There are shrines all over the place in Luxembourg, most villages have one and you’ll find lots of wayside calvaries dotted around the countryside. Some of them are more unusual than others.
The virgin in the tree trunk is situated at the outskirts of the small village of Hersberg. The oak tree in which the shrine has been constructed is estimated as being about 500 years old. Each year on 15 August a mass is celebrated here.
Deep in the woods in the commune of Niederanven, the Schetzel shrine has been built into a rocky grotto near the source of the river the white Ernz, a couple of hundred metres away.
modern bronze plaque depicting the hermit Schetzelo on the wall next to the shrine
It is named after a hermit who lived here in the Grunwald (literatally the green forest) in the 12th century and who was variously called Schetzel the fortunate or Shetzelo. Apparently he was a cistercian monk who had come from the abbey at Orval (in today’smodern Beligum). The grotto remained buried for many years and was restored during the 19th century. The cave has been enlarged and two statues placed there, one of Schetzel and the other of Archardus, in 1970. (Achardus of Clairvaux, France, was the only eye witness who had put into writing his meeting with Schetzelo). Mass is celebrated here every year on the second Sunday in August too (Schetzelo’s name day being 6th August).
The walk to this shrine took me along a rutted track through woodland. With the sun streaming through the foliage, it was a perfect autumn day.
A doe silently crossed the track in front of me and disappeared into the shady trees. She was gone too quickly for me to whip out my camera and photograph her.
late flowering foxgloves
On the mossy bank to one side of the track I saw lots of these highly poisonous amanita muscaria toadstools, commonly known as “fly agaric”.
bracken gleaming golden in the sun
another shrine in the same area