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Luxembourg ( ; lb, Lëtzebuerg ; french: link=no, Luxembourg; german: link=no, Luxemburg), officially the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg, ; french: link=no, Grand-Duché de Luxembourg ; german: link=no, Großherzogtum Luxemburg is a small landlocked country in Western Europe. It borders
Belgium Belgium, ; french: Belgique ; german: Belgien officially the Kingdom of Belgium, is a country in Northwestern Europe. The country is bordered by the Netherlands to the north, Germany to the east, Luxembourg to the southeast, France to ...
to the west and north,
Germany Germany,, officially the Federal Republic of Germany, is a country in Central Europe. It is the second most populous country in Europe after Russia, and the most populous member state of the European Union. Germany is situated betwee ...
to the east, and
France France (), officially the French Republic ( ), is a country primarily located in Western Europe. It also comprises of Overseas France, overseas regions and territories in the Americas and the Atlantic Ocean, Atlantic, Pacific Ocean, Pac ...
to the south. Its capital and most populous city, Luxembourg, is one of the four institutional seats of the European Union (together with Brussels, Frankfurt, and Strasbourg) and the seat of several EU institutions, notably the Court of Justice of the European Union, the highest judicial authority. Luxembourg's culture, people, and languages are highly intertwined with its
French French (french: français(e), link=no) may refer to: * Something of, from, or related to France ** French language, which originated in France, and its various dialects and accents ** French people, a nation and ethnic group identified with Franc ...
and
German German(s) may refer to: * Germany (of or related to) **Germania (historical use) * Germans, citizens of Germany, people of German ancestry, or native speakers of the German language ** For citizens of Germany, see also German nationality law **Ge ...
neighbors; while Luxembourgish is legally the only national language of the Luxembourgish people,
French French (french: français(e), link=no) may refer to: * Something of, from, or related to France ** French language, which originated in France, and its various dialects and accents ** French people, a nation and ethnic group identified with Franc ...
and
German German(s) may refer to: * Germany (of or related to) **Germania (historical use) * Germans, citizens of Germany, people of German ancestry, or native speakers of the German language ** For citizens of Germany, see also German nationality law **Ge ...
are also used in administrative and judicial matters and all three are considered administrative languages of the country. With an area of , Luxembourg is one of the smallest countries in Europe, and the smallest not considered a microstate. In 2022, it had a population of 645,397, which makes it one of the least-populated countries in Europe, albeit with the highest population growth rate; foreigners account for nearly half the population. Luxembourg is a representative democracy headed by a constitutional monarch,
Grand Duke Henri Henri (french: Henri Albert Gabriel Félix Marie Guillaume, ; born 16 April 1955) is the Grand Duke of Luxembourg. He has reigned since 7 October 2000. Henri, the eldest son of Grand Duke Jean and Princess Joséphine-Charlotte of Belgium, is a f ...
, making it the world's only remaining sovereign grand duchy. Luxembourg is a developed country with an advanced economy and one of the world's highest
GDP (PPP) per capita Gross domestic product (GDP) is a monetary measure of the market value of all the final goods and services produced and sold (not resold) in a specific time period by countries. Due to its complex and subjective nature this measure is ofte ...
. The city of Luxembourg was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1994 due to the exceptional preservation of the vast fortifications and historic quarters. Luxembourg is a founding member of the
European Union The European Union (EU) is a supranational union, supranational political union, political and economic union of Member state of the European Union, member states that are located primarily in Europe, Europe. The union has a total area of ...
, OECD, the
United Nations The United Nations (UN) is an intergovernmental organization whose stated purposes are to maintain international peace and security, develop friendly relations among nations, achieve international cooperation, and be a centre for harmoni ...
,
NATO The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO, ; french: Organisation du traité de l'Atlantique nord, ), also called the North Atlantic Alliance, is an intergovernmental military alliance between 30 member states – 28 European and two N ...
, and the
Benelux The Benelux Union ( nl, Benelux Unie; french: Union Benelux; lb, Benelux-Unioun), also known as simply Benelux, is a politico- economic union and formal international intergovernmental cooperation of three neighboring states in western Europe ...
.Timeline: Luxembourg – A chronology of key events
BBC News Online, 9 September 2006. Retrieved 8 October 2006.
It served on the
United Nations Security Council The United Nations Security Council (UNSC) is one of the six principal organs of the United Nations (UN) and is charged with ensuring international peace and security, recommending the admission of new UN members to the General Assembly, ...
for the first time in 2013 and 2014. As of 2022, Luxembourg citizens had visa-free or visa-on-arrival access to 189 countries and territories, ranking the
Luxembourgish passport A Luxembourg passport (french: passeport luxembourgeois) is an international travel document issued to nationals of the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg, and may also serve as proof of Luxembourgian citizenship. Besides enabling the bearer to travel i ...
fourth in the world, tied with
Finland Finland ( fi, Suomi ; sv, Finland ), officially the Republic of Finland (; ), is a Nordic country in Northern Europe. It shares land borders with Sweden to the northwest, Norway to the north, and Russia to the east, with the Gulf of Bot ...
and
Italy Italy ( it, Italia ), officially the Italian Republic, ) or the Republic of Italy, is a country in Southern Europe. It is located in the middle of the Mediterranean Sea, and its territory largely coincides with the homonymous geographical ...
.


History

The history of Luxembourg is considered to begin in the year 963, when Count Siegfried acquired a rocky promontory and its Roman-era fortifications, known as ''Lucilinburhuc'', "little castle", and the surrounding area from the Imperial Abbey of St. Maximin in nearby Trier. Siegfried's descendants increased their territory through marriage, conquest, and vassalage. By the end of the 13th century, the counts of Luxembourg reigned over a considerable territory. In 1308, Count of Luxembourg Henry VII became King of the Romans and later Holy Roman Emperor; the House of Luxembourg would produce four Holy Roman Emperors during the High Middle Ages. In 1354, Charles IV elevated the county to the Duchy of Luxembourg. The duchy eventually became part of the
Burgundian Circle The Burgundian Circle (german: Burgundischer Kreis, nl, Bourgondische Kreits, french: Cercle de Bourgogne) was an Imperial Circle of the Holy Roman Empire created in 1512 and significantly enlarged in 1548. In addition to the Free County of Burg ...
and then one of the
Seventeen Provinces The Seventeen Provinces were the Imperial states of the Habsburg Netherlands in the 16th century. They roughly covered the Low Countries, i.e., what is now the Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg, and most of the French departments of Nord (F ...
of the Habsburg Netherlands. Over the centuries, the City and Fortress of Luxembourg—of great strategic importance due to its location between the Kingdom of France and the Habsburg territories—was gradually built up to be one of the most reputed
fortifications A fortification is a military construction or building designed for the defense of territories in warfare, and is also used to establish rule in a region during peacetime. The term is derived from Latin ''fortis'' ("strong") and ''face ...
in Europe. After belonging to both the France of Louis XIV and the
Austria Austria, , bar, Östareich officially the Republic of Austria, is a country in the southern part of Central Europe, lying in the Eastern Alps. It is a federation of nine states, one of which is the capital, Vienna, the most populous ...
of Maria Theresa, Luxembourg became part of the First French Republic and Empire under
Napoleon Napoleon Bonaparte ; it, Napoleone Bonaparte, ; co, Napulione Buonaparte. (born Napoleone Buonaparte; 15 August 1769 – 5 May 1821), later known by his regnal name Napoleon I, was a French military commander and political leader wh ...
. The present-day state of Luxembourg first emerged at the Congress of Vienna in 1815. The Grand Duchy, with its powerful fortress, became an independent state under the personal possession of William I of the Netherlands with a Prussian garrison to guard the city against another invasion from France. In 1839, following the turmoil of the Belgian Revolution, the purely French-speaking part of Luxembourg was ceded to
Belgium Belgium, ; french: Belgique ; german: Belgien officially the Kingdom of Belgium, is a country in Northwestern Europe. The country is bordered by the Netherlands to the north, Germany to the east, Luxembourg to the southeast, France to ...
and the Luxembourgish-speaking part (except the Arelerland, the area around Arlon) became what is the present state of Luxembourg.


Before AD 963

The first traces of settlement in what is now Luxembourg are dated back to the
Paleolithic Age The Paleolithic or Palaeolithic (), also called the Old Stone Age (from Greek: παλαιός ''palaios'', "old" and λίθος '' lithos'', "stone"), is a period in human prehistory that is distinguished by the original development of stone too ...
, about 35,000 years ago. From the 2nd century BC,
Celtic tribes This is a list of Celtic tribes, organized in order of the likely ethnolinguistic kinship of the peoples and tribes. In Classical antiquity, Celts were a large number and a significant part of the population in many regions of Western Europe ...
settled in the region between the rivers
Rhine ), Surselva, Graubünden, Switzerland , source1_coordinates= , source1_elevation = , source2 = Rein Posteriur/Hinterrhein , source2_location = Paradies Glacier, Graubünden, Switzerland , source2_coordinates= , source ...
and Meuse, thus settling in the region which constitutes today's Grand-Duchy. Six centuries later, the Romans would name the Celtic tribes inhabiting these exact regions collectively as the ''
Treveri The Trēverī (Gaulish: *''Trēueroi'') were a Celtic tribe of the Belgae group who inhabited the lower valley of the Moselle from around 150 BCE, if not earlier, until their displacement by the Franks. Their domain lay within the southern fring ...
''. Multiple examples of archeological evidence proving their existence in Luxembourg have been discovered, the most famous being the " Oppidum of the Titelberg". In around 58 to 51 BC, the Romans invaded the country when Julius Caesar conquered Gaul and part of Germania up to the Rhine border, thus the area of what is now Luxembourg became part of the
Roman Empire The Roman Empire ( la, Imperium Romanum ; grc-gre, Βασιλεία τῶν Ῥωμαίων, Basileía tôn Rhōmaíōn) was the post-Roman Republic, Republican period of ancient Rome. As a polity, it included large territorial holdings aro ...
for the next 450 years, living in relative peace under the Pax Romana. Similar to what happened in Gaul, the Celts of Luxembourg adopted Roman culture, language, morals and a way of life, effectively becoming what historians later described as Gallo-Roman civilization. Evidence from that period of time includes the
Dalheim Ricciacum Dalheim Ricciacum is the site of a Gallo-Roman vicus at Dalheim in south eastern Grand Duchy of Luxembourg. Founded during the reign of the Emperor Augustus, the site was at a strategic point on the Via Agrippa, the main Roman road from the Medite ...
and the Vichten mosaic which is on display at the
National Museum of History and Art The National Museum of History and Art ( lb, Nationalmusée fir Geschicht a Konscht, french: Musée national d'histoire et d'art, german: Nationalmuseum für Geschichte und Kunst), abbreviated to MNHA, is a museum located in Luxembourg City, in ...
in Luxembourg City. The territory was infiltrated by the Germanic Franks starting from the 4th century, and was abandoned by Rome in AD 406. The territory of what would become Luxembourg now became part of the Kingdom of the Franks. The Salian Franks who settled in the area are often described as the ones having brought the Germanic language to present-day Luxembourg, since the old Frankish language spoken by them is considered by linguists to be a direct forerunner of the Moselle Franconian dialect, which later evolved, among others, into the modern-day Luxembourgish language. The Christianization of Luxembourg also falls into this epoch and is usually dated back to the end of the 7th century. The most famous figure in this context is
Willibrord Willibrord (; 658 – 7 November AD 739) was an Anglo-Saxon missionary and saint, known as the "Apostle to the Frisians" in the modern Netherlands. He became the first bishop of Utrecht and died at Echternach, Luxembourg. Early life His fathe ...
, a Northumbrian missionary saint, who together with other monks established the Abbey of Echternach in AD 698. It is in his honor that the notable Dancing procession of Echternach takes place annually on Whit Tuesday. For a few centuries, the abbey would become one of northern Europe's most influential abbeys. The
Codex Aureus of Echternach The Codex Aureus of Echternach (''Codex aureus Epternacensis'') is an illuminated Gospel Book, created in the approximate period 1030–1050, with a re-used front cover from around the 980s. It is now in the Germanisches Nationalmuseum in Nuremb ...
, an important surviving codex written entirely in gold ink, was produced here in the 11th century. The so-called
Emperor's Bible The Emperor's Bible (Uppsala, UUB ms C 93; sv, kejsarbibeln), also known as Codex Caesareus, Codex Caesareus Upsaliensis or the Goslar Gospels, is an 11th-century illuminated manuscript currently in Uppsala University Library, Sweden. Despite i ...
and the
Golden Gospels of Henry III Golden means made of, or relating to gold. Golden may also refer to: Places United Kingdom *Golden, in the parish of Probus, Cornwall *Golden Cap, Dorset *Golden Square, Soho, London *Golden Valley, a valley on the River Frome in Gloucestershir ...
were also produced in Echternach at this time, when production of books at the scriptorium peaked during the middle-age.


Emergence and expansion of the County of Luxemburg (963–1312)

When the Carolingian Empire was divided multiple times starting with the
Treaty of Verdun The Treaty of Verdun (), agreed in , divided the Frankish Empire into three kingdoms among the surviving sons of the emperor Louis I, the son and successor of Charlemagne. The treaty was concluded following almost three years of civil war and ...
in 843, today's Luxembourgish territory became successively part of the
Kingdom of Middle Francia Middle Francia ( la, Francia media) was a short-lived Frankish kingdom which was created in 843 by the Treaty of Verdun after an intermittent civil war between the grandsons of Charlemagne resulted in division of the united empire. Middle Francia ...
(843–855), the
Kingdom of Lotharingia Lotharingia ( la, regnum Lotharii regnum Lothariense Lotharingia; french: Lotharingie; german: Reich des Lothar Lotharingien Mittelreich; nl, Lotharingen) was a short-lived medieval successor kingdom of the Carolingian Empire. As a more durable ...
(855-959) and finally of the Duchy of Lorraine (959–1059), which itself had become a state of the Holy Roman Empire. The recorded history of Luxembourg begins with the acquisition of ''Lucilinburhuc'' (today
Luxembourg Castle The Bock ( lb, Bockfiels) is a promontory in the north-eastern corner of Luxembourg City's old historical district. Offering a natural fortification, its rocky cliffs tower above the River Alzette, which surrounds it on three sides. It was here ...
) situated on the Bock rock by Siegfried, Count of the Ardennes, in 963 through an exchange act with St. Maximin's Abbey, Trier. Around this fort, a town gradually developed, which became the center of a state of great strategic value within the Duchy of Lorraine. Over the years, the fortress was extended by Siegfried's descendants and by 1083, one of them, Conrad I, was the first to call himself a " Count of Luxembourg", and with it effectively creating the independent County of Luxembourg (which was still a state within the Holy Roman Empire). By the middle of the 13th century, the counts of Luxembourg had managed to considerably gain in wealth and power, and had expanded their territory from the river Meuse to the Moselle. By the time of the reign of Henry V the Blonde, Bitburg, La Roche-en-Ardenne, Durbuy, Arlon, Thionville,
Marville Marville may refer to: * ''Marville'' (comics), a Marvel Comics series from the early 2000s * Marville, Meuse Marville () is a commune in the Meuse department in Grand Est in north-eastern France. An airbase built by NATO hosted fighter squa ...
, Longwy, and in 1264 the competing
County of Vianden The Counts of Vianden, ancestors of the House of Orange-Nassau, were associated with the castle of Vianden (Vianden Castle) in Luxembourg. In the 12th to 15th centuries the counts of Vianden were the mightiest lords of the area between the ri ...
(and with it
St. Vith St. Vith (german: Sankt Vith ; french: Saint-Vith ; lb, Sankt Väit ; wa, Sint-Vit) is a city and municipality of East Belgium located in the Walloon province of Liège. It was named after Saint Vitus. On January 1, 2006, St. Vith had a total ...
and
Schleiden Schleiden is a town in North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany. It lies in the Eifel hills, in the district of Euskirchen, and has 12,998 inhabitants as of 30 June 2017. Schleiden is connected by a tourist railway to Kall, on the Eifel Railway between ...
) had either been incorporated directly or become vassal states to the County of Luxembourg. The only major setback during their rise in power came in 1288, when Henry VI and his three brothers died at the Battle of Worringen, while trying unsuccessfully to also add the Duchy of Limburg into their realm. But despite the defeat, the Battle of Worringen helped the Counts of Luxembourg to achieve military glory, which they had previously lacked, as they had mostly enlarged their territory by means of inheritances, marriages and fiefdoms. The ascension of the Counts of Luxembourg culminated when Henry VII became King of the Romans, King of Italy and finally, in 1312, Holy Roman Emperor.


Golden Age: The House of Luxembourg contending for supremacy in Central Europe (1312–1443)

With the ascension of Henry VII as Emperor, the dynasty of the House of Luxembourg not only began to rule the Holy Roman Empire, but rapidly began to exercise growing influence over other parts of Central Europe as well. Henry's son,
John the Blind John the Blind or John of Luxembourg ( lb, Jang de Blannen; german: link=no, Johann der Blinde; cz, Jan Lucemburský; 10 August 1296 – 26 August 1346), was the Count of Luxembourg from 1313 and King of Bohemia from 1310 and titular King of ...
, in addition to being Count of Luxembourg, also became King of Bohemia. He remains a major figure in Luxembourgish history and folklore and is considered by many historians the epitome of chivalry in medieval times. He is also known for having founded the Schueberfouer in 1340 and for his heroic death at the Battle of Crécy in 1346. John the Blind is considered a national hero in Luxembourg. In the 14th and early 15th centuries, three more members of the House of Luxembourg reigned as Holy Roman Emperors and Bohemian Kings: John's descendants Charles IV, Sigismund (who also was King of Hungary and Croatia), and
Wenceslaus IV Wenceslaus IV (also ''Wenceslas''; cs, Václav; german: Wenzel, nicknamed "the Idle"; 26 February 136116 August 1419), also known as Wenceslaus of Luxembourg, was King of Bohemia from 1378 until his death and King of Germany from 1376 until he ...
. Charles IV created the long-lasting Golden Bull of 1356, a decree which fixed important aspects of the constitutional structure of the Empire. Luxembourg remained an independent fief (county) of the Holy Roman Empire, and in 1354, Charles IV elevated it to the status of a duchy with his half-brother Wenceslaus I becoming the first
Duke of Luxembourg The territory of Luxembourg has been ruled successively by counts, dukes and grand dukes. It was part of the medieval Kingdom of Germany, and later the Holy Roman Empire until it became a sovereign state in 1815. Counts of Luxembourg House o ...
. While his kin were occupied ruling and expanding their power within the Holy Roman Empire and elsewhere, Wenceslaus, annexed the
County of Chiny The counts of Chiny were part of the nobility of Lotharingia that ruled from the 9th to the 14th century in what is now part of Belgium. It has been proposed that the County of Chiny was created in the early 10th century out of the ancient county ...
in 1364, and with it, the territories of the new Duchy of Luxembourg reached its greatest extent. During these 130 years, the House of Luxembourg was contending with the House of Habsburg for supremacy within the Holy Roman Empire and Central Europe. It all came to end in 1443, when the House of Luxembourg suffered a succession crisis, precipitated by the lack of a male heir to assume the throne. Since Sigismund and Elizabeth of Görlitz were both heirless, all possessions of the Luxembourg Dynasty were redistributed among the European aristocracy. The Duchy of Luxembourg become a possession of Philip the Good, Duke of Burgundy. As the House of Luxembourg had become extinct and Luxembourg now became part of the Burgundian Netherlands, this would mark the start of nearly 400 years of foreign rule over Luxembourg.


Luxembourg under Habsburg rule and repeated French invasions (1444–1794)

In 1482, Philip the Handsome inherited all of what became then known as the Habsburg Netherlands, and with it the Duchy of Luxembourg. For nearly 320 years Luxembourg would remain a possession of the mighty House of Habsburg, at first under Austrian rule (1506-1556), then under Spanish rule (1556-1714), before going back again to Austrian rule (1714-1794).
With having become a Habsburg possession, the Duchy of Luxembourg became, like many countries in Europe at the time, heavily involved into the many conflicts for dominance of Europe between the Habsburg-held countries and the Kingdom of France. In 1542, the King of France,
Francois I Francis I (french: François Ier; frm, Francoys; 12 September 1494 – 31 March 1547) was King of France from 1515 until his death in 1547. He was the son of Charles, Count of Angoulême, and Louise of Savoy. He succeeded his first cousin once ...
, invaded Luxembourg twice, but the Habsburgs under Charles V managed to reconquer the Duchy each time. Luxembourg became part of the Spanish Netherlands in 1556, and when France and Spain went to war in 1635 it resulted in the Treaty of the Pyrenees, in which the first partition of Luxembourg was decided. Under the Treaty, Spain ceded the Luxembourgish fortresses of
Stenay Stenay () is a commune in the Meuse department in Grand Est in north-eastern France. Its inhabitants are called ''Stenaisiens''. History In 679, the assassinated king Dagobert II was buried in the church of Saint-Remi in Stenay. In 872, Ki ...
, Thionville, and Montmédy, and the surrounding territory to France, effectively reducing the size of Luxembourg for the first time in centuries.Michel Pauly, Geschichte Luxemburgs 2013 p.57 In context of the Nine Years' War in 1684, France invaded Luxembourg again, conquering and occupying the Duchy until 1697 when it was returned to the Spanish in order to garner support for the Bourbon cause during the prelude to the War of the Spanish Succession. When the war broke out in 1701 Luxembourg and the Spanish Netherlands were administered by the pro-French faction under the governor
Maximilian II Emanuel, Elector of Bavaria Maximilian, Maximillian or Maximiliaan (Maximilien in French) is a male given name. The name "Max" is considered a shortening of "Maximilian" as well as of several other names. List of people Monarchs *Maximilian I, Holy Roman Emperor (1459– ...
and sided with the Bourbons. The duchy was subsequently occupied by the pro-Austrian allied forces during the conflict and was awarded to Austria at its conclusion in 1714. As the Duchy of Luxembourg repeatedly passed back and forth from Spanish and Austrian to French rule, each of the conquering nations contributed to strengthening and expanding the Fortress that the Castle of Luxembourg had become over the years. One example of this includes French military engineer Marquis de Vauban who advanced the fortifications around and on the heights of the city, fortification walls that are still visible today.


Luxembourg under French rule (1794–1815)

During the War of the First Coalition, Revolutionary France invaded the Austrian Netherlands, and with it, Luxembourg, yet again. In the years 1793 and 1794 most of the Duchy was conquered relatively fast and the French Revolutionary Army committed many atrocities and pillages against the Luxembourgish civilian population and abbeys, the most infamous being the massacres of Differdange and Dudelange, as well as the destruction of the abbeys of Clairefontaine, Echternach and Orval. However the Fortress of Luxembourg resisted for nearly 7 months before the Austrian forces holding it surrendered. Luxembourg's long defense led Lazare Carnot to call Luxembourg "the best fortress in the world, except Gibraltar", giving rise to the city's nickname ''the Gibraltar of the North''.Kreins (2003), p.64 Luxembourg was annexed by France, becoming the ''département des forêts'' (department of forests), and the incorporation of the former Duchy as a ''département'' into France was formalised at the Treaty of Campo Formio in 1797. From the start of the occupation the new French officials in Luxembourg, who spoke only French, implemented many republican reforms, among them the principle of laicism, which led to an outcry in strongly Catholic Luxembourg. Additionally French was implemented as the only official language and Luxembourgish people were barred access to all civil services.Michel Pauly, Geschichte Luxemburgs 2013 p.65 When the French Army introduced military duty for the local population, riots broke out which culminated in 1798 when Luxembourgish peasants started a rebellion. Even though the French managed to rapidly suppress this revolt called '' Klëppelkrich'', it had a profound effect on the historical memory of the country and its citizens. However, many republican ideas of this era continue to have a lasting effect on Luxembourg: one of the many examples features the implementation of the Napoleonic Code Civil which was introduced in 1804 and is still valid today.


National awakening and independence (1815–1890)

After the defeat of
Napoleon Napoleon Bonaparte ; it, Napoleone Bonaparte, ; co, Napulione Buonaparte. (born Napoleone Buonaparte; 15 August 1769 – 5 May 1821), later known by his regnal name Napoleon I, was a French military commander and political leader wh ...
in 1815, the Duchy of Luxembourg was restored. However, as the territory had been part of the Holy Roman Empire as well as the Habsburgian Netherlands in the past, both the
Kingdom of Prussia The Kingdom of Prussia (german: Königreich Preußen, ) was a German kingdom that constituted the state of Prussia between 1701 and 1918.Marriott, J. A. R., and Charles Grant Robertson. ''The Evolution of Prussia, the Making of an Empire''. ...
and the United Kingdom of the Netherlands now claimed possession of the territory. At the Congress of Vienna the great powers decided that Luxembourg would become a member state of the newly formed German Confederation, but at the same time William I of the Netherlands, the King of the Netherlands, would become, in personal union, the head of state. To satisfy Prussia, it was decided that not only the Fortress of Luxembourg be manned by Prussian troops, but also that large parts of Luxembourgish territory (mainly the areas around Bitburg and St. Vith) become Prussian possessions. This marked the second time that the Duchy of Luxembourg was reduced in size, and is generally known as the Second Partition of Luxembourg. To compensate the Duchy for this loss, it was decided to elevate the Duchy to a Grand-Duchy, thus giving the Dutch monarchs the additional title of
Grand-Duke of Luxembourg The Grand Duke of Luxembourg ( lb, Groussherzog vu Lëtzebuerg, french: Grand-duc de Luxembourg, german: Großherzog von Luxemburg) is the monarchical head of state of Luxembourg. Luxembourg has been a grand duchy since 15 March 1815, when ...
. After
Belgium Belgium, ; french: Belgique ; german: Belgien officially the Kingdom of Belgium, is a country in Northwestern Europe. The country is bordered by the Netherlands to the north, Germany to the east, Luxembourg to the southeast, France to ...
became an independent country following the victorious Belgian Revolution of 1830-1831, it claimed the entire Grand-Duchy of Luxembourg as being part of Belgium, however the Dutch King who was also Grand Duke of Luxembourg, as well as Prussia, didn't want to lose their grip on the mighty fortress of Luxembourg and did not agree with the Belgian claims. The dispute would be solved at the 1839 Treaty of London where the decision of the Third Partition of Luxembourg was taken. This time the territory was reduced by more than half, as the predominantly francophone western part of the country (but also the then Luxembourgish-speaking part of Arelerland) was transferred to the new state of Belgium and with it giving Luxembourg its modern-day borders. The treaty of 1839 also established full independence of the remaining Germanic-speaking Grand-Duchy of Luxembourg. In 1842 Luxembourg joined the German Customs Union ('' Zollverein''). This resulted in the opening of the German market, the development of Luxembourg's steel industry, and expansion of Luxembourg's railway network from 1855 to 1875. After the
Luxembourg Crisis The Luxembourg Crisis (german: Luxemburgkrise, french: Crise luxembourgeoise) was a diplomatic dispute and confrontation in 1867 between France and Prussia over the political status of Luxembourg. The confrontation almost led to war between th ...
of 1866 nearly led to war between Prussia and France, as both were unwilling to see the other taking influence over Luxembourg and its mighty fortress, the Grand Duchy's independence and neutrality were reaffirmed by the
Second Treaty of London The Treaty of London (also known as the Second Treaty of London) was proposed by England, accepted by France, and signed in 1359. After Edward the Black Prince soundly defeated the French at Battle of Poitiers, Poitiers (during the Hundred Year ...
and Prussia was finally willing to withdraw its troops from the Fortress of Luxembourg under the condition that the fortifications would be dismantled. That happened the same year. At the time of the Franco-Prussian war in 1870, Luxembourg's neutrality was respected by the North German Confederation, and neither France nor Germany invaded the country. As a result of the recurring disputes between the major European powers, the people of Luxembourg gradually developed a consciousness of independence and a national awakening took place in the 19th century. The people of Luxembourg began referring to themselves as '' Luxembourgers'', rather than being part of one of the larger surrounding nations. This consciousness of '' Mir wëlle bleiwe wat mir sinn'' culminated in 1890, when the last step towards full independence was finally taken: due to a succession crisis the Dutch monarchy ceased to hold the title Grand-Duke of Luxembourg. Beginning with Adolph of Nassau-Weilburg, the Grand-Duchy would have their own monarchy, thus reaffirming its full independence.


Two German occupations and interwar political crisis (1890–1945)

In August 1914, during
World War I World War I (28 July 1914 11 November 1918), often abbreviated as WWI, was List of wars and anthropogenic disasters by death toll, one of the deadliest global conflicts in history. Belligerents included much of Europe, the Russian Empire, ...
, Imperial Germany violated Luxembourg's neutrality by invading it in order to defeat France. Nevertheless, despite the
German occupation German-occupied Europe refers to the sovereign countries of Europe which were wholly or partly occupied and civil-occupied (including puppet governments) by the military forces and the government of Nazi Germany at various times between 1939 ...
, Luxembourg was allowed to maintain much of its independence and political mechanisms. Unaware of the fact that Germany secretly planned to annex the Grand-Duchy in case of a German victory (the Septemberprogramm), the Luxembourgish government continued to pursue a policy of strict neutrality. However, the Luxembourgish population did not believe Germany's good intentions, fearing that Germany would annex Luxembourg. Around 3,700 Luxembourgers served in the French army, of whom 2,000 died. Their sacrifices have been commemorated at the Gëlle Fra. After the war, Grand-Duchess Marie-Adélaïde, was seen by many people (including the French and Belgian governments) as having collaborated with the Germans and calls for her abdication and the establishment of a Republic became louder.Thewes (2003), p. 81Kreins (2003), p. 89. After the retreat of the German army, communists in Luxembourg City and Esch-sur-Alzette tried to establish a soviet worker's republic similar to the ones emerging in Germany, but these attempts lasted only 2 days. In November 1918, a motion in the
Chamber of Deputies The chamber of deputies is the lower house in many bicameral legislatures and the sole house in some unicameral legislatures. Description Historically, French Chamber of Deputies was the lower house of the French Parliament during the Bourbon R ...
demanding the abolition of the monarchy was defeated narrowly by 21 votes to 19 (with 3 abstentions). France questioned the Luxembourgish government's, and especially Marie-Adélaïde's, neutrality during the war, and calls for an annexation of Luxembourg to either France or Belgium grew louder in both countries.Michel Pauly, Geschichte Luxemburgs 2013 p.85 In January 1919, a company of the Luxembourgish Army rebelled, declaring itself to be the army of the new republic, but French troops intervened and put an end to the rebellion. Nonetheless, the disloyalty shown by her own armed forces was too much for Marie-Adélaïde, who abdicated in favor of her sister Charlotte 5 days later. The same year, in a popular referendum, 77.8% of the Luxembourgish population declared in favor of maintaining monarchy and rejected the establishment of a republic. During this time, Belgium pushed for an annexation of Luxembourg. However, all such claims were ultimately dismissed at the Paris Peace Conference, thus securing Luxembourg's independence. In 1940, after the outbreak of
World War II World War II or the Second World War, often abbreviated as WWII or WW2, was a world war that lasted from 1939 to 1945. It involved the World War II by country, vast majority of the world's countries—including all of the great power ...
, Luxembourg's neutrality was violated again when
Nazi Germany Nazi Germany (lit. "National Socialist State"), ' (lit. "Nazi State") for short; also ' (lit. "National Socialist Germany") (officially known as the German Reich from 1933 until 1943, and the Greater German Reich from 1943 to 1945) was ...
's '' Wehrmacht'' entered the country, "entirely without justification". In contrast to the First World War, under the German occupation of Luxembourg during World War II, the country was treated as German territory and informally annexed to the adjacent province of
Nazi Germany Nazi Germany (lit. "National Socialist State"), ' (lit. "Nazi State") for short; also ' (lit. "National Socialist Germany") (officially known as the German Reich from 1933 until 1943, and the Greater German Reich from 1943 to 1945) was ...
, Gau Moselland. This time, Luxembourg did not remain neutral as Luxembourg's government in exile based in London supported the
Allies An alliance is a relationship among people, groups, or states that have joined together for mutual benefit or to achieve some common purpose, whether or not explicit agreement has been worked out among them. Members of an alliance are called ...
, sending a small group of volunteers who participated in the Normandy invasion, and multiple resistance groups formed inside the occupied country. With 2.45% of its prewar population killed, and a third of all buildings in Luxembourg being destroyed or heavily damaged (mainly due to the
Battle of the Bulge The Battle of the Bulge, also known as the Ardennes Offensive, was the last major German offensive campaign on the Western Front during World War II. The battle lasted from 16 December 1944 to 28 January 1945, towards the end of the war in ...
), Luxembourg suffered the highest such loss in Western Europe and its commitment to the Allied war effort was never questioned. Around 1,000-2,500 of Luxembourg's Jews were murdered in the Holocaust.


Modern history: Integration into NATO and European Union (1945–)

The Grand Duchy became a founding member of the
United Nations The United Nations (UN) is an intergovernmental organization whose stated purposes are to maintain international peace and security, develop friendly relations among nations, achieve international cooperation, and be a centre for harmoni ...
in 1945. Luxembourg's neutral status under the
constitution A constitution is the aggregate of fundamental principles or established precedents that constitute the legal basis of a polity, organisation or other type of entity and commonly determine how that entity is to be governed. When these pr ...
formally ended in 1948, and in April 1949 it also became a founding member of
NATO The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO, ; french: Organisation du traité de l'Atlantique nord, ), also called the North Atlantic Alliance, is an intergovernmental military alliance between 30 member states – 28 European and two N ...
. During the
Cold War The Cold War is a term commonly used to refer to a period of geopolitical tension between the United States and the Soviet Union and their respective allies, the Western Bloc and the Eastern Bloc. The term '' cold war'' is used because t ...
, Luxembourg continued its involvements on the side of the Western Bloc. In the early fifties a small contingent of troops fought in the
Korean War {{Infobox military conflict , conflict = Korean War , partof = the Cold War and the Korean conflict , image = Korean War Montage 2.png , image_size = 300px , caption = Clockwise from top:{ ...
. Luxembourg troops have also deployed to Afghanistan, to support ISAF. In the 1950's, Luxembourg became one of the six founding countries of the European Communities, following the 1952 establishment of the European Coal and Steel Community, and subsequent 1958 creations of the European Economic Community and European Atomic Energy Community. In 1993, the former two of these were incorporated into the
European Union The European Union (EU) is a supranational union, supranational political union, political and economic union of Member state of the European Union, member states that are located primarily in Europe, Europe. The union has a total area of ...
. With Robert Schuman (one of the founding fathers of the EU), Pierre Werner (considered the father of the Euro),
Gaston Thorn Gaston Egmond Thorn (3 September 192826 August 2007) was a Luxembourg politician who served in a number of high-profile positions, both domestically and internationally. Amongst the posts that he held were the 19th Prime Minister of Luxembour ...
,
Jacques Santer Jacques Santer (born 18 May 1937) is a Luxembourg politician who served as the 9th President of the European Commission from 1995 to 1999. He served as Finance Minister of Luxembourg from 1979 until 1989, and the 20th Prime Minister of Luxe ...
and Jean-Claude Juncker (all former Presidents of the
European Commission The European Commission (EC) is the executive of the European Union (EU). It operates as a cabinet government, with 27 members of the Commission (informally known as "Commissioners") headed by a President. It includes an administrative body ...
), Luxembourgish politicians contributed substantially to the EU's formation and establishment. In 1999 Luxembourg joined the Eurozone. The steel industry exploiting the Red Lands' rich iron-ore grounds in the beginning of the 20th century drove Luxembourg's industrialization. After the decline of the steel industry in the 1970s, the country focused on establishing itself as a global financial center and developed into the banking hub it is reputed to be. Since the beginning of the 21st century, its governments have focused on developing the country into a knowledge economy, with the founding of the University of Luxembourg and a national space program.


Government and politics

Luxembourg is described as a " full democracy", with a
parliamentary democracy A parliamentary system, or parliamentarian democracy, is a system of democratic governance of a state (or subordinate entity) where the executive derives its democratic legitimacy from its ability to command the support ("confidence") of t ...
headed by a constitutional monarch. Executive power is exercised by the grand duke and the cabinet, which consists of several other ministers. The Constitution of Luxembourg, the supreme law of Luxembourg, was adopted on 17 October 1868. The grand duke has the power to dissolve the legislature, in which case new elections must be held within three months. But since 1919, sovereignty has resided with the nation, exercised by the grand duke in accordance with the Constitution and the law. Legislative power is vested in the
Chamber of Deputies The chamber of deputies is the lower house in many bicameral legislatures and the sole house in some unicameral legislatures. Description Historically, French Chamber of Deputies was the lower house of the French Parliament during the Bourbon R ...
, a unicameral legislature of sixty members, who are directly elected to five-year terms from four constituencies. A second body, the Council of State (''Conseil d'État''), composed of 21 ordinary citizens appointed by the grand duke, advises the Chamber of Deputies in the drafting of legislation. Luxembourg has three lower tribunals (''justices de paix''; in Esch-sur-Alzette, the city of Luxembourg, and Diekirch), two district tribunals (Luxembourg and Diekirch), and a Superior Court of Justice (Luxembourg), which includes the Court of Appeal and the Court of Cassation. There is also an Administrative Tribunal and an Administrative Court, as well as a Constitutional Court, all of which are located in the capital.


Administrative divisions

Luxembourg is divided into 12 cantons, which are further divided into 102 communes. Twelve of the communes have city status; the city of Luxembourg is the largest.


Foreign relations

Luxembourg has long been a prominent supporter of European political and economic integration. In 1921, Luxembourg and Belgium formed the Belgium–Luxembourg Economic Union (BLEU) to create a regime of inter-exchangeable currency and a common customs. Luxembourg is a member of the Benelux Economic Union and was one of the founding members of the European Economic Community (now the European Union). It also participates in the Schengen Group (named after the Luxembourg village of Schengen where the agreements were signed). At the same time, the majority of Luxembourgers have consistently believed that European unity makes sense only in the context of a dynamic transatlantic relationship, and thus have traditionally pursued a pro-
NATO The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO, ; french: Organisation du traité de l'Atlantique nord, ), also called the North Atlantic Alliance, is an intergovernmental military alliance between 30 member states – 28 European and two N ...
, pro-US foreign policy. Luxembourg is the site of the Court of Justice of the European Union, the European Court of Auditors, the Statistical Office of the European Union ( Eurostat) and other vital EU organs. The Secretariat of the European Parliament is located in Luxembourg, but the Parliament usually meets in Brussels and sometimes in Strasbourg.


Military

The Luxembourgish army is mostly based in its casern, the ''Centre militaire Caserne Grand-Duc Jean'' on the ''Härebierg'' in Diekirch. The general staff is based in the capital, the ''État-Major''. The army is under civilian control, with the grand duke as Commander-in-Chief. The Minister for Defense,
François Bausch François Bausch (born 16 October 1956) is a Luxembourgish politician serving as Second Deputy Prime Minister of Luxembourg since 2019. He is a member of the Chamber of Deputies as well as an alderman and member of the communal council of Luxem ...
, oversees army operations. The professional head of the army is the
Chief of Defense The chief of defence (or head of defence) is the highest ranked commissioned officer of a nation's armed forces. The acronym CHOD is in common use within NATO and the European Union as a generic term for the highest national military position withi ...
, who answers to the minister and holds the rank of general. Being landlocked, Luxembourg has no navy. Seventeen NATO AWACS airplanes are registered as aircraft of Luxembourg. In accordance with a joint agreement with Belgium, both countries have put forth funding for one A400M military cargo plane. Luxembourg has participated in the Eurocorps, has contributed troops to the
UNPROFOR The United Nations Protection Force (UNPROFOR; also known by its French acronym FORPRONU: ''Force de Protection des Nations Unies'') was the first United Nations peacekeeping force in Croatia and in Bosnia and Herzegovina during the Yugoslav ...
and IFOR missions in former Yugoslavia, and has participated with a small contingent in the
NATO The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO, ; french: Organisation du traité de l'Atlantique nord, ), also called the North Atlantic Alliance, is an intergovernmental military alliance between 30 member states – 28 European and two N ...
SFOR mission in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Luxembourg troops have also deployed to Afghanistan, to support ISAF. The army has also participated in humanitarian relief missions such as setting up refugee camps for Kurds and providing emergency supplies to Albania.


Geography

Luxembourg is one of Europe's smallest countries, ranking 167th in size of the 194 independent countries of the world; it is about in size, and measures long and wide. It lies between latitudes 49° and 51° N, and longitudes and 7° E. To the east, Luxembourg borders the German '' Bundesländer'' of Rhineland-Palatinate and
Saarland The Saarland (, ; french: Sarre ) is a state of Germany in the south west of the country. With an area of and population of 990,509 in 2018, it is the smallest German state in area apart from the city-states of Berlin, Bremen, and Hamburg, a ...
, and to the south, it borders the French ''
région France is divided into eighteen administrative regions (french: régions, singular ), of which thirteen are located in metropolitan France (in Europe), while the other five are overseas regions (not to be confused with the overseas collec ...
'' of
Grand Est Grand Est (; gsw-FR, Grossa Oschta; Moselle Franconian/ lb, Grouss Osten; Rhine Franconian: ''Groß Oschte''; german: Großer Osten ; en, "Great East") is an administrative region in Northeastern France. It superseded three former administr ...
( Lorraine). The Grand Duchy borders Belgium's Wallonia, in particular the Belgian provinces of Luxembourg and Liège, part of which comprises the German-speaking Community of Belgium, to the west and to the north, respectively. The northern third of the country is known as the
Oesling The Oesling or Ösling () is a region covering the northern part of both the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg and Eifelkreis Bitburg-Prüm, within the greater Ardennes area that also covers parts of Belgium and France. The Oesling covers 32% of the terri ...
, and forms part of the Ardennes. It is dominated by hills and low mountains, including the
Kneiff Kneiff is a hill in the Ardennes, in the commune of Troisvierges, in northern Luxembourg, near the tripoint shared with Belgium Belgium, ; french: Belgique ; german: Belgien officially the Kingdom of Belgium, is a country in Northweste ...
near
Wilwerdange Wilwerdange (, ) is a small town in the commune of Troisvierges, in northern Luxembourg Luxembourg ( ; lb, Lëtzebuerg ; french: link=no, Luxembourg; german: link=no, Luxemburg), officially the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg, ; french: link=no ...
, which is the highest point, at . Other mountains are the
Buurgplaatz Buurgplaatz (alternate names: Buergplaatz, Burrigplatz, Burgplatz, Buergplaz zu Huldang) is a hill in the commune of Troisvierges, in northern Luxembourg. The summit lies within the Oesling region at . In 1952 the Institut national de l'informa ...
at near
Huldange Huldange (, ) is a small town in the commune of Troisvierges, in far northern Luxembourg. , the town has a population of 353. Nearby is the source of the Clerve The Clerve ( lb, Klierf) is a river flowing through Luxembourg, joining the Wiltz ...
and the
Napoléonsgaard Napoléonsgaard is a hill in the commune of Rambrouch, in western Luxembourg. It is tall, and lies to the north-east of Schwiedelbrouch. Napoléonsgaard is the third-highest summit in Luxembourg and the highest point in the Canton of Redange. ...
at near Rambrouch. The region is sparsely populated, with only one town ( Wiltz) with a population of more than four thousand people. The southern two-thirds of the country is called the Gutland, and is more densely populated than the Oesling. It is also more diverse and can be divided into five geographic sub-regions. The Luxembourg plateau, in south-central Luxembourg, is a large, flat, sandstone formation, and the site of the city of Luxembourg. Little Switzerland, in the east of Luxembourg, has craggy terrain and thick forests. The Moselle valley is the lowest-lying region, running along the southeastern border. The Red Lands, in the far south and southwest, are Luxembourg's industrial heartland and home to many of Luxembourg's largest towns. The border between Luxembourg and Germany is formed by three rivers: the Moselle, the Sauer, and the Our. Other major rivers are the Alzette, the
Attert Attert (; lb, Atert; wa, Ater) is a municipality of Wallonia located in the province of Luxembourg, Belgium. On 1 January 2007 the municipality, which covers 70.94 km², had 4,802 inhabitants, giving a population density of 67.7 inhabit ...
, the Clerve, and the Wiltz. The valleys of the mid-Sauer and Attert form the border between the Gutland and the Oesling.


Environment

According to the 2012 Environmental Performance Index, Luxembourg is one of the world's best performers in environmental protection, ranking 4th out of 132 assessed countries. In 2020, it ranked second out of 180 countries. Luxembourg also ranks 6th among the top ten most livable cities in the world by Mercer's. The country wants to cut GHG emissions by 55% in 10 years and reach zero emissions by 2050. Luxembourg wants to increase its organic farming fivefold. It had a 2019 Forest Landscape Integrity Index mean score of 1.12/10, ranking it 164th globally out of 172 countries.


Climate

Luxembourg has an oceanic climate ( Köppen: ''Cfb''), marked by high precipitation, particularly in late summer. The summers are warm and winters cool.


Economy

Luxembourg's stable and high-income market economy features moderate growth, low inflation, and a high level of innovation. Unemployment is traditionally low, though it reached 6.1% by May 2012, due largely to the 2008 global financial crisis. In 2011, according to the
IMF The International Monetary Fund (IMF) is a major financial agency of the United Nations, and an international financial institution, headquartered in Washington, D.C., consisting of 190 countries. Its stated mission is "working to foster glob ...
, Luxembourg was the world's second-richest country, with a per capita GDP on a purchasing-power parity (PPP) basis of $80,119. Its GDP per capita in purchasing power standards was 261% of the EU average (100%) in 2019. Luxembourg ranks 13th in The Heritage Foundation's Index of Economic Freedom, 26th in the United Nations Human Development Index, and 4th in the Economist Intelligence Unit's quality of life index. It ranked 19th in the
Global Innovation Index The Global Innovation Index is an annual ranking of countries by their capacity for, and success in, innovation, published by the World Intellectual Property Organization. It was started in 2007 by INSEAD and ''World Business'', a British m ...
in 2022. The industrial sector, dominated by steel until the 1960s, has since diversified to include chemicals, rubber, and other products. During recent decades, growth in the financial sector has more than compensated for the decline in steel production. Services, especially banking and finance, account for the majority of the economic output. Luxembourg is the world's second largest investment fund center (after the United States), the most important private banking center in the Eurozone and Europe's leading center for reinsurance companies. Moreover, Luxembourg's government has aimed to attract Internet startups, with Skype and Amazon being two of the many Internet companies that have shifted their regional headquarters to Luxembourg. Other high-tech companies have established themselves in Luxembourg, including
3D scanner 3D scanning is the process of analyzing a real-world object or environment to collect data on its shape and possibly its appearance (e.g. color). The collected data can then be used to construct digital 3D models. A 3D scanner can be based on m ...
developer/manufacturer Artec 3D. In April 2009, concern about Luxembourg's banking secrecy laws, as well as its reputation as a tax haven, led to its being added to a "gray list" of nations with questionable banking arrangements by the G20. In response, the country soon adopted OECD standards on exchange of information and was subsequently added into the category of "jurisdictions that have substantially implemented the internationally agreed tax standard". In March 2010, the ''Sunday Telegraph'' reported that most of Kim Jong-Il's $4 billion in secret accounts was in Luxembourg banks. Amazon.co.uk also benefits from Luxembourg tax loopholes by channeling substantial U.K. revenues, as reported by ''The Guardian'' in April 2012. Luxembourg ranked third on the Tax Justice Network's 2011
Financial Secrecy Index The Financial Secrecy Index (FSI) is a report published by the advocacy organization Tax Justice Network (TJN) which ranks countries by ''financial secrecy indicators'', weighted by the economic flows of each country. It looks at how wealthy ...
of the world's major tax havens, scoring only slightly behind the Cayman Islands. In 2013, Luxembourg was ranked the 2nd safest tax haven in the world, behind
Switzerland ). Swiss law does not designate a ''capital'' as such, but the federal parliament and government are installed in Bern, while other federal institutions, such as the federal courts, are in other cities (Bellinzona, Lausanne, Luzern, Neuchâtel ...
. In early November 2014, just days after becoming head of the
European Commission The European Commission (EC) is the executive of the European Union (EU). It operates as a cabinet government, with 27 members of the Commission (informally known as "Commissioners") headed by a President. It includes an administrative body ...
, Luxembourg's former Prime Minister Jean-Claude Juncker was hit by media disclosures—derived from a document leak known as Luxembourg Leaks—that Luxembourg had turned into a major European center of corporate
tax avoidance Tax avoidance is the legal usage of the tax regime in a single territory to one's own advantage to reduce the amount of tax that is payable by means that are within the law. A tax shelter is one type of tax avoidance, and tax havens are jurisdi ...
under his premiership. Agriculture employed about 2.1% of Luxembourg's active population in 2010, when there were 2200 agricultural holdings with an average area per holding of 60 hectares. Luxembourg has especially close trade and financial ties to Belgium and the Netherlands (see
Benelux The Benelux Union ( nl, Benelux Unie; french: Union Benelux; lb, Benelux-Unioun), also known as simply Benelux, is a politico- economic union and formal international intergovernmental cooperation of three neighboring states in western Europe ...
), and as a member of the EU it enjoys the advantages of the open European market. With $171 billion in May 2015, the country ranked 11th in the world in holdings of
U.S. Treasury securities United States Treasury securities, also called Treasuries or Treasurys, are government debt instruments issued by the United States Department of the Treasury to finance government spending as an alternative to taxation. Since 2012, U.S. go ...
. However, securities owned by non-Luxembourg residents, but held in custodial accounts in Luxembourg, are included in this figure. , Luxembourg's public debt totaled $15,687,000,000, or $25,554 per capita. The debt to GDP was 22.10%. The Luxembourg labor market represents 445,000 jobs occupied by 120,000 Luxembourgers, 120,000 foreign residents and 205,000 cross-border commuters. The latter pay their taxes in Luxembourg, but their education and social rights are the responsibility of their country of residence. The same applies to pensioners. Luxembourg's government has never shared its tax revenues with the local authorities on the French border. This system is seen as one of the keys to Luxembourg's economic growth, but at the expense of the border countries.


Transport

Luxembourg has road, rail and air transport facilities and services. The road network has been significantly modernized in recent years with of motorways connecting the capital to adjacent countries. The advent of the high-speed
TGV The TGV (french: Train à Grande Vitesse, "high-speed train"; previously french: TurboTrain à Grande Vitesse, label=none) is France's intercity high-speed rail service, operated by SNCF. SNCF worked on a high-speed rail network from 1966 to 19 ...
link to Paris has led to renovation of the city's
railway station Rail transport (also known as train transport) is a means of transport that transfers passengers and goods on wheeled vehicles running on rails, which are incorporated in Track (rail transport), tracks. In contrast to road transport, where the ...
and a new passenger terminal at Luxembourg Airport was opened in 2008. Luxembourg city reintroduced trams in December 2017 and there are plans to open light-rail lines in adjacent areas within the next few years. There are 681 cars per 1000 persons in Luxembourg—higher than most of other states, and surpassed by the
United States The United States of America (U.S.A. or USA), commonly known as the United States (U.S. or US) or America, is a country Continental United States, primarily located in North America. It consists of 50 U.S. state, states, a Washington, D.C., ...
,
Canada Canada is a country in North America. Its ten provinces and three territories extend from the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific Ocean and northward into the Arctic Ocean, covering over , making it the world's second-largest country by to ...
,
Australia Australia, officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a sovereign country comprising the mainland of the Australian continent, the island of Tasmania, and numerous smaller islands. With an area of , Australia is the largest country by ...
,
New Zealand New Zealand ( mi, Aotearoa ) is an island country in the southwestern Pacific Ocean. It consists of two main landmasses—the North Island () and the South Island ()—and over 700 smaller islands. It is the sixth-largest island coun ...
,
Iceland Iceland ( is, Ísland; ) is a Nordic island country in the North Atlantic Ocean and in the Arctic Ocean. Iceland is the most sparsely populated country in Europe. Iceland's capital and largest city is Reykjavík, which (along with its ...
, and other small states like
Principality of Monaco Monaco (; ), officially the Principality of Monaco (french: Principauté de Monaco; Monégasque dialect, Ligurian: ; oc, Principat de Mónegue), is a Sovereign state, sovereign city-state and European microstates, microstate on the French Riv ...
, San Marino, Liechtenstein, the British overseas territory of Gibraltar, and Brunei. On 29 February 2020, Luxembourg became the first country to introduce no-charge public transportation, which will be almost completely funded by public expenditure.


Communications

The telecommunications industry in Luxembourg is liberalized and the electronic communications networks are significantly developed. Competition between the different operators is guaranteed by the legislative framework Paquet Telecom of the Government of 2011 which transposes the European Telecom Directives into Luxembourgish law. This encourages the investment in networks and services. The regulator ILR – Institut Luxembourgeois de Régulation ensures the compliance to these legal rules. Luxembourg has modern and widely deployed optical fiber and cable networks throughout the country. In 2010, the Luxembourg Government launched its National strategy for very high-speed networks with the aim to become a global leader in terms of very high-speed broadband by achieving full 1 Gbit/s coverage of the country by 2020. In 2011, Luxembourg had an NGA coverage of 75%. In April 2013 Luxembourg featured the 6th highest download speed worldwide and the 2nd highest in Europe: 32,46 Mbit/s. The country's location in Central Europe, stable economy and low taxes favour the telecommunication industry. It ranks 2nd in the world in the development of the Information and Communication Technologies in the ITU ICT Development Index and 8th in the Global Broadband Quality Study 2009 by the
University of Oxford , mottoeng = The Lord is my light , established = , endowment = £6.1 billion (including colleges) (2019) , budget = £2.145 billion (2019–20) , chancellor ...
and the University of Oviedo. Luxembourg is connected to all major European Internet Exchanges (AMS-IX Amsterdam, DE-CIX Frankfurt, LINX London), datacenters and POPs through redundant optical networks. In addition, the country is connected to the virtual meetme room services (vmmr) of the international data hub operator Ancotel. This enables Luxembourg to interconnect with all major telecommunication operators and data carriers worldwide. The interconnection points are in Frankfurt, London, New York and Hong Kong. Luxembourg has established itself as one of the leading financial technology (FinTech) hubs in Europe, with the Luxembourg government supporting initiatives like the Luxembourg House of Financial Technology. Some 20 data centers are operating in Luxembourg. Six data centers are Tier IV Design certified: three of ebrc, two of LuxConnect and one of European Data Hub. In a survey on nine international data centers carried out in December 2012 and January 2013 and measuring availability (up-time) and performance (delay by which the data from the requested website was received), the top three positions were held by Luxembourg data centers.


Demographics


Largest towns


Ethnicity

The people of Luxembourg are called Luxembourgers. The immigrant population increased in the 20th century due to the arrival of immigrants from
Belgium Belgium, ; french: Belgique ; german: Belgien officially the Kingdom of Belgium, is a country in Northwestern Europe. The country is bordered by the Netherlands to the north, Germany to the east, Luxembourg to the southeast, France to ...
, France, Italy, Germany, and Portugal; the latter comprised the largest group. In 2013 about 88,000 Luxembourg inhabitants possessed Portuguese nationality. In 2013, there were 537,039 permanent residents, 44.5% of which were of foreign background or foreign nationals; the largest foreign ethnic groups were the Portuguese, comprising 16.4% of the total population, followed by the French (6.6%), Italians (3.4%), Belgians (3.3%) and Germans (2.3%). Another 6.4% were of other EU background, while the remaining 6.1% were of other non-EU, but largely other European, background."La progression de la population du Grand-Duché continue: 537 039 résidants au 1er janvier 2013."
Statnews 16/2013, op statec.lu, 18 April 2013. (in French).
Since the beginning of the Yugoslav wars, Luxembourg has seen many immigrants from Bosnia and Herzegovina,
Montenegro ) , image_map = Europe-Montenegro.svg , map_caption = , image_map2 = , capital = Podgorica , coordinates = , largest_city = capital , official_languages = ...
, and
Serbia Serbia (, ; Serbian: , , ), officially the Republic of Serbia ( Serbian: , , ), is a landlocked country in Southeastern and Central Europe, situated at the crossroads of the Pannonian Basin and the Balkans. It shares land borders with Hu ...
. Annually, over 10,000 new immigrants arrive in Luxembourg, mostly from the EU states, as well as Eastern Europe. In 2000 there were 162,000 immigrants in Luxembourg, accounting for 37% of the total population. There were an estimated 5,000 illegal immigrants in Luxembourg in 1999.


Language

As determined by law since 1984, Luxembourg has only one national language, Luxembourgish. It is considered the mother tongue or "language of the heart" for Luxembourgers and the language they generally use to speak or write to each other. Luxembourgish is considered a Franconian language specific to the local population, which is partially mutually intelligible with the neighboring High German, but which also includes more than 5,000 words of French origin. Knowledge of Luxembourgish is a criterion for naturalisation. In addition to Luxembourgish,
French French (french: français(e), link=no) may refer to: * Something of, from, or related to France ** French language, which originated in France, and its various dialects and accents ** French people, a nation and ethnic group identified with Franc ...
and
German German(s) may refer to: * Germany (of or related to) **Germania (historical use) * Germans, citizens of Germany, people of German ancestry, or native speakers of the German language ** For citizens of Germany, see also German nationality law **Ge ...
are used in administrative and judicial matters, making all three
administrative language An official language is a language given supreme status in a particular country, state, or other jurisdiction. Typically the term "official language" does not refer to the language used by a people or country, but by its government (e.g. judiciary, ...
s of Luxembourg. Per article 4 of the law promulgated in 1984, if a citizen asks a question in Luxembourgish, German or French, the administration must reply, as far as possible, in the language in which the question was asked. Luxembourg is largely multilingual: , 52% of citizens claimed Luxembourgish as their native language, 16.4% Portuguese, 16% French, 2% German and 13.6% different languages (mostly
English English usually refers to: * English language * English people English may also refer to: Peoples, culture, and language * ''English'', an adjective for something of, from, or related to England ** English national ...
, Italian or Spanish). Even though French was the mother tongue of only 16% of residents in Luxembourg (placing 3rd), 98% of its citizens were able to speak it to a high level. The vast majority of Luxembourg residents are able to speak it as a second or third language. , much of the population was able to speak multiple other languages: 80% of citizens reported being able to hold a conversation in English, 78% in German and 77% in Luxembourgish, claiming these languages as their respective second, third or fourth language. Each of the three official languages is used as a primary language in certain spheres of everyday life, without being exclusive. Luxembourgish is the language that Luxembourgers generally use to speak and write to each other, and there has been a recent increase in the production of novels and movies in the language; at the same time, the numerous expatriate workers (approximately 44% of the population) generally do not use it to speak to each other. Most official business and written communication is carried out in French, which is also the language mostly used for public communication, with written official statements, advertising displays and road signs generally in French. Due to the historical influence of the Napoleonic Code on the legal system of the Grand Duchy, French is also the sole language of the legislation and generally the preferred language of the government, administration and justice. Parliamentary debates are mostly conducted in Luxembourgish, whereas written government communications and official documents (e.g. administrative or judicial decisions, passports, etc.) are drafted mostly in French and sometimes additionally in German. Although professional life is largely multilingual, French is described by private sector business leaders as the main working language of their companies (56%), followed by Luxembourgish (20%), English (18%), and German (6%). German is very often used in much of the media along with French and is considered by most Luxembourgers their second language. This is mostly due to the high similarity of German to Luxembourgish but also because it is the first language taught to children in primary school (language of literacy acquisition). Due to the large community of Portuguese origin, the Portuguese language is fairly prevalent in Luxembourg, though it remains limited to the relationships inside this community. Portuguese has no official status, but the administration sometimes makes certain informative documents available in Portuguese. Even though Luxembourg is largely multilingual today, some people claim that Luxembourg is subject of intense francization and that Luxembourgish and German are in danger of disappearing in the country, making Luxembourg either a unilingual Francophone country, or at best a bilingual French- and English-speaking country sometime in the far future.


Religion

Luxembourg is a secular state, but the state recognizes certain religions as officially mandated religions. This gives the state a hand in religious administration and appointment of clergy, in exchange for which the state pays certain running costs and wages. Religions covered by such arrangements are Catholicism,
Judaism Judaism ( he, ''Yahăḏūṯ'') is an Abrahamic, monotheistic, and ethnic religion comprising the collective religious, cultural, and legal tradition and civilization of the Jewish people. It has its roots as an organized religion in th ...
, Greek Orthodoxy, Anglicanism, Russian Orthodoxy, Lutheranism, Calvinism, Mennonitism, and
Islam Islam (; ar, ۘالِإسلَام, , ) is an Abrahamic monotheistic religion centred primarily around the Quran, a religious text considered by Muslims to be the direct word of God (or '' Allah'') as it was revealed to Muhammad, the ...
. Since 1980, it has been illegal for the government to collect statistics on religious beliefs or practices. A 2000 estimate by the CIA Factbook is that 87% of Luxembourgers are Catholic, including the grand ducal family, with the remaining 13% being Protestants, Orthodox Christians, Jews, Muslims, and those of other or no religion. According to a 2010 Pew Research Center study, 70.4% are Christian, 2.3% Muslim, 26.8% unaffiliated, and 0.5% other religions. According to a 2005 Eurobarometer poll,Eurobarometer on Social Values, Science and technology 2005
– page 11
44% of Luxembourg citizens responded that "they believe there is a God", whereas 28% answered that "they believe there is some sort of spirit or life force", and 22% that "they do not believe there is any sort of spirit, god, or life force".


Education

Luxembourg's education system is trilingual: the first years of primary school are in Luxembourgish, before changing to German; while in secondary school, the language of instruction changes to French. Proficiency in all three languages is required for graduation from secondary school, but half the students leave school without a certified qualification, with the children of immigrants being particularly disadvantaged. In addition to the three national languages, English is taught in compulsory schooling and much of the population of Luxembourg can speak English. The past two decades have highlighted the growing importance of English in several sectors, in particular the financial sector. Portuguese, the language of the largest immigrant community, is also spoken by large segments of the population, but by relatively few from outside the Portuguese-speaking community. The University of Luxembourg is the only university based in Luxembourg. In 2014,
Luxembourg School of Business The Luxembourg School of Business (LSB) is the only accredited graduate business school in Luxembourg. LSB offers a part-time Master in Business Administration ("weekend MBA"), a full-time Master in Management, as well as specialized programs for ...
, a graduate business school, has been created through private initiative and has received the accreditation from the Ministry of Higher Education and Research of Luxembourg in 2017. Two American universities maintain satellite campuses in the country, Miami University ( Dolibois European Center) and Sacred Heart University ( Luxembourg Campus).


Health

According to data from the
World Health Organization The World Health Organization (WHO) is a specialized agency of the United Nations responsible for international public health. The WHO Constitution states its main objective as "the attainment by all peoples of the highest possible level o ...
, healthcare spending on behalf of the government of Luxembourg topped $4.1 Billion, amounting to about $8,182 for each citizen in the nation. The nation of Luxembourg collectively spent nearly 7% of its Gross Domestic Product on health, placing it among the highest spending countries on health services and related programs in 2010 among other well-off nations in Europe with high average income among its population.


Culture

Luxembourg has been overshadowed by the culture of its neighbors. It retains a number of folk traditions, having been for much of its history a profoundly rural country. There are several notable museums, located mostly in the capital. These include the
National Museum of History and Art The National Museum of History and Art ( lb, Nationalmusée fir Geschicht a Konscht, french: Musée national d'histoire et d'art, german: Nationalmuseum für Geschichte und Kunst), abbreviated to MNHA, is a museum located in Luxembourg City, in ...
(NMHA), the
Luxembourg City History Museum The Luxembourg City History Museum (french: Musée d'histoire de la Ville de Luxembourg), illustrates the thousand-year history of the City of Luxembourg with both permanent and temporary exhibits. Founded on 22 June 1996, it was designed by Lux ...
, and the new
Grand Duke Jean Museum of Modern Art The Grand Duke Jean Museum of Modern Art (french: Musée d'art moderne Grand-Duc Jean), abbreviated to Mudam, is a museum of modern art in Luxembourg City, in southern Luxembourg. The museum stands on the site of the old Fort Thüngen, on the s ...
(Mudam). The National Museum of Military History (MNHM) in Diekirch is especially known for its representations of the
Battle of the Bulge The Battle of the Bulge, also known as the Ardennes Offensive, was the last major German offensive campaign on the Western Front during World War II. The battle lasted from 16 December 1944 to 28 January 1945, towards the end of the war in ...
. The city of Luxembourg itself is on the
UNESCO The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization is a List of specialized agencies of the United Nations, specialized agency of the United Nations (UN) aimed at promoting world peace and security through international coope ...
World Heritage List, on account of the historical importance of its fortifications. The country has produced some internationally known artists, including the painters Théo Kerg,
Joseph Kutter Joseph Jean Ferdinand Kutter (1894–1941) is considered one of Luxembourg's most important painters. He was greatly influenced by the Impressionists but developed his own distinctive Expressionist style. Early life Kutter was born on 12 Dece ...
and
Michel Majerus Michel Majerus (June 9, 1967 – November 6, 2002) was a Luxembourgish artist who combined painting with digital media in his work. He lived and worked in Berlin until his untimely death in a plane crash in November 2002. His work was featured i ...
, and photographer
Edward Steichen Edward Jean Steichen (March 27, 1879 – March 25, 1973) was a Luxembourgish American photographer, painter, and curator, renowned as one of the most prolific and influential figures in the history of photography. Steichen was credited with tr ...
, whose '' The Family of Man'' exhibition has been placed on UNESCO's Memory of the World register, and is now permanently housed in
Clervaux Clervaux (; lb, Clierf or (locally) ; german: Clerf) is a commune and town in northern Luxembourg, administrative capital of the canton of Clervaux. The town's arms, granted in 1896, show three blackbirds on a gold ground in the chief of a red ...
. Editor and author Hugo Gernsback, whose publications crystallized the concept of
science fiction Science fiction (sometimes shortened to Sci-Fi or SF) is a genre of speculative fiction which typically deals with imaginative and futuristic concepts such as advanced science and technology, space exploration, time travel, parallel uni ...
, was born in Luxembourg City. Movie star Loretta Young was of Luxembourgish descent. Luxembourg was a founding participant of the Eurovision Song Contest, and participated every year between
1956 Events January * January 1 – The Anglo-Egyptian Condominium ends in Sudan. * January 8 – Operation Auca: Five U.S. evangelical Christian missionaries, Nate Saint, Roger Youderian, Ed McCully, Jim Elliot and Pete Fleming, are kille ...
and 1993, with the exception of 1959. It won the competition a total of five times,
1961 Events January * January 3 ** United States President Dwight D. Eisenhower announces that the United States has severed diplomatic and consular relations with Cuba (Cuba–United States relations are restored in 2015). ** Aero Flight 311 (K ...
, 1965, 1972, 1973 and 1983 and hosted the contest in 1962, 1966, 1973, and 1984, but only nine of its 38 entries were performed by Luxembourgish artists. Luxembourg was the first city to be named European Capital of Culture twice. The first time was in 1995. In 2007, the European Capital of Culture was to be a cross-border area consisting of the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg, the Rheinland-Pfalz and Saarland in Germany, the Walloon Region and the German-speaking part of Belgium, and the Lorraine area in France. The event was an attempt to promote mobility and the exchange of ideas, crossing borders physically, psychologically, artistically and emotionally. Luxembourg was represented at the World Expo 2010 in Shanghai, China, from 1 May to 31 October 2010 with its own pavilion. The pavilion was based on the transliteration of the word Luxembourg into Chinese, "Lu Sen Bao", which means "Forest and Fortress". It represented Luxembourg as the "Green Heart in Europe".


Sports

Unlike most countries in Europe, sports in Luxembourg are not concentrated upon a particular national sport, but instead encompass a number of sports, both team and individual. Despite the lack of a central sporting focus, over 100,000 people in Luxembourg, out of a total population of near 500,000–600,000, are licensed members of one sports federation or another. The Stade de Luxembourg, situated in
Gasperich Gasperich () is a quarter in southern Luxembourg City, in southern Luxembourg. , the quarter has a population of 7,607 inhabitants. In 2017, major building works began on a new development providing for dozens of large office buildings, hundre ...
, southern Luxembourg City, is the country's national stadium and largest sports venue in the country with a capacity of 9,386 for sporting events, including football and rugby union, and 15,000 for concerts. The largest indoor venue in the country is d'Coque, Kirchberg, north-eastern Luxembourg City, which has a capacity of 8,300. The arena is used for basketball, handball, gymnastics, and
volleyball Volleyball is a team sport in which two teams of six players are separated by a net. Each team tries to score points by grounding a ball on the other team's court under organized rules. It has been a part of the official program of the Sum ...
, including the final of the
2007 Women's European Volleyball Championship The 2007 Women's European Volleyball Championship was the 25th edition of the event, organised by Europe's governing volleyball body, the Confédération Européenne de Volleyball. It was hosted in Charleroi and Hasselt of Belgium and Luxembourg ...
.


Cuisine

Luxembourg cuisine reflects its position on the border between the Latin and Germanic worlds, being heavily influenced by the cuisines of neighboring France and Germany. More recently, it has been enriched by its many Italian and Portuguese immigrants. Most native Luxembourg dishes, consumed as the traditional daily fare, share roots in the country's folk dishes, the same as in neighboring
Germany Germany,, officially the Federal Republic of Germany, is a country in Central Europe. It is the second most populous country in Europe after Russia, and the most populous member state of the European Union. Germany is situated betwee ...
. Luxembourg sells the most alcohol in Europe per capita. However, the large proportion of alcohol purchased by customers from neighboring countries contributes to the statistically high level of alcohol sales per capita; this level of alcohol sales is thus not representative of the actual alcohol consumption of the Luxembourg population. Luxembourg has the second highest number of
Michelin-starred The Michelin Guides ( ) are a series of guide books that have been published by the French tyre company Michelin since 1900. The Guide awards up to three Michelin stars for excellence to a select few establishments. The acquisition or loss of ...
restaurants per capita with Japan ranked at number one and Switzerland following Luxembourg at number three.


Media

The main languages of media in Luxembourg are French and German. The newspaper with the largest circulation is the German-language daily ''
Luxemburger Wort ''Luxemburger Wort'' is a German-language Luxembourgish daily newspaper. There is an English edition named the ''Luxembourg Times''. History and profile ''Luxemburger Wort'' has been published since 1848. The paper was founded just three days ...
''. Because of the strong multilingualism in Luxembourg, newspapers often alternate articles in French and articles in German, without translation. In addition, there are both English and Portuguese radio and national print publications, but accurate audience figures are difficult to gauge since the national media survey by ILRES is conducted in French. Luxembourg is known in Europe for its radio and television stations ( Radio Luxembourg and
RTL Group RTL Group (for "Radio Television Luxembourg") is a Luxembourg-based international media conglomerate, with another corporate centre in Cologne, Germany. The company operates 68 television channels and 31 radio stations in Germany, France ...
). It is also the uplink home of SES, carrier of major European satellite services for Germany and Britain. Due to a 1988 law that established a special tax scheme for audiovisual investment, the film and co-production in Luxembourg has grown steadily. There are some 30 registered production companies in Luxembourg. Luxembourg won an Oscar in 2014 in the Animated Short Films category with ''
Mr Hublot ''Mr Hublot'' is a Luxembourgish/French animated short film by Laurent Witz and Alexandre Espigares with/after the characters of Stephane Halleux. It won the Academy Award for Best Animated Short Film at the 86th Academy Awards on 2 March 2014. P ...
''.


Notable Luxembourgers


See also

* Outline of Luxembourg * Disability in Luxembourg


References


Informational notes


Citations


Works cited

* *


Further reading


Plan d'action national luxembourgeois en matière de TIC et de haut-débit

CEE- Europe's Digital Competitiveness Report –Volume 2: i2010 –ICT Country Profiles- page 40-41

Inauguration of LU-CIX

Art and Culture in Luxembourg


External links


The Official Portal of the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg


from ''UCB Libraries GovPubs''
Luxembourg
'' The World Factbook''.
Central Intelligence Agency The Central Intelligence Agency (CIA ), known informally as the Agency and historically as the Company, is a civilian foreign intelligence service of the federal government of the United States, officially tasked with gathering, processing, ...
. *
Luxembourg profile
from the
BBC News BBC News is an operational business division of the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) responsible for the gathering and broadcasting of news and current affairs in the UK and around the world. The department is the world's largest broadc ...

''Luxembourg's Constitution of 1868 with Amendments through 2009'', English Translation 2012
* {{Authority control Countries in Europe Duchy of Luxembourg French-speaking countries and territories German-speaking countries and territories Landlocked countries Member states of NATO Member states of the European Union Member states of the Organisation internationale de la Francophonie Member states of the Union for the Mediterranean Member states of the United Nations NUTS 1 statistical regions of the European Union NUTS 2 statistical regions of the European Union States and territories established in 1815 States of the German Confederation Northwestern European countries Countries of Europe with multiple official languages OECD members