Unearth the poignant history of Bourscheid's “Napoleonsknäppchen”, where a tree called “Napoleonsbeemchen” was planted. The tree witnessed the times of Napoleon I, survived the ravages of war, and stands today as a symbol of resistence.
In the municipality of Bourscheid, atop the highest point at “Napoleonsknäppchen”, a liberty tree was planted during the era of Napoleon I, later known as “Napoleonsbeemchen”. Evolving into a cherished vantage point, this spot offers panoramic views extending beyond borders on clear days.
However, adversity marked the tree's journey. The tree planted at Napoleon’s time had to be replaced once, as it became a makeshift observation post during the First World War, with German soldiers perched on a plank. Yet, in May 1940, shortly after the German occupation of Luxembourg, this iconic tree met a tragic fate – ruthlessly felled, leaving the local population in shock.
Out of this devastation emerged an unexpected creation. Sculptor Constant Stehres from Rollingergrund fashioned the statue of St Willibrord from the lime tree's trunk, responding to Pastor Victor Elz's request. Despite war-induced challenges, the statue found a solemn place in the Bourscheid church on August 2, 1942, as a poignant reminder of its tumultuous history.
Undeterred by destruction, the spirit of resilience prevailed. On November 22, 1941, Bourscheid residents clandestinely planted a new lime tree in place of its predecessor, a testament to hope and renewal. A nearby plaque shares the fate of this historic tree, inviting visitors to delve into the enduring legacy of Bourscheid's “Napoleonsbeemchen”.