Luxembourg Travel Guide
Luxembourg is a constitutional monarchy and is located in the heart of Europe.
The founder of the first Luxembourg dynasty, Count Siegfried, built his castle in 963. Over the centuries, Luxembourg City became one of the strongest fortresses ever built, so impregnable that the city became known as the "Gibraltar of the North."
Today you can adventure through the 12-mile network of underground passageways known as the Casemates. Much of the city's older architecture—such as the "Spanish Turrets"—can be attributed to specific periods of occupation. Other artifacts of occupiers are the Art Nouveau buildings from the Bourbon era, and an ancient convent in the Grund district which now hosts a cultural center for exhibitions and concerts.
Under construction is the new Musée d'Art Moderne, designed by I.M. Pei and dedicated to Grand Duke Jean; it will benefit from a super setting, which includes recently uncovered archaeological ruins.
Luxembourg is famous for banks (some 230 have major offices here), whose modern glass buildings are often integrated into ancient constructions. Luxembourg also offers fine museums, art galleries, theaters, concert halls, chic boutiques and, of course, great restaurants. The Grand-Duchy has more Michelin-starred restaurants per capita than any other country in the world.
Even though the Grand-Duchy runs only 52 miles north to the south and 36 miles east to west, you will find many different landscapes. The Ardennes, site of the 1944 Battle of the Bulge, are hilly, densely forested and dotted with medieval castles; Vianden, Bourscheid and Esch-sur-Sure are best known. The Mullerthal region presents curious sandstone rock formations, creeks of unknown springs and magnificent forests; there are many hiking paths. The Gudland is mainly rolling farmland and woods, bordered to the east by the Moselle (the local white wines are rated among the best of the entire Moselle valley). In the extreme southwest is the iron-ore basin, foundation of Luxembourg's economic rise beginning around 1850.
The climate is temperate, with May to mid-October best for vacations. While July and August are the warmest months, May and June are the sunniest.
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Luxembourg FactsArea: 999 square miles (smaller than Rhode Island).
Population: 422,000 (Luxembourg City:120,000)
Language: Luxembourgish, French, German. English is widely spoken.