Credit: C Naseer Ahmad

On Saturday 11 May 2024, the Luxembourg Embassy in Washington DC (USA) held an Open House as part of the EU Open House initiative.

Reminiscing about last year's charming event at the Luxembourg Embassy, people were eagerly looking forward to its return, with a queue forming almost an hour before the doors opened at 10:00, stretching all the way around the block and onto Q Street NW.

Considered one of the most eagerly anticipated spring events in Washington, "Passport DC" - a spring festival that offers a month-long journey showcasing the city's thriving international diplomatic community and diverse culture - comes second only to cherry blossom season and, every May, around 70 embassies open their doors.

The EU's website states that on Saturday 11 May, from 10:00 to 16:00, "the European Union and its Embassies invite you to explore our cultural treasures, indulge in delectable cuisine, be moved by soul-stirring music, and enjoy much more. No registration, tickets or passports required." Regarding the Luxembourg Embassy, it states, "Immerse yourself in the history of Luxembourg-US relations and the vibrant exchange of cultures. Step inside our magnificent Embassy building and take a captivating journey through Luxembourg City in 1957, as experienced by an American family."

As visitors entered the embassy building, they embarked on a journey through history, surrounded by mesmerising images of significant landmarks. The reception room greeted them with a stunning display of roses, representing the diverse colours found in Luxembourg, instantly making visitors feel at home. Transitioning to the next room, they were welcomed by an elaborate dining table, reminiscent of formal dinners held at the Embassy.

Adorning the walls were pictures showcasing iconic landmarks such as St. Michel's Church, the Pont Adolphe, the Monument of Remembrance (affectionately known as the Golden Lady), and Luxembourg-Grund through the eyes of the American family during their visit in 1957. Each portrait displayed a comparison between the image in 1957 and its present-day appearance.

A fascinating video showcased memorable moments from the State visit, featuring the late President John F. Kennedy and the Grand Duchess of Luxembourg. This was followed by a portrait capturing the late President Franklin Roosevelt alongside the Grand Duchess.

The embassy also delved into Luxembourg's historical significance, particularly highlighting its role in the Battle of the Bulge and the American Cemetery.

As visitors made their way into the lobby, they were greeted by an image of Luxembourg's Tour de France winner, Andy Schleck, alongside his original jersey.

After indulging their visual appetites, the warm and friendly embassy staff including Elisabeth Herndler, Luxembourg Embassy's Cultural Secretary, offered delectable treats and chocolates courtesy of Ferrero, ensuring that visitors could not only savour the cultural experience but also delight in culinary delights.