Luxembourg City tour: local commerce at the turn of the 20th century

Take a trip back through time to explore Luxembourg City at the turn of the 20th century: the city’s economic and commercial development were in full swing, and small businesses were gradually being replaced by large stores.

This app was developed by the the City of Luxembourg's Cellule Développement économique et commercial (Economic and Commercial Development Unit) and Service Technologies de l'information et de la communication (ICT Department), in collaboration with UNESCO, and incorporates augmented-reality (AR) technology. AR uses a digital interface to enrich real-time, real-world images by superimposing additional digital information on them. Thus, through their smartphone or tablet screen, users can step into a reality that is different to the one they see with the naked eye: in this case, Luxembourg City of yesteryear.

Chief Alderman Serge Wilmes enthused: "Residents and visitors to the capital now have a fabulous tool at their disposal, which allows them to discover and rediscover the city through these historic street scenes. The city centre abounds with places, buildings and monuments with a story to tell. Not only do users have a wealth of information at their fingertips, but they can also view the capital's shops as they have changed, from the Belle Époque to today. This project dovetails with our "Smart City" strategy, which is aimed at using new technologies to provide innovative tools in areas such as transport, education and tourism."

With its geolocation features, the app is able to detect when the user is near to one of the 31 points of interest, and can provide guidance if needed. Thirteen (13) of these points of interest are AR compatible. When one of the points of interest appears in the camera field, the app overlays the historic imagery on the real-world image. Users can adjust the transparency of the overlaid images. For each of the 31 points of interest, users can read an informative text about the site, written by Robert L. Philippart, UNESCO Site Manager. They can also use the "Before/After" feature, which uses a slider to switch between the images. They can test their knowledge with a fun quiz, or view photos from the archives of the Luxembourg City Photothèque. In addition, users can order prints of their favourite photos from the Photothèque, directly through the app.

This app offers residents and visitors alike a unique experience, allowing them to discover the history of Luxembourg City and its local businesses at their own pace.


The app is free

This project was executed in collaboration with DDG Benelux S.A.