect Peter Latz, in the space released following the end of construction works for the National Sports and Cultural Centre and the European School. It is bounded by walls assembled in the manner of dry-stone walls, forming a relief which references the old stronghold. Designed as a park for leisure and recreation for users of the sporting and educational facilities surrounding it, the park comprises wide expanses of meadows, partly shaded by lines of trees, a playground, a boules pitch and a café, Kyosk. The water run-off from the buildings complex for the European School feed the lake, which serves as a retention basin, via swales, ditches and open ponds. The “Petit Kirchberg”, a constructed mound in the centre of the park, allows the visitor to enjoy an elevated viewpoint.
The park is divided up into several planting areas. The Rosaceum showcases ornamental fruiting plants of the Rosaceae family. These varieties of apple trees, pear trees, cherry trees, rowan trees and juneberries have been chosen for their opulent blossom, the colour of their leaves, flowers or small fruits, which often remain on the plant for a long time in autumn. Behind the playground, there is a managed space with some part of the 250 or more trees (pines, limes, maples and oaks) threatened by the work sites. The trees have been saved and replanted here.
The Parc Réimerwee, as its name indicates, relates to an ancient Roman road which crossed the Kirchberg Plateau. A continuation of the Parc Central, it is crossed today by a pedestrian axis which runs from the "Coque" to the commercial centre in the Kiem district. The park is an arboretum of trees originating in Europe. This veritable mini-forest in the city is much loved by joggers, walkers and office staff during their lunch break. The Fund has installed a jogging track there, and the Réimerwee is punctuated by the four stelae of the work “Skulpturen ohne Titel – Vier Variationen zum Thema Bildstock”, a modern interpretation by the artist Ulrich Rückriem of the milestones found in the Classical world.
Parc Réimerwee extends to the south as far as Avenue John F. Kennedy. The landscape architect designed the landscaping of the Bricherhof interchange, converted into a crossroads, as a green corridor forming a link, beyond the Kirchberg, with the Neudorf district located on the other side of the valley.
The Parc Klosegrënnchen is characterised by its very natural aspect – neither English-style parkland, nor a French-style park. In its upper section, towards the Serra roundabout, the landscape has been designed in the form of dunes, which bring the rainwater and run-off water towards the spiral-shaped retention basins. Today a true refuge for threatened plants, the dunes of Parc Klosegrënnchen were constructed in 1997 with the excavation materials from construction of the city’s eastern bypass. They extend from the south-west towards the north-east, and with their sandy, dry soils which are poor in nutrients, they form an extreme environment, as was formerly common in sandstone plateaux areas. In the thin semi-natural grass which has established here, numerous species of rare indigenous plants such as little yellow rattle, meadow sage, spring vetch, blue broomrape and the pyramidal orchid find refuge.
The collection of woody plants comprises over 200 species and forms, notably pines, junipers, willows and wild roses. Shrubs of the Fabaceae family such as broom, bladder-senna or the Siberian peashrub are particularly well-adapted to life on poor soils. In the nodules of their roots, they harbour bacteria that fix the nitrogen from the air, thereby making it available to the plants. The damp prairies at the bottom of the valley, with three ponds arranged as spirals, serve as retention basins and also afford a wonderful contrast with the arid dunes.