The one minute summary on
This is it: one minute to the best info on Luxembourg. This info alone will put you ahead of 99% of foreigners visiting Luxembourg, garner the admiration of the locals who will instantly want to be your friends, and the envy of your fellow travelers. Read on. You’ll make friends faster that way, become a traveler instead of simply being a tourist, and also enjoy your travels a lot more.
Founded in 963, Luxembourg became a grand duchy in 1815 and an independent state under the Netherlands. It lost more than half of its territory to Belgium in 1839 but gained a larger measure of autonomy. Full independence was attained in 1867. Overrun by Germany in both world wars, it ended its neutrality in 1948 when it entered into the Benelux Customs Union and when it joined NATO the following year. In 1957, Luxembourg became one of the six founding countries of the European Economic Community (later the European Union), and in 1999 it joined the euro currency area. In January 2013, Luxembourg assumed a nonpermanent seat on the UN Security Council for the 2013-14 term.
That was it. I promised one minute.
For other condensed info check also my other posts on local culture (don’t make the mistakes I made), local food or local drinks. And when you call your friends to tell them you were by far the most knowledgeable at the party, do that with confidence that you’ll not get hit with a 6.99 per minute bill. You’ll also pick the local food from the tray, and order a local drink with confidence.
- Cultural Mistakes To Avoid in Luxembourg
- Does my current phone work in Luxembourg ? Tips to cell phone usage in Luxembourg
- Local food you should try in Luxembourg and No miss drinks in Luxembourg
Now, cheers to the most Luxembourg aware person at the cocktail party.
What are the key history moments for Luxembourg?
The city of Luxembourg proper was founded in 963, and its strategic position soon promised it a great fate. Luxembourg was at the crossroad of Western Europe and became heavily fortified, and you can still see the extensive city walls and towers that are its most distinctive cityscape. Due to its key position, Luxembourg was raised up to a Duchy that included a much larger territory that stretched in present-day Belgium, Netherlands, Germany and France.
The powerful Habsburg family kept its hand on it until the late Renaissance times. After the Napoleonic wars, the Duchy of Luxembourg was granted to the Netherlands. It had a special status as a member of the German confederacy and the citadel was armed with a Prussian garrison: Luxembourg was still a strategic lock that everybody aimed at controlling. It was granted the title “Grand Duchy” in 1815 but lost some territories that are today parts of France and Germany. During the course of the 19th century, developments in warfare and the appearance of artillery made Luxembourg obsolete as a stronghold, and it became little more than a rural territory of no strategic interest whatsoever.
The Germans relinquished their rights over it and moved out their garrison, its western half was granted to Belgium in 1839, and the Netherlands granted it complete independence in 1867. Since then, Luxembourg arose from a poor country of fields and farms to a modern economy relying on financial services and high-tech industries.
Overrun by Germany in both world wars, Luxembourg was one of the major battlefields of the Battle of the Bulge in the winter of 1944-1945, a story well documented in the museum at Diekirch. The state ended its neutrality in 1948 when it entered into the Benelux Customs Union and it joined NATO the following year. In 1957, Luxembourg became one of the six founding countries of the European Economic Community (later the European Union) and, in 1999, it joined the euro currency area.
The one minute summary for Luxembourg geography
Best places to see in Luxembourg
You may not expect it from one of the smallest countries in Europe, but The Grand Duchy of Luxembourg is a diverse land, full of beautiful nature and gorgeous historic monuments. Its turbulent history is filled with stories of emperors and counts as well as many battles and disputes. Today, the almost fairy-tale like castles and fortresses are a faint but impressive reminder of those days, and amidst their lovely natural setting, they make some superb and picturesque sights. Most of the country’s population lives in rural areas and apart from the delightful historic City of Luxembourg, the country’s capital, settlements are mostly small. That said, the capital is a place not to be missed.
It has a splendid location high on a cliff, overlooking the deep and narrow valleys of both the Alzette and Pétrusse rivers. Several parts of the old town are listed as UNESCO World Heritage Sites, and the most interesting places include the Gothic Revival Cathedral of Notre Dame, the town fortifications and of course the Grand Ducal Palace, which is surrounded by charming cobblestoned lanes. However, there’s far more to see, such as the Bock casemates, Neumünster Abbey and the Place d’Armes.
There are several World War II memorial sites and a number of high-end museums, but just wandering through the old centre, taking in the beautiful views from the Chemin de la Corniche and crossing bridges to the nearest plateaus is at least as great a way to discover the city. The lively town of Echternach is the oldest city in Luxembourg.
It boasts the country’s most prominent religious structure, the basilica of the Abbey of Echternach where the country’s patron saint Willibrord is buried. The annual Whit Tuesday celebrations in his honour involve lots of dancers in the towns old centre and are a popular tourist attraction. The Apart from its own sights, Echternach makes a great base to explore the beautiful Müllerthal, better known as “Little Switserland”. Hike or bike through its dense forests with myriad streams and even some caves. The romantic village of Vianden with its stunning medieval Beaufort castle is a tourists’ favourite, and well worth a visit even despite the crowds in summer.
The beautiful location of the fortress in the Our river valley, surrounded by tight forests and a lake with swans, gives it a typical fairy-tale castle look and feel. If you’re done wandering the streets and exploring the gothic churches an fortified towers of this charming town, visit the Victor Hugo house. Afterwards, the pleasant cafés of the Grand Rue are a perfect place to kick back and enjoy. Head to Remich to start your own trip down the Route du Vin and discover the many fine wines that are produced here, in the Moselle Valley.