It was purely by accident, in the course of the digging work and thanks to the watchful eye of a passer-by, that the foundations of the chapel of the Glacis were uncovered recently. Georges Hellinghausen was taking a stroll in the area when he noticed some stones that had been uncovered by the excavation work. As a professor of ecclesiastical history at the seminary, he was well versed of the history of this place and immediately knew the significance of his discovery. The chapel, which was dedicated to the Virgin Mary, was built in 1625, enlarged in 1642 and destroyed after the French Revolution. In its day, it was a leading destination for pilgrimage, and housed the statue of the Virgin that is nowadays in the city’s cathedral.
Hellinghausen promptly contacted the Mayor of Luxembourg, who in turn contacted the national centre for archaeological research. The discovery did not delay the work: a 3D scan of all the foundations was made and the planned pipes were rerouted slightly in order to avoid damaging this historic site.