The commune of Sanem consists of the four localities Belvaux, Ehlerange, Sanem and Soleuvre.
During the Roman era, at least two roman villas, one of them being the villa ‘Grueweléck’, were built on the territory of Sanem.
In 793, it is the first time that Soleuvre is mentioned in history, whereas Sanem was only mentioned for the first time five hundred years later in 1268. The castle of Soleuvre which was situated on top of the ‘Zolverknapp’, the highest location of the south of the country, was destroyed in 1145.Besides the ‘Buerghaus’, a fortified farm, it is important to mention the castle of Sanem, which belonged to the famous ‘de Tornaco’-family for over 2 centuries.
Until the middle of the 19th century the main source of income of the population was agriculture but the discovery of the iron ore, the ‘minette’ as it is also referred to, changed it all. The railway-line ‘Esch-Pétange’, which was inaugurated in 1873, contributed largely to the development of the exploitation of the ore. At this point Sanem experienced a change from a small agricultural commune to an agglomeration dominated by the steel industry.
At the same time, a change within the population was to be seen, due to the workers that streamed in from many different countries to find work and a brighter future here in this new industry.
Due to the decline of the steel industry in the past decades, the commune as well as the government has put their emphasis on diversification. Small and medium-sized industries had to take over the market. With this background, in 1993 the communes of Esch-Alzette, Mondercange and Sanem developeda syndicate in order to create, promote and operate the regional zone of economic activity in Ehlerange or short the ‘ZARE’.
On a surface of 47 ha, over 70 companies and mostly crafts businesses are occupying over 1700 workers. Whereas the zone of communal activities ‘Um Woeller’ enables 25 businesses from both the commercial as well as the crafts industry to establish themselves on a surface of 7ha. Furthermore the commune of Sanem adjoins the two industrial zones of national character ‘Gadderscheier’ and ‘Hanebësch’ and thereby offers a great amount of possibilities to companies and jobs for the people in the vicinity. .
Sanem is also known for its diverse gastronomical offer and its conviviality in the numerous cafés, bars and restaurants. It’s possible to eat a different kind of food every day of the week such as Portuguese, Chinese, Yugoslavian, Italian or French.
Today, the new urban residential area ‘Belval’ is the fastest developing area in the country. With thousands of jobs and students of the university, this site promises a bright future for the population of Sanem. However, the commune of Sanem is not only a thriving agglomeration from the economic point of view, but it also offers the complete package when it comes to sports, culture and leisure.