Dash of history and dash of art: A cursory look at 2 museums

LUXEMBOURG CITY, Luxembourg -- Because my time in town was brief, I managed to visit two museums and then only for lightning inspections that hardly did either institution justice.

The first, the Museum of the History of the City of Luxembourg at 20 Rue de St. Esprit (near the Place de Clairfontaine), comprises four restored dwellings encapsulated in a sparkling glass facade.

The museum, which opened in 1999, displays more than 1,000 artifacts and documents that trace the history of the city and the Grand Duchy in which it resides.

A glass-enclosed elevator ferries as many as 65 passengers at a time strata-by-strata from the present to the past and, so far as I can tell, back to the present. This is one elevator ride that is a trip in itself.

The second museum is the Am Tunnel, which, true to its name, is a looping, subterranean passageway that snakes its way under a bank building. This peculiar venue serves as a long and winding road to contemporary art.

A permanent exhibition features the works of Edward Steichen, the Luxembourg photographer best known for his "Family of Man" collection. The museum is located at 1 Place de Metz on the Rue de la Liberte.

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