Luxembourg Travel Guide


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Luxembourg

 

The Grand Duchy of Luxembourg is a constitutional monarchy located in Western Europe bordering Belgium to the north and west, France to the south and Germany to the east. (A grand duchy is defined as a territory with a head of state who is a Grand Duke or Grand Duchess).

 

 

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Luxembourg ’s history began in 963 when Count Siegfried of the Ardennes built a castle there, which later became a fortress (known as Gibraltar of the North). It became a grand duchy in 1815 when Luxembourg gained independence under the King of the Netherlands after the Netherlands gained independence. The country then gained full independence in 1867.

 

To protect itself from foreign invasions, Luxembourg built strong walls with many forts along it, and an underground network of tunnels and caves, known as Casemates. Much of the fortress was taken down in the 1860s under the Treaty of London but many remains of this past era still exist. Luxembourg ’s history is also evident in many of the landmarks such as Art Nouveau buildings and Spanish look-outs on the city walls. There are many cultural attractions, including the building which was used as both a prison and a convent and now is the venue for cultural events and exhibitions. The duchy was occupied by Germany during both WWI and WWII.

 

The population is comprised mainly of Celtic people with a French and German mix, Portuguese, Italian, Slavs and other Europeans. The national language is Lëtzebuergesch ( Luxembourgish - a French/German dialect), with French and German both being used for general purposes and French for most administrative purposes. For most governmental purposes French or German may be used, depending on the circumstances. The dominant religion is Roman Catholic with some Protestant and Jewish.

 

Luxembourg City has plenty of attractions, including the Museums of Natural History and History and Art. There are the modern and high-tech offices of hundreds of international banks throughout the city mixed in with the historical buildings. The Place d’Armes, formerly used by the military, is now the main square and a popular gathering place with its restaurants, cafes and bandstand with live music performances. Luxembourg is known for its sophistication, world-class restaurants and wonderful cuisine. Not to be missed is a tour of the Bock Casemates (the underground fortifications). There is a lot to see in Luxembourg . For a start you might try the Wenzel Walk which is a good start on your exploration of the city, and will take you to the old quarter and the Castle Bridge .

 

Because a large percentage of the country is forested, it is perfect for backpacking and camping and there are camp sites throughout the countryside. There are many hiking, cycling and walking trails and the Ardennes area has unusual rock formations for climbing. There are approx. six golf courses in Luxembourg . For water sports enthusiasts there are several lakes, including the Upper Sure Lake which offers swimming, sailing, windsurfing, water-skiing, kayaking and canoeing. Fishing is available in designated rivers and lakes

 

In the Mullertal, or area known as Little Switzerland, as well as golfing, castles to explore and a Roman villa

The Moselle wine-growing area, named after the River Moselle, is on the German border. Wine tasting trips and tours are available, as well as a Wine Museum , Butterfly Garden , Casino and boat trips.

 

 



 

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