or the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg as it is officially known, is a
sovereign state in Europe that shares borders with Belgium, Germany and France.
With an area of approximately 998 square miles, it is one of the smallest
countries in the world. Nearly half of the workforce commutes daily across the
border to France, Belgium or Germany. Luxembourg is the second richest country
in the world, based on GDP per capita, and it also has the highest minimum wage
in Europe. As of 2017, it had a population of 583,455, making it the least
populated country in the European Union. Roughly 40% of the population consists
of immigrants from over 170 nations, with Portuguese being the majority.
Luxembourg officially recognizes three languages – Luxembourgish,
French and German – and most Luxembourgers
are trilingual. The capital is Luxembourg City.
being occupied by several European rulers throughout its history, Luxembourg
finally gained independence in 1867. After World War II, it became a strong
advocate for international cooperation, in addition to becoming one of the
founders of the European Union. Luxembourg is the only Grand Duchy in the
world, a state ruled by a duke or duchess. The Grand Duke since October 2000 is
Crown Prince Henri.
was founded in 963 A.D. as the County of Luxembourg by Count Sigefroid of the Ardennes-Verdun dynasty. He built a fort on the site,
which transformed into a resilient fortress over the next nine centuries. The
ancient Saxon name for Luxembourg is “Lucilinburhuc” that actually means “little
fortress”, symbolizing its strategic position and impregnability. The city
played a key role in the control of the Left Bank of
the Rhine, the Netherlands, Belgium, and the border between
France and Germany. The
city is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site because of its historic
fortifications and quarters, and until 1867,it remained one of Europe’s
greatest fortified cities. It was constantly reinforced as it passed through
the hands of each of the empires that conquered it. Elements from all these periods
still remain in bastions, forts, and other public buildings throughout the
than a third of Luxembourg is covered by forests, over half of which are
also has plenty of breathtaking plains,
meandering streams, picturesque villages, and mysterious ruins that are perfect
for walks, hikes, cycling, excursions, and tours, all year round.
The country has often been called the “green heart of Europe”, and its natural landscapes are both enchanting and mesmerizing, most
of which still remain untouched.
Luxembourg has an extremely rich and
diverse culture that is evident in its various museums, forts, castles and
chateaus. It also has several examples of modern architecture, like the Philharmonie and the Mudam. There are numerous art galleries all over the
country, and The National Museum of History and Art displays art and artifacts
from all eras of the country’s history. The Neumünster Abbey, a cultural
center, offers theater, literature, visual arts, and music concerts. The Bock,
a promontory in the northeastern corner of the city, is a fortress that is over
a 1,000 years old and listed by the UNESCO as a World Heritage Site.
The Grand-Rue and Rue Philippe II are
really popular streets for shopping. A few blocks away, visitors will also find
markets that sell local and organic produce. Dining out is fundamental to truly
understanding the lifestyle in Luxembourg. Being a multicultural society, there
are cuisines from all over the world. The Chiggeri Restaurant has the longest
wine list in the world, offering a variety of more than 2,200 different wines.
The country’s motto is ‘mir
wëllebleiwewatmirsinn’ that translates to “we want to remain what we are’. This
refers to Luxembourg’s long history of foreign rule, and their desire to remain
independent, both now and forever. The Grand Duchy of Luxembourg is a small
country, but what it lacks in size, it makes up for in other grander ways.