In the framework of «Luxembourg Grande Région, European Capital of Culture 2007» and the tercentenary of the death of Vauban, the Association of the Network of Fortified Towns comprising the towns of Bitche, Longwy, Luxembourg, Marsal, Saarlouis and Toul have federated the towns of the Grande Région to sustain, develop and highlight the remarkable fortified heritage in partnership with the Lorraine Region, the Aparte 57 association later known as Moselle Performing Art and the European Union.
This event entitled « Citadels of Fire » organised by the internationally renowned Carabosse Company, invited the general public to discover or rediscover these history-rich places in a different light. The prestigious fortified sites found in these towns were transformed into magical and intimate settings thanks to the organisation of a series of fire and music events. The walls, ramparts, fortified gates were illuminated by the fire—bright sparkling lights, steel baubles created from scratch, hanging over the water and lighting up the waterways.
The central theme, namely fire, was reprised the following year (2008) by the Oposito company who performed « At the foot of the Citadels », a walk-around show hosted by a range of colourful characters, fire animals, the danses macabres (dance of death) and dolls that have been especially brought in from South Africa. The show « The sidewalks of Jo’burg …Mirage » encouraged viewers to discover street theatre and parades.
Two other metaphorical parades led by the shows « Transhumance and Toro » lit up those parts of each fortified site that up to then remained unseen, coming up from behind the audience with the effect of being thrust into a dream. « Transhumance » created in 2007 paid tribute to travellers, history hawkers and other poets. « Toro », created in 2006, took the stand for bullfighting to evoke a universal range of emotions, from the pagan religion, the brilliance of farce, and life and death. The public was invited to relive the history of those citadels in the towns of Bitche, Longwy, Luxembourg, Marsal, Rodemack, Saarlouis and Toul. The company « Carabosse » passed the baton to its counterparts from Oposito during the original show in Rodemack.
In 2009, the Network of Fortified Towns diversified its cultural programme by creating an annual gathering under the guise of a « picnic », serving as an invitation to discover the fortifications of the day and in a new light. The public attended the different events all organised around a picnic lunch: shows by companies bringing together street arts, booksellers, a regional market and more. The towns of Longwy, Montmédy and Saarlouis invite you to share in a charming atmosphere resulting from the friendliness that characterizes the network.
The Association of the Network of Fortified Towns of the Grande Région wishes to continue and expand its cultural activities, by developing sites, opening up the chance to a wider audience to seize this exceptional heritage through the organisation of contemporary artistic creations.