Luxembourg

Luxembourg

Overview
Luxembourg officially the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg , is a landlocked
Landlocked
A landlocked country is a country entirely enclosed by land, or whose only coastlines lie on closed seas. There are 48 landlocked countries in the world, including partially recognized states...

 country in western Europe
Western Europe
Western Europe is a loose term for the collection of countries in the western most region of the European continents, though this definition is context-dependent and carries cultural and political connotations. One definition describes Western Europe as a geographic entity—the region lying in the...

, bordered by Belgium
Belgium
Belgium , officially the Kingdom of Belgium, is a federal state in Western Europe. It is a founding member of the European Union and hosts the EU's headquarters, and those of several other major international organisations such as NATO.Belgium is also a member of, or affiliated to, many...

, France
France
The French Republic , The French Republic , The French Republic , (commonly known as France , is a unitary semi-presidential republic in Western Europe with several overseas territories and islands located on other continents and in the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic oceans. Metropolitan France...

, and Germany
Germany
Germany , officially the Federal Republic of Germany , is a federal parliamentary republic in Europe. The country consists of 16 states while the capital and largest city is Berlin. Germany covers an area of 357,021 km2 and has a largely temperate seasonal climate...

. It has two principal regions: the Oesling
Oesling
The Oesling or Ösling is a region covering the northern part of the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg, within the greater Ardennes area that also covers parts of Belgium and France...

 in the North as part of the Ardennes
Ardennes
The Ardennes is a region of extensive forests, rolling hills and ridges formed within the Givetian Ardennes mountain range, primarily in Belgium and Luxembourg, but stretching into France , and geologically into the Eifel...

 massif, and the Gutland
Gutland (Luxembourg)
Gutland is a region covering the southern and central parts of the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg. Gutland covers 68% of the territory of Luxembourg; to the north of Gutland lies the Oesling, which covers the remaining 32% of the Grand Duchy....

 ("good country") in the south. Luxembourg has a population of over half a million people in an area of approximately 2586 square kilometres (998.5 sq mi).
A representative democracy
Representative democracy
Representative democracy is a form of government founded on the principle of elected individuals representing the people, as opposed to autocracy and direct democracy...

 with a constitutional monarch
Constitutional monarchy
Constitutional monarchy is a form of government in which a monarch acts as head of state within the parameters of a constitution, whether it be a written, uncodified or blended constitution...

, it is ruled by a grand duke
Grand Duke
The title grand duke is used in Western Europe and particularly in Germanic countries for provincial sovereigns. Grand duke is of a protocolary rank below a king but higher than a sovereign duke. Grand duke is also the usual and established translation of grand prince in languages which do not...

.
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Timeline

1346   Charles IV of Luxembourg is elected emperor of the Holy Roman Empire.

1543   French troops invade Luxembourg.

1856   The Coup of 1856 leads to Luxembourg's unilateral adoption of a new, reactionary constitution.

1867   Luxembourg gains its independence.

1912   Marie-Adélaïde, the eldest of six daughters of Guillaume IV, becomes the first reigning Grand Duchess of Luxembourg.

1940   World War II: Germany invades Belgium, the Netherlands, and Luxembourg.

1944   Belgium, Netherlands and Luxembourg constitute Benelux.

1957   The European Economic Community is established (West Germany, France, Italy, Belgium, Netherlands, Luxembourg).

2006   Luxembourg becomes the first country to complete the move to all digital television broadcasting.

 
Quotations

We are the greatest people,sitting on our old street,the best wine in the world,much better than that of the French.We are rich and cultural,and we are better than the other nations,richest in the world,high-class beyond other countries,better than England or Germany,we know we will be praised,as Luxies, of Luxembourg.

Jean-Henri-Claude Charlotte II, The Luxembourg Show. Category:Countries Category:Europe
Encyclopedia
Luxembourg officially the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg , is a landlocked
Landlocked
A landlocked country is a country entirely enclosed by land, or whose only coastlines lie on closed seas. There are 48 landlocked countries in the world, including partially recognized states...

 country in western Europe
Western Europe
Western Europe is a loose term for the collection of countries in the western most region of the European continents, though this definition is context-dependent and carries cultural and political connotations. One definition describes Western Europe as a geographic entity—the region lying in the...

, bordered by Belgium
Belgium
Belgium , officially the Kingdom of Belgium, is a federal state in Western Europe. It is a founding member of the European Union and hosts the EU's headquarters, and those of several other major international organisations such as NATO.Belgium is also a member of, or affiliated to, many...

, France
France
The French Republic , The French Republic , The French Republic , (commonly known as France , is a unitary semi-presidential republic in Western Europe with several overseas territories and islands located on other continents and in the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic oceans. Metropolitan France...

, and Germany
Germany
Germany , officially the Federal Republic of Germany , is a federal parliamentary republic in Europe. The country consists of 16 states while the capital and largest city is Berlin. Germany covers an area of 357,021 km2 and has a largely temperate seasonal climate...

. It has two principal regions: the Oesling
Oesling
The Oesling or Ösling is a region covering the northern part of the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg, within the greater Ardennes area that also covers parts of Belgium and France...

 in the North as part of the Ardennes
Ardennes
The Ardennes is a region of extensive forests, rolling hills and ridges formed within the Givetian Ardennes mountain range, primarily in Belgium and Luxembourg, but stretching into France , and geologically into the Eifel...

 massif, and the Gutland
Gutland (Luxembourg)
Gutland is a region covering the southern and central parts of the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg. Gutland covers 68% of the territory of Luxembourg; to the north of Gutland lies the Oesling, which covers the remaining 32% of the Grand Duchy....

 ("good country") in the south. Luxembourg has a population of over half a million people in an area of approximately 2586 square kilometres (998.5 sq mi).
A representative democracy
Representative democracy
Representative democracy is a form of government founded on the principle of elected individuals representing the people, as opposed to autocracy and direct democracy...

 with a constitutional monarch
Constitutional monarchy
Constitutional monarchy is a form of government in which a monarch acts as head of state within the parameters of a constitution, whether it be a written, uncodified or blended constitution...

, it is ruled by a grand duke
Grand Duke
The title grand duke is used in Western Europe and particularly in Germanic countries for provincial sovereigns. Grand duke is of a protocolary rank below a king but higher than a sovereign duke. Grand duke is also the usual and established translation of grand prince in languages which do not...

. It is now the world's only remaining sovereign grand duchy
Grand duchy
A grand duchy, sometimes referred to as a grand dukedom, is a territory whose head of state is a monarch, either a grand duke or grand duchess.Today Luxembourg is the only remaining grand duchy...

. The country has a highly developed economy, with the world's highest GDP (nominal) per capita according to the IMF
International Monetary Fund
The International Monetary Fund is an organization of 187 countries, working to foster global monetary cooperation, secure financial stability, facilitate international trade, promote high employment and sustainable economic growth, and reduce poverty around the world...

. Its historic and strategic importance dates back to its founding as a Roman era
Roman Empire
The Roman Empire was the post-Republican period of the ancient Roman civilization, characterised by an autocratic form of government and large territorial holdings in Europe and around the Mediterranean....

 fortress
Fortification
Fortifications are military constructions and buildings designed for defence in warfare and military bases. Humans have constructed defensive works for many thousands of years, in a variety of increasingly complex designs...

 site and Frankish count's
County
A county is a jurisdiction of local government in certain modern nations. Historically in mainland Europe, the original French term, comté, and its equivalents in other languages denoted a jurisdiction under the sovereignty of a count A county is a jurisdiction of local government in certain...

 castle
Castle
A castle is a type of fortified structure built in Europe and the Middle East during the Middle Ages by European nobility. Scholars debate the scope of the word castle, but usually consider it to be the private fortified residence of a lord or noble...

 site in the Early Middle Ages
Early Middle Ages
The Early Middle Ages was the period of European history lasting from the 5th century to approximately 1000. The Early Middle Ages followed the decline of the Western Roman Empire and preceded the High Middle Ages...

. It was an important bastion along the Spanish Road
Spanish Road
The "Spanish Road" was a military supply/trade route used from 1567–1620, which stretched from Northern Italy to the Low Countries. It crossed through relatively neutral territory, and was therefore Europe's most preferred military route...

 when Spain was the principal European power
International Power
International Power PLC is an international electricity generator formed in 2000 by the demerger of National Power. It is headquartered at Senator House, 85 Queen Victoria Street in the City of London...

 influencing the whole western hemisphere
Western Hemisphere
The Western Hemisphere or western hemisphere is mainly used as a geographical term for the half of the Earth that lies west of the Prime Meridian and east of the Antimeridian , the other half being called the Eastern Hemisphere.In this sense, the western hemisphere consists of the western portions...

 and beyond in the 16th–17th centuries.

Luxembourg is a member of the European Union
European Union
The European Union is an economic and political union of 27 independent member states which are located primarily in Europe. The EU traces its origins from the European Coal and Steel Community and the European Economic Community , formed by six countries in 1958...

, NATO, OECD, the United Nations
United Nations
The United Nations is an international organization whose stated aims are facilitating cooperation in international law, international security, economic development, social progress, human rights, and achievement of world peace...

, and Benelux
Benelux
The Benelux is an economic union in Western Europe comprising three neighbouring countries, Belgium, the Netherlands, and Luxembourg. These countries are located in northwestern Europe between France and Germany...

, reflecting the political consensus in favour of economic
Economic integration
Economic integration refers to trade unification between different states by the partial or full abolishing of customs tariffs on trade taking place within the borders of each state...

, political, and military integration. The city of Luxembourg
Luxembourg (city)
The city of Luxembourg , also known as Luxembourg City , is a commune with city status, and the capital of the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg. It is located at the confluence of the Alzette and Pétrusse Rivers in southern Luxembourg...

, the largest and capital city
Capital City
Capital City was a television show produced by Euston Films which focused on the lives of investment bankers in London living and working on the corporate trading floor for the fictional international bank Shane-Longman....

, is the seat of several institutions and agencies of the EU.

Luxembourg culture is a mix of Romance Europe and Germanic
Germanic languages
The Germanic languages constitute a sub-branch of the Indo-European language family. The common ancestor of all of the languages in this branch is called Proto-Germanic , which was spoken in approximately the mid-1st millennium BC in Iron Age northern Europe...

 Europe, borrowing customs from each of the distinct traditions. Luxembourg is a trilingual country; German
German language
German is a West Germanic language, related to and classified alongside English and Dutch. With an estimated 90 – 98 million native speakers, German is one of the world's major languages and is the most widely-spoken first language in the European Union....

, French
French language
French is a Romance language spoken as a first language in France, the Romandy region in Switzerland, Wallonia and Brussels in Belgium, Monaco, the regions of Quebec and Acadia in Canada, and by various communities elsewhere. Second-language speakers of French are distributed throughout many parts...

 and Luxembourgish
Luxembourgish language
Luxembourgish is a High German language spoken mainly in Luxembourg. About 320,000 people worldwide speak Luxembourgish.-Language family:...

 are official language
Official language
An official language is a language that is given a special legal status in a particular country, state, or other jurisdiction. Typically a nation's official language will be the one used in that nation's courts, parliament and administration. However, official status can also be used to give a...

s. Although a secular state
Secular state
A secular state is a concept of secularism, whereby a state or country purports to be officially neutral in matters of religion, supporting neither religion nor irreligion. A secular state also claims to treat all its citizens equally regardless of religion, and claims to avoid preferential...

, Luxembourg is predominantly Roman Catholic.

History




The recorded history of Luxembourg begins with the acquisition of Lucilinburhuc (today Luxembourg Castle) situated on the Bock
Bock (Luxembourg)
The Bock 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 that Count Siegfried built his Castle of Lucilinburhuc in 963,...

 rock by Siegfried, Count of Ardennes
Siegfried of Luxembourg
Siegfried is considered the first count of Luxembourg. He was actually count in the Moselgau and the Ardennes. He was also the advocate of the abbeys of Saint-Maximin de Trêves and Saint-Willibrod d'Echternach. He is speculated to be the son of Wigeric of Lotharingia, Count Palatine and Cunigunda...

 in 963 through an exchange act with the abbey of St Maximin in Trier. Around this fort, a town
Town
A town is a human settlement larger than a village but smaller than a city. The size a settlement must be in order to be called a "town" varies considerably in different parts of the world, so that, for example, many American "small towns" seem to British people to be no more than villages, while...

 gradually developed, which became the centre of a small state of great strategic value. In the 14th and early 15th centuries three members of the House of Luxembourg
House of Luxembourg
The House of Luxembourg was a late medieval German dynasty, which between 1308 and 1437 ruled the Holy Roman Empire, twice interrupted by the rivaling House of Wittelsbach.-History:...

 reigned as Holy Roman Emperor
Holy Roman Emperor
The Holy Roman Emperor is a term used by historians to denote a medieval ruler who, as German King, had also received the title of "Emperor of the Romans" from the Pope...

s. In 1437, the House of Luxembourg suffered a succession crisis, precipitated by the lack of a male heir to assume the throne, which led to the territory being sold by Duchess Elisabeth
Elisabeth, Duchess of Luxembourg
Elisabeth of Görlitz was Duchess regnant of Luxembourg from 1411 to 1443.-Life:Elisabeth was the only daughter and heiress of John of Görlitz, the third son of Charles IV, Holy Roman Emperor. He was Duke of Lusatia and Görlitz, and also Elector of Brandenburg for a brief period...

 to Philip the Good of Burgundy
Duchy of Burgundy
The Duchy of Burgundy , was heir to an ancient and prestigious reputation and a large division of the lands of the Second Kingdom of Burgundy and in its own right was one of the geographically larger ducal territories in the emergence of Early Modern Europe from Medieval Europe.Even in that...

.

In the following centuries, Luxembourg's fortress was steadily enlarged and strengthened by its successive occupants, the Bourbons, Habsburg
Habsburg
The House of Habsburg , also found as Hapsburg, and also known as House of Austria is one of the most important royal houses of Europe and is best known for being an origin of all of the formally elected Holy Roman Emperors between 1438 and 1740, as well as rulers of the Austrian Empire and...

s, Hohenzollerns, and the French
France
The French Republic , The French Republic , The French Republic , (commonly known as France , is a unitary semi-presidential republic in Western Europe with several overseas territories and islands located on other continents and in the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic oceans. Metropolitan France...

, among others. After the defeat
Treaty of Paris (1815)
Treaty of Paris of 1815, was signed on 20 November 1815 following the defeat and second abdication of Napoleon Bonaparte. In February, Napoleon had escaped from his exile on Elba; he entered Paris on 20 March, beginning the Hundred Days of his restored rule. Four days after France's defeat in the...

 of Napoleon in 1815, Luxembourg was disputed between Prussia
Kingdom of Prussia
The Kingdom of Prussia was a German kingdom from 1701 to 1918. Until the defeat of Germany in World War I, it comprised almost two-thirds of the area of the German Empire...

 and the Netherlands
United Kingdom of the Netherlands
United Kingdom of the Netherlands is the unofficial name used to refer to Kingdom of the Netherlands during the period after it was first created from part of the First French Empire and before the new kingdom of Belgium split out in 1830...

. The Congress of Vienna
Congress of Vienna
The Congress of Vienna was a conference of ambassadors of European states chaired by Klemens Wenzel von Metternich, and held in Vienna from September, 1814 to June, 1815. The objective of the Congress was to settle the many issues arising from the French Revolutionary Wars, the Napoleonic Wars,...

 formed Luxembourg as a Grand Duchy
Grand duchy
A grand duchy, sometimes referred to as a grand dukedom, is a territory whose head of state is a monarch, either a grand duke or grand duchess.Today Luxembourg is the only remaining grand duchy...

 in personal union with the Netherlands. Luxembourg also became a member of the German Confederation
German Confederation
The German Confederation was the loose association of Central European states created by the Congress of Vienna in 1815 to coordinate the economies of separate German-speaking countries. It acted as a buffer between the powerful states of Austria and Prussia...

, with a Confederate fortress manned by Prussian troops.

The Belgian Revolution
Belgian Revolution
The Belgian Revolution was the conflict which led to the secession of the Southern provinces from the United Kingdom of the Netherlands and established an independent Kingdom of Belgium....

 of 1830–1839 reduced Luxembourg's territory by more than half, as the predominantly francophone
Francophone
The adjective francophone means French-speaking, typically as primary language, whether referring to individuals, groups, or places. Often, the word is used as a noun to describe a natively French-speaking person....

 western part of the country
Luxembourg (Belgium)
Luxembourg is the southernmost province of Wallonia and of Belgium. It borders on the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg, France, and the Belgian provinces of Namur and Liège. Its capital is Arlon, in the south-east of the province.It has an area of 4,443 km², making it the largest Belgian province...

 was transferred to Belgium
Belgium
Belgium , officially the Kingdom of Belgium, is a federal state in Western Europe. It is a founding member of the European Union and hosts the EU's headquarters, and those of several other major international organisations such as NATO.Belgium is also a member of, or affiliated to, many...

. Luxembourg's independence was reaffirmed by the 1839 First Treaty of London
Treaty of London, 1839
The Treaty of London, also called the First Treaty of London or the Convention of 1839, was a treaty signed on 19 April 1839 between the European great powers, the United Kingdom of the Netherlands and the Kingdom of Belgium. It was the direct follow-up of the 1831 'Treaty of the XXIV Articles'...

. In the same year, Luxembourg joined the Zollverein
Zollverein
thumb|upright=1.2|The German Zollverein 1834–1919blue = Prussia in 1834 grey= Included region until 1866yellow= Excluded after 1866red = Borders of the German Union of 1828 pink= Relevant others until 1834...

. Luxembourg's independence and neutrality were again affirmed by the 1867 Second Treaty of London
Treaty of London, 1867
The Treaty of London , often called the Second Treaty of London after the 1839 Treaty, was an international treaty signed on 11 May 1867. Agreed in the aftermath of the Austro-Prussian War and the Luxembourg Crisis, it had wide-reaching consequences for Luxembourg and for relations between...

, after the Luxembourg Crisis
Luxembourg Crisis
The Luxembourg Crisis 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 the two parties, but was peacefully resolved by the Treaty of London....

 nearly led to war between Prussia and France. After the latter conflict, the Confederate fortress was dismantled.

The King of the Netherlands remained Head of State
Head of State
A head of state is the individual that serves as the chief public representative of a monarchy, republic, federation, commonwealth or other kind of state. His or her role generally includes legitimizing the state and exercising the political powers, functions, and duties granted to the head of...

 as Grand Duke of Luxembourg
Grand Duke of Luxembourg
The Grand Duke of Luxembourg is the sovereign monarch and head of state of Luxembourg. Luxembourg has been a grand duchy since 15 March 1815, when it was elevated from a duchy when placed in personal union with the United Kingdom of the Netherlands...

, maintaining personal union
Personal union
A personal union is the combination by which two or more different states have the same monarch while their boundaries, their laws and their interests remain distinct. It should not be confused with a federation which is internationally considered a single state...

 between the two countries until 1890. At the death of William III
William III of the Netherlands
William III was from 1849 King of the Netherlands and Grand Duke of Luxembourg until his death and the Duke of Limburg until the abolition of the Duchy in 1866.-Early life:William was born in Brussels as son of William II of the Netherlands and...

, the Dutch throne passed to his daughter Wilhelmina
Wilhelmina of the Netherlands
Wilhelmina was Queen regnant of the Kingdom of the Netherlands from 1890 to 1948. She ruled the Netherlands for fifty-eight years, longer than any other Dutch monarch. Her reign saw World War I and World War II, the economic crisis of 1933, and the decline of the Netherlands as a major colonial...

, while Luxembourg (at that time restricted to male heirs by the Nassau Family Pact
Nassau Family Pact
The Nassau Family Pact was a mutual pact of inheritance and succession made in 1783 by princes of the old German noble and sovereign family of Nassau. It confirmed Salic Law to operate in favor of all agnatic lines of the family, divided into first surviving lines which existed in the Middle Ages...

) passed to Adolph of Nassau-Weilburg
Adolphe, Grand Duke of Luxembourg
Adolphe I, Grand Duke of Luxembourg was the last Duke of Nassau, and the fourth Grand Duke of Luxembourg.-Biography:...

.

During World War I
World War I
World War I , which was predominantly called the World War or the Great War from its occurrence until 1939, and the First World War or World War I thereafter, was a major war centred in Europe that began on 28 July 1914 and lasted until 11 November 1918...

 Luxembourg was invaded and occupied by Germany
German occupation of Luxembourg in World War I
The German occupation of Luxembourg in World War I was the first of two military occupations of the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg by Germany in the twentieth century. From August 1914 until the end of World War I in November 1918, Luxembourg was under full occupation by the German Empire...

, but was allowed to maintain its independence and political mechanisms.

During World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

, Luxembourg was unable to maintain its policy of neutrality
Neutral country
A neutral power in a particular war is a sovereign state which declares itself to be neutral towards the belligerents. A non-belligerent state does not need to be neutral. The rights and duties of a neutral power are defined in Sections 5 and 13 of the Hague Convention of 1907...

 when in 1940 Nazi Germany
Nazi Germany
Nazi Germany , also known as the Third Reich , but officially called German Reich from 1933 to 1943 and Greater German Reich from 26 June 1943 onward, is the name commonly used to refer to the state of Germany from 1933 to 1945, when it was a totalitarian dictatorship ruled by...

 invaded and occupied the country
German occupation of Luxembourg in World War II
The German occupation of Luxembourg in World War II was the period in the history of Luxembourg after it was used as a transit territory to attack France by outflanking the Maginot Line. Plans for the attack had been prepared by 9 October 1939, but execution was postponed several times...

, due to its strategic location on the invasion route into France. In contrast to the First World War experience, Luxembourg was treated as a Germanic territory and informally annexed to an adjacent province of the Third Reich in 1940. A government in exile
Government in exile
A government in exile is a political group that claims to be a country's legitimate government, but for various reasons is unable to exercise its legal power, and instead resides in a foreign country. Governments in exile usually operate under the assumption that they will one day return to their...

 based in London
London
London is the capital city of :England and the :United Kingdom, the largest metropolitan area in the United Kingdom, and the largest urban zone in the European Union by most measures. Located on the River Thames, London has been a major settlement for two millennia, its history going back to its...

 fought alongside the Allies
Allies of World War II
The Allies of World War II were the countries that opposed the Axis powers during the Second World War . Former Axis states contributing to the Allied victory are not considered Allied states...

, sending a small group of volunteers who participated in the Normandy invasion. Luxembourg was liberated in September 1944. It became a founding member of the United Nations
United Nations
The United Nations is an international organization whose stated aims are facilitating cooperation in international law, international security, economic development, social progress, human rights, and achievement of world peace...

 in 1946, and of NATO in 1949.

In 1957, Luxembourg became one of the six founding countries of the European Economic Community (later the European Union
European Union
The European Union is an economic and political union of 27 independent member states which are located primarily in Europe. The EU traces its origins from the European Coal and Steel Community and the European Economic Community , formed by six countries in 1958...

), and, in 1999, it joined the euro
Euro
The euro is the official currency of the eurozone: 17 of the 27 member states of the European Union. It is also the currency used by the Institutions of the European Union. The eurozone consists of Austria, Belgium, Cyprus, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg,...

 currency era. In 2005, a referendum on the EU treaty establishing a constitution for Europe was held in Luxembourg.

Politics



Luxembourg is a parliamentary, democracy headed by a constitutional monarch. Under the constitution of 1868, executive power is exercised by the Grand Duke
Grand Duke of Luxembourg
The Grand Duke of Luxembourg is the sovereign monarch and head of state of Luxembourg. Luxembourg has been a grand duchy since 15 March 1815, when it was elevated from a duchy when placed in personal union with the United Kingdom of the Netherlands...

 and the cabinet
Cabinet (government)
A Cabinet is a body of high ranking government officials, typically representing the executive branch. It can also sometimes be referred to as the Council of Ministers, an Executive Council, or an Executive Committee.- Overview :...

, which consists of several other ministers. The Governor has the power to dissolve the legislature
Legislature
A legislature is a kind of deliberative assembly with the power to pass, amend, and repeal laws. The law created by a legislature is called legislation or statutory law. In addition to enacting laws, legislatures usually have exclusive authority to raise or lower taxes and adopt the budget and...

 and reinstate a new one, as long as the Grand Duke has judicial approval. However, since 1919, sovereignty has resided with the Supreme Court
Supreme court
A supreme court is the highest court within the hierarchy of many legal jurisdictions. Other descriptions for such courts include court of last resort, instance court, judgment court, high court, or apex court...

.

Legislative power is vested in the Chamber of Deputies
Chamber of Deputies of Luxembourg
The Chamber of Deputies , abbreviated to the Chamber, is the unicameral national legislature of Luxembourg. 'Krautmaart' is sometimes used as a metonym for the Chamber, after the square on which the Hôtel de la Chambre is located....

, a unicameral legislature of sixty members, who are directly elected to five-year terms from four constituencies
Legislative circonscriptions (Luxembourg)
A legislative circonscription is a multi-member electoral constituency that elects representatives to Luxembourg's unicameral national legislature, the Chamber of Deputies....

. A second body, the Council of State
Council of State of Luxembourg
The Council of State is an institution in Luxembourg that advises the national legislature, the Chamber of Deputies. Until 1 January 1997, it was also the country's supreme administrative court, but this function was ceded to the newly created Administrative Tribunal and Administrative Court.The...

 (Conseil d'État), composed of twenty-one ordinary citizens appointed by the Grand Duke, advises the Chamber of Deputies in the drafting of legislation.

The Grand Duchy has three lower tribunals (justices de paix; in Esch-sur-Alzette
Esch-sur-Alzette
Esch-sur-Alzette is a commune with city status, in south-western Luxembourg. It is the country's second city, and its second-most populous commune, with a population of 29,853 people...

, the city of Luxembourg
Luxembourg (city)
The city of Luxembourg , also known as Luxembourg City , is a commune with city status, and the capital of the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg. It is located at the confluence of the Alzette and Pétrusse Rivers in southern Luxembourg...

, and Diekirch
Diekirch
Diekirch is a commune with city status in north-eastern Luxembourg, capital city of the canton Diekirch and the district of Diekirch. The city is situated on the banks of the Sauer river....

), 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 3 districts
Districts of Luxembourg
The three districts of Luxembourg are the top-level administrative divisions of the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg. The districts are further subdivided into cantons:#Diekirch District#*Diekirch#*Clervaux#*Redange#*Vianden#*Wiltz#Grevenmacher District...

, which are further divided into 12 cantons
Cantons of Luxembourg
||The districts of Luxembourg are divided into 12 cantons. These cantons are subdivided into 116 communes. The cantons, listed by district, include:Diekirch District*Clervaux *Diekirch *Redange *Vianden *Wiltz Grevenmacher District...

 and then 116 communes
Communes of Luxembourg
The communes of Luxembourg are the lowest nation-wide administrative division in Luxembourg. They conform to LAU level 2.Within the hierarchy of administrative subdivisions, communes come directly below cantons, which are directly below districts. Communes are often re-arranged, being merged or...

. Twelve of the communes have city status, of which the city of Luxembourg
Luxembourg (city)
The city of Luxembourg , also known as Luxembourg City , is a commune with city status, and the capital of the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg. It is located at the confluence of the Alzette and Pétrusse Rivers in southern Luxembourg...

 is the largest.

The districts are Diekirch, Grevenmacher, and Luxembourg.

Foreign relations


Luxembourg has long been a prominent supporter of Europe
Europe
Europe is, by convention, one of the world's seven continents. Comprising the westernmost peninsula of Eurasia, Europe is generally 'divided' from Asia to its east by the watershed divides of the Ural and Caucasus Mountains, the Ural River, the Caspian and Black Seas, and the waterways connecting...

an political and economic integration
Economic integration
Economic integration refers to trade unification between different states by the partial or full abolishing of customs tariffs on trade taking place within the borders of each state...

. In efforts foreshadowing European integration, Luxembourg and Belgium
Belgium
Belgium , officially the Kingdom of Belgium, is a federal state in Western Europe. It is a founding member of the European Union and hosts the EU's headquarters, and those of several other major international organisations such as NATO.Belgium is also a member of, or affiliated to, many...

 in 1921 formed the Belgium-Luxembourg Economic Union
Belgium-Luxembourg Economic Union
The Belgium–Luxembourg Economic Union , abbreviated to BLEU or UEBL, is an economic and monetary union between Belgium and Luxembourg, two countries in the Benelux economic union....

 (BLEU) to create an inter-exchangeable currency
Currency
In economics, currency refers to a generally accepted medium of exchange. These are usually the coins and banknotes of a particular government, which comprise the physical aspects of a nation's money supply...

 and a common customs regime. Luxembourg is a member of the Benelux Economic Union and was one of the founding members of the European Economic Community
European Economic Community
The European Economic Community The European Economic Community (EEC) The European Economic Community (EEC) (also known as the Common Market in the English-speaking world, renamed the European Community (EC) in 1993The information in this article primarily covers the EEC's time as an independent...

 (now the European Union
European Union
The European Union is an economic and political union of 27 independent member states which are located primarily in Europe. The EU traces its origins from the European Coal and Steel Community and the European Economic Community , formed by six countries in 1958...

). It also participates in the Schengen Group
Schengen Agreement
The Schengen Agreement is a treaty signed on 14 June 1985 near the town of Schengen in Luxembourg, between five of the ten member states of the European Economic Community. It was supplemented by the Convention implementing the Schengen Agreement 5 years later...

 (named after the Luxembourg village of Schengen where the agreements were signed), whose goal is the free movement of citizens among member states. 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, pro-US foreign policy.

Luxembourg is the site of the European Court of Justice
European Court of Justice
The Court can sit in plenary session, as a Grand Chamber of 13 judges, or in chambers of three or five judges. Plenary sitting are now very rare, and the court mostly sits in chambers of three or five judges...

, the European Court of Auditors
European Court of Auditors
The Court of Auditors is the fifth institution of the European Union . It was established in 1975 in Luxembourg to audit the accounts of EU institutions...

, the Statistical Office of the European Communities ("Eurostat
Eurostat
Eurostat is a Directorate-General of the European Commission located in Luxembourg. Its main responsibilities are to provide the European Union with statistical information at European level and to promote the integration of statistical methods across the Member States of the European Union,...

") and other vital EU
European Union
The European Union is an economic and political union of 27 independent member states which are located primarily in Europe. The EU traces its origins from the European Coal and Steel Community and the European Economic Community , formed by six countries in 1958...

 organs. The Secretariat of the European Parliament
Secretariat of the European Parliament
The secretariat of the European Parliament is the administrative body of the European Parliament headed by a Secretary-General. It is based in the Kirchberg district of Luxembourg and around the Brussels-Luxembourg Station in Brussels and employs 4000 officials.-Secretary-General:The Secretary...

 is located in Luxembourg, but the Parliament usually meets in nearby Strasbourg
Strasbourg
Strasbourg is the capital and principal city of the Alsace region in eastern France and is the official seat of the European Parliament. Located close to the border with Germany, it is the capital of the Bas-Rhin département. The city and the region of Alsace are historically German-speaking,...

.

Military



The contribution Luxembourg makes to its defense and to NATO consists of a small army
Army
An army An army An army (from Latin arma "arms, weapons" via Old French armée, "armed" (feminine), in the broadest sense, is the land-based military of a nation or state. It may also include other branches of the military such as the air force via means of aviation corps...

 (currently consisting of around 800 people). As a landlocked country, it has no navy
Navy
A navy is the branch of a nation's armed forces principally designated for naval and amphibious warfare; namely, lake- or ocean-borne combat operations and related functions...

.

Luxembourg also lacks an air force
Air force
An air force, also known in some countries as an air army, is in the broadest sense, the national military organization that primarily conducts aerial warfare. More specifically, it is the branch of a nation's armed services that is responsible for aerial warfare as distinct from an army, navy or...

, though the seventeen NATO AWACS
Airborne Warning And Control System
Airborne Warning and Control System, or AWACS, may refer to:* E-3 Sentry, the aircraft developed under the USAF's "Airborne Warning and Control System" program...

 aeroplanes are for convenience registered as aircraft of Luxembourg. In accordance with a joint agreement with Belgium
Belgium
Belgium , officially the Kingdom of Belgium, is a federal state in Western Europe. It is a founding member of the European Union and hosts the EU's headquarters, and those of several other major international organisations such as NATO.Belgium is also a member of, or affiliated to, many...

, both countries have put forth funding for one A400M
Airbus A400M
The Airbus A400M, also known as the Atlas, is a multi-national four-engine turboprop military transport aircraft. It was designed by Airbus Military as a tactical airlifter with strategic capabilities. The aircraft's maiden flight, originally planned for 2008, took place on 11 December 2009 in...

 military cargo plane, currently on order. Luxembourg still jointly maintains three NATO Boeing 707
Boeing 707
The Boeing 707 is a four-engine narrow-body commercial passenger jet airliner developed by Boeing in the early 1950s. Its name is most commonly pronounced as "Seven Oh Seven". The first airline to operate the 707 was Pan American World Airways, inaugurating the type's first commercial flight on...

 model TCAs (for cargo and training purposes) based at NATO Air Base Geilenkirchen
NATO Air Base Geilenkirchen
NATO Air Base Geilenkirchen is located near Geilenkirchen, Germany. It is the Main Operating Base of the NATO E-3A Component, one of two operational elements of the NATO Airborne Early Warning & Control Force.- Location and history :...

.

Geography




Luxembourg is one of the smallest countries in Europe
Europe
Europe is, by convention, one of the world's seven continents. Comprising the westernmost peninsula of Eurasia, Europe is generally 'divided' from Asia to its east by the watershed divides of the Ural and Caucasus Mountains, the Ural River, the Caspian and Black Seas, and the waterways connecting...

, and ranked 170th in size of all the 194 independent countries of the world; the country is about 2586 square kilometres (998.5 sq mi) in size, and measures 82 km (51 mi) long and 57 km (35.4 mi) wide. It lies between latitudes 49°
49th parallel north
The 49th parallel north is a circle of latitude that is 49 degrees north of the Earth's equatorial plane. It crosses Europe, Asia, the Pacific Ocean, North America, and the Atlantic Ocean....

 and 51° N
51st parallel north
The 51st parallel north is a circle of latitude that is 51 degrees north of the Earth's equatorial plane. It crosses Europe, Asia, the Pacific Ocean, North America, and the Atlantic Ocean....

, and longitudes
5th meridian east
The meridian 5° east of Greenwich is a line of longitude that extends from the North Pole across the Arctic Ocean, Europe, Africa, the Atlantic Ocean, the Southern Ocean, and Antarctica to the South Pole....

 and 7° E
7th meridian east
The meridian 7° east of Greenwich is a line of longitude that extends from the North Pole across the Arctic Ocean, Europe, Africa, the Atlantic Ocean, the Southern Ocean, and Antarctica to the South Pole....

.

To the east, Luxembourg borders the German
Germany
Germany , officially the Federal Republic of Germany , is a federal parliamentary republic in Europe. The country consists of 16 states while the capital and largest city is Berlin. Germany covers an area of 357,021 km2 and has a largely temperate seasonal climate...

 Bundesländer
States of Germany
Germany is made up of sixteen which are partly sovereign constituent states of the Federal Republic of Germany. Land literally translates as "country", and constitutionally speaking, they are constituent countries...

of Rhineland-Palatinate
Rhineland-Palatinate
Rhineland-Palatinate is one of the 16 states of the Federal Republic of Germany. It has an area of and about four million inhabitants. The capital is Mainz. English speakers also commonly refer to the state by its German name, Rheinland-Pfalz ....

 and Saarland
Saarland
Saarland is one of the sixteen states of Germany. The capital is Saarbrücken. It has an area of 2570 km² and 1,045,000 inhabitants. In both area and population, it is the smallest state in Germany other than the city-states...

, and, to the south, it borders the French
France
The French Republic , The French Republic , The French Republic , (commonly known as France , is a unitary semi-presidential republic in Western Europe with several overseas territories and islands located on other continents and in the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic oceans. Metropolitan France...

 région of Lorraine
Lorraine (région)
Lorraine is one of the 27 régions of France. The administrative region has two cities of equal importance, Metz and Nancy. Metz is considered to be the official capital since that is where the regional parliament is situated...

. The Grand Duchy borders the Belgian
Belgium
Belgium , officially the Kingdom of Belgium, is a federal state in Western Europe. It is a founding member of the European Union and hosts the EU's headquarters, and those of several other major international organisations such as NATO.Belgium is also a member of, or affiliated to, many...

 Walloon Region, in particular the latter's provinces of Luxembourg
Luxembourg (Belgium)
Luxembourg is the southernmost province of Wallonia and of Belgium. It borders on the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg, France, and the Belgian provinces of Namur and Liège. Its capital is Arlon, in the south-east of the province.It has an area of 4,443 km², making it the largest Belgian province...

 and Liège
Liège (province)
Liège is the easternmost province of Belgium and belongs to the Walloon Region. It is an area of French and German ethnicity. It borders on the Netherlands, Germany, Luxembourg, and in Belgium the provinces of Luxembourg, Namur, Walloon Brabant , and those of Flemish Brabant and Limburg . Its...

, part of which comprises the German-speaking Community of Belgium
German-speaking Community of Belgium
The German-speaking Community of Belgium is one of the three federal communities of Belgium. Covering an area of 854 km² within the province of Liège in Wallonia, it includes nine of the eleven municipalities of the so-called East Cantons...

, to the west and to the north respectively.

The northern third of the country is known as the 'Oesling
Oesling
The Oesling or Ösling is a region covering the northern part of the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg, within the greater Ardennes area that also covers parts of Belgium and France...

', and forms part of the Ardennes
Ardennes
The Ardennes is a region of extensive forests, rolling hills and ridges formed within the Givetian Ardennes mountain range, primarily in Belgium and Luxembourg, but stretching into France , and geologically into the Eifel...

. It is dominated by hills and low mountains, including the Kneiff
Kneiff
Kneiff is a hill in the commune of Troisvierges, in northern Luxembourg, near the tripoint shared with Belgium and Germany. At 560 metres, it is the highest point in the country; it is 1 m taller than Buurgplaatz, which is often erroneously considered Luxembourg's highest point. It lies close to...

 near Wilwerdange, which is the highest point, at 560 metres (1,837 ft). Other mountains are the 'Buurgplaaz' at 559 metres near Huldange and the 'Napoléonsgaard' at 548 metres near Rambrouch. The region is sparsely populated, with only one town (Wiltz
Wiltz
Wiltz is a commune with city status in north-western Luxembourg, capital of the canton Wiltz. Wiltz is situated on the banks of the river Wiltz. It was also a battleground in the Battle of the Bulge, near the end of World War II...

) with a population of more than four thousand people.
The southern two-thirds of the country is called the "Gutland
Gutland (Luxembourg)
Gutland is a region covering the southern and central parts of the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg. Gutland covers 68% of the territory of Luxembourg; to the north of Gutland lies the Oesling, which covers the remaining 32% of the Grand Duchy....

", 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
Luxembourg plateau
The Luxembourg plateau is a large Early Jurassic sandstone plateau in south-central Luxembourg. Lying mostly between and , it is the dominant part of the Gutland region....

, in south-central Luxembourg, is a large, flat, sandstone
Sandstone
Sandstone is a sedimentary rock composed mainly of sand-sized minerals or rock grains.Most sandstone is composed of quartz and/or feldspar because these are the most common minerals in the Earth's crust. Like sand, sandstone may be any colour, but the most common colours are tan, brown, yellow,...

 formation, and the site of the city of Luxembourg. Little Switzerland
Little Switzerland (Luxembourg)
Little Switzerland is a nickname for a region in the east of Luxembourg, bestowed upon the region on account of its reputed geographic similarities to Switzerland. It is roughly contiguous with the canton of Echternach...

, 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
Red Lands
The Red Lands form a geographic region in southern and south-western Luxembourg. They are called this way for their red iron-laden earth.The Red Lands roughly correspond with the southern part of the canton of Esch-sur-Alzette, along the border with France...

, 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 river
River
A river is a natural watercourse, usually freshwater, flowing towards an ocean, a lake, a sea, or another river. In a few cases, a river simply flows into the ground or dries up completely before reaching another body of water. Small rivers may also be called by several other names, including...

s: the Moselle, the Sauer
Sauer
The Sauer or Sûre is a river in Belgium, Luxembourg and Germany. A left tributary of the river Moselle, its total length is 173 km....

, and the Our
Our River
The Our is a river of Belgium, Luxembourg and Germany. It is a left tributary to the river Sauer/Sûre. Its total length is 78 km....

. Other major rivers are the Alzette
Alzette
The Alzette is a river with a length of 73 kilometers in France and Luxembourg. It is a right tributary of the Sauer.It rises in Thil near the town Villerupt in the Meurthe-et-Moselle département, France. It crosses the border with Luxembourg after a few kilometres. In Lameschmillen it is joined...

, the Attert
Attert River
The Attert is a river flowing through Belgium and Luxembourg, left tributary of the Alzette. Its length is 38 km, of which 32 km are in Luxembourg, and 6 km in Belgium. Its source is in Nobressart, north-west of Arlon, in the Belgian province Luxembourg. It flows into the river...

, the Clerve
Clerve
The Clerve is a river flowing through Luxembourg, joining the Wiltz at Kautenbach. It flows through both the towns of Troisvierges and the town of Clervaux. Upstream of Clervaux, it is known as the Woltz.- References :...

, and the Wiltz
Wiltz River
The Wiltz is a river flowing through Belgium and Luxembourg, joining the Sauer at Goebelsmuhle. The Clerve is a tributary of the Wiltz.-External links:...

. The valley
Valley
In geology, a valley or dale is a depression with predominant extent in one direction. A very deep river valley may be called a canyon or gorge.The terms U-shaped and V-shaped are descriptive terms of geography to characterize the form of valleys...

s of the mid-Sauer and Attert form the border between the Gutland
Gutland (Luxembourg)
Gutland is a region covering the southern and central parts of the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg. Gutland covers 68% of the territory of Luxembourg; to the north of Gutland lies the Oesling, which covers the remaining 32% of the Grand Duchy....

 and the Oesling
Oesling
The Oesling or Ösling is a region covering the northern part of the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg, within the greater Ardennes area that also covers parts of Belgium and France...

.

Climate


Luxembourg has an oceanic climate
Oceanic climate
An oceanic climate, also called marine west coast climate, maritime climate, Cascadian climate and British climate for Köppen climate classification Cfb and subtropical highland for Köppen Cfb or Cwb, is a type of climate typically found along the west coasts at the middle latitudes of some of the...

 (Köppen
Köppen climate classification
The Köppen climate classification is one of the most widely used climate classification systems. It was first published by Crimea German climatologist Wladimir Köppen in 1884, with several later modifications by Köppen himself, notably in 1918 and 1936...

: Cfb), marked by high precipitation
Precipitation (meteorology)
In meteorology, precipitation In meteorology, precipitation In meteorology, precipitation (also known as one of the classes of hydrometeors, which are atmospheric water phenomena is any product of the condensation of atmospheric water vapor that falls under gravity. The main forms of precipitation...

, particularly in late summer.

Economy



Luxembourg's stable, high-income economy
Economic system
An economic system is the combination of the various agencies, entities that provide the economic structure that defines the social community. These agencies are joined by lines of trade and exchange along which goods, money etc. are continuously flowing. An example of such a system for a closed...

 features moderate growth
Economic growth
In economics, economic growth is defined as the increasing capacity of the economy to satisfy the wants of goods and services of the members of society. Economic growth is enabled by increases in productivity, which lowers the inputs for a given amount of output. Lowered costs increase demand...

, low inflation
Inflation
In economics, inflation is a rise in the general level of prices of goods and services in an economy over a period of time.When the general price level rises, each unit of currency buys fewer goods and services. Consequently, inflation also reflects an erosion in the purchasing power of money – a...

, and low unemployment
Unemployment
Unemployment , as defined by the International Labour Organization, occurs when people are without jobs and they have actively sought work within the past four weeks...

.

The industrial sector, which was dominated until the 1960s by steel
Steel
Steel is an alloy that consists mostly of iron and has a carbon content between 0.2% and 2.1% by weight, depending on the grade. Carbon is the most common alloying material for iron, but various other alloying elements are used, such as manganese, chromium, vanadium, and tungsten...

, has diversified to include chemicals, rubber, and other products. During the past decades, growth in the financial
FINANCIAL
FINANCIAL is the weekly English-language newspaper with offices in Tbilisi, Georgia and Kiev, Ukraine. Published by Intelligence Group LLC, FINANCIAL is focused on opinion leaders and top business decision-makers; It's about world’s largest companies, investing, careers, and small business. It is...

 sector has more than compensated for the decline in steel. Services, especially banking and other financial export
Financial export
A financial export is a business service provided by a domestic firm to a foreign firm within the scope of financial services...

s, account for the majority of 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
Eurozone
The eurozone , officially called the euro area, is an economic and monetary union of seventeen European Union member states that have adopted the euro as their common currency and sole legal tender...

 and Europe's leading center for reinsurance companies. Moreover, the Luxembourgish government has tried to attract internet start-ups. Skype
Skype
Skype is a software application that allows users to make voice and video calls and chat over the Internet. Calls to other users within the Skype service are free, while calls to both traditional landline telephones and mobile phones can be made for a fee using a debit-based user account system...

 and eBay
EBay
eBay Inc. is an American internet consumer-to-consumer corporation that manages eBay.com, an online auction and shopping website in which people and businesses buy and sell a broad variety of goods and services worldwide...

 are two of the many internet companies that have shifted their regional headquarters to Luxembourg.

Concern about Luxembourg's banking secrecy laws, and its reputation as a tax haven
Tax haven
A tax haven is a state or a country or territory where certain taxes are levied at a low rate or not at all while offering due process, good governance and a low corruption rate....

, led in April 2009 to it being added to a "grey list" of nations with questionable banking arrangements by the G20. Luxembourg adapted some months later the OECD standards on exchange of information and moved 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 $4bn in secret accounts is in Luxembourg banks.

Agriculture
Agriculture
Agriculture is the cultivation of animals, plants, fungi and other life forms for food, fiber, and other products used to sustain life. Agriculture was the key implement in the rise of sedentary human civilization, whereby farming of domesticated species created food surpluses that nurtured the...

 is based on small, family-owned farms.

Luxembourg has especially close trade and financial ties to Belgium
Belgium
Belgium , officially the Kingdom of Belgium, is a federal state in Western Europe. It is a founding member of the European Union and hosts the EU's headquarters, and those of several other major international organisations such as NATO.Belgium is also a member of, or affiliated to, many...

 and the Netherlands
Netherlands
The Netherlands is a constituent country of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, located mainly in North-West Europe and with several islands in the Caribbean. Mainland Netherlands borders the North Sea to the north and west, Belgium to the south, and Germany to the east, and shares maritime borders...

 (see Benelux
Benelux
The Benelux is an economic union in Western Europe comprising three neighbouring countries, Belgium, the Netherlands, and Luxembourg. These countries are located in northwestern Europe between France and Germany...

), and as a member of the EU
European Union
The European Union is an economic and political union of 27 independent member states which are located primarily in Europe. The EU traces its origins from the European Coal and Steel Community and the European Economic Community , formed by six countries in 1958...

 it enjoys the advantages of the open European market
Market
A market is one of many varieties of systems, institutions, procedures, social relations and infrastructures whereby parties engage in exchange. While parties may exchange goods and services by barter, most markets rely on sellers offering their goods or services in exchange for money from buyers...

.

Luxembourg possesses the highest GDP per capita in the world (US$87,995 as of 2006), the 24th highest Human Development Index
Human Development Index
The Human Development Index is a composite statistic used to rank countries by level of "human development" and separate "very high human development", "high human development", "medium human development", and "low human development" countries...

, and the 4th highest rated in the quality of life index
Quality-of-life index
The Economist Intelligence Unit’s quality-of-life index is based on a unique methodology that links the results of subjective life-satisfaction surveys to the objective determinants of quality of life across countries...

. The GDP per capita number however is greatly inflated, as many people from Belgium, France, and Germany commute to Luxembourg for work.

As of March 2006, unemployment is 4.8% of the labor force.

In the fiscal year of 2005 and 2006, Luxembourg ran a budget deficit for the first time in many years, mostly because of slower international economic growth.

With $80 billion (November 2010), the country ranks twelfth in the world in holdings of U.S. Treasury securities. The ranking is however imperfect as some foreign owners entrust the safekeeping of their securities to institutions that are neither in the United States nor in the owner's country of residence.

Luxembourg is promoting economic relations with foreign firms and countries.

Transport



Luxembourg has efficient road, rail and air transport facilities and services. The road network has been significantly modernized in recent years with 147 km of motorways connecting the capital to adjacent countries. The advent of the high-speed TGV
TGV
The TGV is France's high-speed rail service, currently operated by SNCF Voyages, the long-distance rail branch of SNCF, the French national rail operator....

 link to Paris
Paris
Paris is the capital and largest city in France, situated on the river Seine, in northern France, at the heart of the Île-de-France region...

 has led to renovation of the city's railway station
Luxembourg railway station
Luxembourg railway station is the main railway station serving Luxembourg City, in southern Luxembourg. It is operated by Chemins de Fer Luxembourgeois, the state-owned railway company....

 while a new passenger terminal at Luxembourg Airport
Luxembourg-Findel International Airport
Findel Airport is the main airport in Luxembourg.It is Luxembourg's only international airport and is the only airport in the country with a paved runway. It is located away from Luxembourg City....

 has recently been opened. There are plans to introduce tram
Tram
A tram is a passenger rail vehicle which runs on tracks along public urban streets and also sometimes on separate rights of way. It may also run between cities and/or towns , and/or partially grade separated even in the cities...

s in the capital and light-rail lines in adjacent areas within the next few years.

The number of cars per 1000 persons amount to 680.1 in Luxembourg—within eurozone only British overseas territory Gibraltar
Gibraltar
Gibraltar is a British overseas territory located on the southern end of the Iberian Peninsula at the entrance of the Mediterranean. A peninsula with an area of , it has a northern border with Andalusia, Spain. The Rock of Gibraltar is the major landmark of the region...

 and the Principality of Monaco
Monaco
Monaco , officially the Principality of Monaco , is a sovereign city state on the French Riviera. It is bordered on three sides by its neighbour, France, and its centre is about from Italy. Its area is with a population of 35,986 as of 2011 and is the most densely populated country in the...

 score higher in this respect.

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 2005 which transposes the European Telecom Directives into Luxembourgean 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 fibre and cable networks throughout the country.
With its central position in Europe, stable economy and low taxes, Luxembourg is an ideal gateway to the European telecommunication markets.

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
University of Oxford
The University of Oxford is a university located in Oxford, United Kingdom. It is the second-oldest surviving university in the world and the oldest in the English-speaking world. Although its exact date of foundation is unclear, there is evidence of teaching as far back as 1096...

 and the University of Oviedo
University of Oviedo
The University of Oviedo is a public university in Asturias . It's the only university in the region. It has three campus and research centres, located in Oviedo, Gijón and Mieres.-History:...

.

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.

Several providers interconnect Luxembourg to the major European data hubs
  • Teralink (P&TLuxembourg
    P&TLuxembourg
    Entreprise des Postes et Télécommunications, branded as P&T Luxembourg and abbreviated to P&T, is a mail and telecommunications government-owned corporation based in Luxembourg...

    , also called EPT Luxembourg: incumbent operator)
  • LuxConnect
    LuxConnect
    LuxConnect is a public agency of the Luxembourg government. Its primary objective is the improvement of international Internet connectivity of Luxembourg through connections with foreign Internet exchange points....

     (shareholder : Government) LuxConnect tested in June 2011 the 100G coherent transmission of data signals between Luxembourg and Amsterdam.
  • Artelis/Cegecom (alternative telecommunications provider in Luxembourg and Saarland)
  • Satellite connectivity – Teleports (SES), Broadcasting Center Europe and P&T Luxembourg-Uplink Cloche d'Or.


Luxembourg is connected through an optical DWDM network, called Teralink to several Tier 1 upstream providers like Level3 and Global Crossing. Teralink offers connectivities up to 100 Gbit/s. P&TLuxembourg has established in 2011 a coherent 100Gbit/s IP connection between Frankfurt and Luxembourg with live traffic.

The Internet IPV6 protocol has been introduced to the country by Restena and P&T Luxembourg.

Luxembourg has two Internet exchange point
Internet Exchange Point
An Internet exchange point is a physical infrastructure through which Internet service providers exchange Internet traffic between their networks . IXPs reduce the portion of an ISP's traffic which must be delivered via their upstream transit providers, thereby reducing the average per-bit...

s and one Carrier Ethernet Exchange
Ethernet Exchange
Ethernet Exchange is a physical network infrastructure through which Ethernet service providers, carriers and Internet service providers exchange Ethernet traffic between their networks...

 points.
  • LIX is a neutral Internet exchange operated by the RESTENA Foundation. Its aim is to easily interconnect the different Internet Service Providers (ISPs) within Luxembourg.
  • LUX-CIX is Luxembourg's neutral and commercial Internet Exchange Point which was founded in 2009 by Cegecom, Datacenter Luxembourg, Global Media Systems, INEXIO, LuxConnect, P&T Luxemboug and Root eSolutions. It offers a short, fast and efficient route to the major European Internet networks.
  • LEX is the Luxembourg Ethernet Exchange located in the Tier IV certified ebrc datacenter

The online portal De Guichet of the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg is a single one-stop online shop for citizens and companies to realize different sorts of administrative steps (procedures, online forms, downloadable forms and advices) by Internet.

PSA Peugeot Citroën, with P&T Luxembourg as its partner, has introduced an integrated mobile telecommunication solution for the development of its telematic services in Europe.

Datacenters


More than 17 data centers are operating in Luxembourg. The number is constantly growing. Two of the ebrc data centers are Tier IV classified & certificated.

Ethnicity


The people of Luxembourg are called Luxembourgers. The immigrant population increased in the twentieth century due to the arrival of immigrants from Belgium
Belgium
Belgium , officially the Kingdom of Belgium, is a federal state in Western Europe. It is a founding member of the European Union and hosts the EU's headquarters, and those of several other major international organisations such as NATO.Belgium is also a member of, or affiliated to, many...

, France
France
The French Republic , The French Republic , The French Republic , (commonly known as France , is a unitary semi-presidential republic in Western Europe with several overseas territories and islands located on other continents and in the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic oceans. Metropolitan France...

, Italy
Italy
Italy , officially the Italian Republic languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Italy's official name is as follows:;;;;;;;;), is a unitary parliamentary republic in South-Central Europe. To the north it borders France, Switzerland, Austria and...

, Germany
Germany
Germany , officially the Federal Republic of Germany , is a federal parliamentary republic in Europe. The country consists of 16 states while the capital and largest city is Berlin. Germany covers an area of 357,021 km2 and has a largely temperate seasonal climate...

, and Portugal
Portugal
Portugal , officially the Portuguese Republic is a country situated in southwestern Europe on the Iberian Peninsula. Portugal is the westernmost country of Europe, and is bordered by the Atlantic Ocean to the West and South and by Spain to the North and East. The Atlantic archipelagos of the...

, with the majority coming from this latter. In the 2001 census, there were 58,657 inhabitants with Portuguese
Portuguese Luxembourger
A Portuguese Luxembourger or Lusoburguês is a person in Luxembourg that either was born in Portugal or is of Portuguese ancestry. Although estimates of the total Portuguese Luxembourg population vary, there are 59,000 people in Luxembourg with Portuguese nationality...

 nationality.

Since the beginning of the Yugoslav wars
Yugoslav wars
The Yugoslav Wars were a series of wars, fought throughout the former Yugoslavia between 1991 and 1995. The wars were complex: characterized by bitter ethnic conflicts among the peoples of the former Yugoslavia, mostly between Serbs on the one side and Croats and Bosniaks on the other; but also...

, Luxembourg has seen many immigrants from Bosnia and Herzegovina
Bosnia and Herzegovina
Bosnia and Herzegovina , sometimes called Bosnia-Herzegovina or simply Bosnia, is a country in Southern Europe, on the Balkan Peninsula. Bordered by Croatia to the north, west and south, Serbia to the east, and Montenegro to the southeast, Bosnia and Herzegovina is almost landlocked, except for the...

, Montenegro
Montenegro
Montenegro Montenegrin: Crna Gora Црна Гора , meaning "Black Mountain") is a country located in Southeastern Europe. It has a coast on the Adriatic Sea to the south-west and is bordered by Croatia to the west, Bosnia and Herzegovina to the northwest, Serbia to the northeast and Albania to the...

, and Serbia
Serbia
Serbia , officially the Republic of Serbia , is a landlocked country located at the crossroads of Central and Southeast Europe, covering the southern part of the Carpathian basin and the central part of the Balkans...

. Annually, over 10,000 new immigrants arrive in Luxembourg, mostly from the EU
European Union
The European Union is an economic and political union of 27 independent member states which are located primarily in Europe. The EU traces its origins from the European Coal and Steel Community and the European Economic Community , formed by six countries in 1958...

 states, as well and Eastern Europe. As of 2000, there were 162,000 immigrants in Luxembourg, accounting for 37% of the total population. There were an estimated 5,000 illegal immigrants, including asylum seekers, in Luxembourg as of 1999.

Language


Three languages are recognised as official in Luxembourg: French
French language
French is a Romance language spoken as a first language in France, the Romandy region in Switzerland, Wallonia and Brussels in Belgium, Monaco, the regions of Quebec and Acadia in Canada, and by various communities elsewhere. Second-language speakers of French are distributed throughout many parts...

, German
German language
German is a West Germanic language, related to and classified alongside English and Dutch. With an estimated 90 – 98 million native speakers, German is one of the world's major languages and is the most widely-spoken first language in the European Union....

, and Luxembourgish
Luxembourgish language
Luxembourgish is a High German language spoken mainly in Luxembourg. About 320,000 people worldwide speak Luxembourgish.-Language family:...

, a Franconian
Franconian languages
Franconian refers to a West Germanic dialect continuum spoken in the Rhineland, including Dutch at one end and all the transitional dialects between Dutch and standard German which do not fully participate in the High German consonant shift or German diphthongization of long vowels...

 language of the Moselle region that is also spoken in neighbouring parts of France and Germany. Though Luxembourgish is part of the West Central German group of High German languages, more than 5,000 words in the Luxembourgish have their origin in the French language. The first printed sentences in Luxembourgish were released by the weekly journal the 'Luxemburger Wochenblatt' in the second edition of the 14. April 1821.

Apart from being one of the three official languages, Luxembourgish is also considered the national language
National language
A national language is a language which has some connection—de facto or de jure—with a people and perhaps by extension the territory they occupy. The term is used variously. A national language may for instance represent the national identity of a nation or country...

 of the Grand Duchy; it is the mother tongue or "language of the heart" for nearly all Luxembourgers.

Each of the three languages is used as the primary language in certain spheres. Luxembourgish is the language that Luxembourgers generally use to speak to each other, but it is not often used as the written language. Since the 1980s, an increasing number of novels have however been written in Luxembourgish. Most official (written) business is carried out in French. German is usually the first language taught in school and is the language of much of the media
Mass media
Mass media refers collectively to all media technologies which are intended to reach a large audience via mass communication. Broadcast media transmit their information electronically and comprise of television, film and radio, movies, CDs, DVDs and some other gadgets like cameras or video consoles...

 and of the church
Roman Catholic Church
The Catholic Church, also known as the Roman Catholic Church, is the world's largest Christian church, with over a billion members. Led by the Pope, it defines its mission as spreading the gospel of Jesus Christ, administering the sacraments and exercising charity...

.

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. However, as proficiency in all three languages is required for graduation from secondary school, half the students leave school without a certified qualification, with the children of immigrants being particularly disadvantaged.

In addition to the three official languages, English
English language
English is a West Germanic language that arose in the Anglo-Saxon kingdoms of England and spread into what was to become south-east Scotland under the influence of the Anglian medieval kingdom of Northumbria...

 is taught in the compulsory schooling and much of the population of Luxembourg can speak English, at any rate in Luxembourg City. Portuguese
Portuguese language
Portuguese is a Romance language that arose in the medieval Kingdom of Galicia, nowadays Galicia and Northern Portugal. The southern part of the Kingdom of Galicia became independent as the County of Portugal in 1095...

, the language of the largest immigrant community, is also spoken by large parts of the population, but by relatively few from outside their community.

Religion


Luxembourg is a secular state
Secular state
A secular state is a concept of secularism, whereby a state or country purports to be officially neutral in matters of religion, supporting neither religion nor irreligion. A secular state also claims to treat all its citizens equally regardless of religion, and claims to avoid preferential...

, but the state recognises 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. Currently, religions covered by such arrangements are Roman Catholicism, Judaism
Judaism
Judaism ) is the "religion, philosophy, and way of life" of the Jewish people...

, Greek Orthodoxy, Anglicanism
Anglicanism
Anglicanism is a tradition within Christianity comprising churches with historical connections to the Church of England or similar beliefs, worship and church structures. The word Anglican originates in ecclesia anglicana, a medieval Latin phrase dating to at least 1246 that means the English...

, Russian Orthodoxy
Russian Orthodox Church
The Russian Orthodox Church or, alternatively, the Moscow Patriarchate The ROC is often said to be the largest of the Eastern Orthodox churches in the world; including all the autocephalous churches under its umbrella, its adherents number over 150 million worldwide—about half of the 300 million...

, Lutheranism
Lutheranism
Lutheranism is a major branch of Western Christianity that identifies with the theology of Martin Luther, a German reformer. Luther's efforts to reform the theology and practice of the church launched the Protestant Reformation...

, Mennonitism and Islam
Islam
Islam . The most common are and .   : Arabic pronunciation varies regionally. The first vowel ranges from ~~. The second vowel ranges from ~~~...

.

Since 1980 it has been illegal for the government to collect statistics on religious beliefs or practices. An outdated estimation by the CIA Factbook
The World Factbook
The World Factbook is a reference resource produced by the Central Intelligence Agency of the United States with almanac-style information about the countries of the world. The official paper copy version is available from the National Technical Information Service and the Government Printing Office...

 for the year 2000 is that 87% of Luxembourgers are Catholics, including the royal family, the remaining 13% being made up of Muslims
Islam
Islam . The most common are and .   : Arabic pronunciation varies regionally. The first vowel ranges from ~~. The second vowel ranges from ~~~...

, Protestants
Protestantism
Protestantism is one of the three major groupings within Christianity. It is a movement that began in Germany in the early 16th century as a reaction against medieval Roman Catholic doctrines and practices, especially in regards to salvation, justification, and ecclesiology.The doctrines of the...

, Orthodox Christians
Eastern Orthodox Church
The Orthodox Church, officially called the Orthodox Catholic Church and commonly referred to as the Eastern Orthodox Church, is the second largest Christian denomination in the world, with an estimated 300 million adherents mainly in the countries of Belarus, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Georgia, Greece,...

, Jews
Judaism
Judaism ) is the "religion, philosophy, and way of life" of the Jewish people...

, and those of other or no religion
Irreligion
Irreligion is defined as an absence of religion or an indifference towards religion. Sometimes it may also be defined more narrowly as hostility towards religion. When characterized as hostility to religion, it includes antitheism, anticlericalism and antireligion. When characterized as...

.

According to a 2005 Eurobarometer poll
Eurobarometer
Eurobarometer is a series of surveys regularly performed on behalf of the European Commission since 1973. It produces reports of public opinion of certain issues relating to the European Union across the member states...

, 44% of Luxembourg citizens responded that "they believe there is a God
God
God is the English name given to a singular being in theistic and deistic religions who is either the sole deity in monotheism, or a single deity in polytheism....

", 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".

Health


Luxembourg sells the most alcohol in Europe per capita. However, the large proportion of alcohol purchased by customers from neighbouring 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.

Culture



Luxembourg has been overshadowed by the culture of its neighbours, although, having been for much of its history a profoundly rural country, it retains a number of folk traditions. There are several notable museums, mostly located in the capital; these include the National Museum of History and Art
National Museum of History and Art
The National Museum of History and Art , abbreviated to MNHA, is a museum located in Luxembourg City, in southern Luxembourg. It is dedicated to displaying artworks and artefacts from all epochs of Luxembourgian history...

 (MNHA), the Luxembourg City History Museum
Luxembourg City History Museum
The Luxembourg City History Museum, , 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 Luxembourg architect Conny Lentz and Repérages, Paris....

, and the new Grand Duke Jean Museum of Modern Art (Mudam). The National Museum of Military History (MNHM)
National Museum of Military History (Luxembourg)
The National Museum of Military History , abbreviated to NMMH, is a national museum in Diekirch, in north-eastern Luxembourg, that includes amongst its exhibits military vehicles and weaponry, a photographic archive, and lifesize dioramas displaying military servicemen and actions...

 in Diekirch is especially known for its representations of the Battle of the Bulge
Battle of the Bulge
The Battle of the Bulge was a major German offensive , launched toward the end of World War II through the densely forested Ardennes mountain region of Wallonia in Belgium, hence its French name , and France and...

. The city of Luxembourg itself is on the UNESCO
UNESCO
The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization is a specialized agency of the United Nations...

 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
Théo Kerg
Théo Kerg was a Luxembourg painter and sculptor who specialized in modern art.-Life:Born to schoolmaster in Niederkorn, in south-western Luxembourg, Théo Kerg attended school in Esch-sur-Alzette. He moved to Paris, France, in 1929 to study at the École nationale supérieure des Beaux-Arts, the...

, Joseph Kutter
Joseph Kutter
Joseph Jean Ferdinand Kutter 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:...

 and Michel Majerus
Michel Majerus
Michel Majerus was a Luxemburgian artist whose work combined painting with digital media.His work was featured in a number of solo and group exhibitions in Europe and North America, most notably the "Pop Reloaded" exhibition in Los Angeles....

, as well as the photographer Edward Steichen
Edward Steichen
Edward J. Steichen was an American photographer, painter, and art gallery and museum curator. He was the most frequently featured photographer in Alfred Stieglitz' groundbreaking magazine Camera Work during its run from 1903 to 1917. Steichen also contributed the logo design and a custom typeface...

. Steichen's The Family of Man
The Family of Man
The Family of Man was a photography exhibition curated by Edward Steichen first shown in 1955 at the Museum of Modern Art in New York.According to Steichen, the exhibition represented the 'culmination of his career'. The 508 photos by 273 photographers in 68 countries were selected from almost 2...

exhibition is now permanently housed in Clervaux
Clervaux
Clervaux is a commune and town in northern Luxembourg, administrative capital of the canton of Clervaux.-History:The city was the site of heavy fighting during World War II, in the December 1944 .-Population:...

, and it has been placed on UNESCO
UNESCO
The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization is a specialized agency of the United Nations...

's Memory of the World
Memory of the World Programme
UNESCO's Memory of the World Programme is an international initiative launched to safeguard the documentary heritage of humanity against collective amnesia, neglect, the ravages of time and climatic conditions, and willful and deliberate destruction...

 register. Movie star Loretta Young
Loretta Young
Loretta Young was an American actress. Starting as a child actress, she had a long and varied career in film from 1917 to 1953...

 was of Luxembourgish descent.

Luxembourg was the first city to be named European Capital of Culture
European Capital of Culture
The European Capital of Culture is a city designated by theEuropean Union for a period of one calendar year during which it organises a series of cultural events with a strong European dimension....

 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
Lorraine (région)
Lorraine is one of the 27 régions of France. The administrative region has two cities of equal importance, Metz and Nancy. Metz is considered to be the official capital since that is where the regional parliament is situated...

 area in France
France
The French Republic , The French Republic , The French Republic , (commonly known as France , is a unitary semi-presidential republic in Western Europe with several overseas territories and islands located on other continents and in the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic oceans. Metropolitan France...

. The event was an attempt to promote mobility and the exchange of ideas, crossing borders in all areas, physical, psychological, artistic and emotional.

Luxembourg was represented at the World Expo 2010
Expo 2010
Expo 2010, officially Expo 2010 Shanghai China was held on both banks of the Huangpu River in the city of Shanghai, China, from May 1 to October 31, 2010. It was a major World Expo in the tradition of international fairs and expositions, the first since 1992...

 in Shanghai, China from 1 May to 31 October 2010 with its own pavilion. The pavilion was based on the translation of the word Luxembourg into Chinese, which means ‘Lu Sen Bao’: Forest and Fortress. It represented Luxembourg as the ‘Green Heart in Europe'.

Sport in Luxembourg


Unlike in most countries in Europe, sport in Luxembourg is not concentrated upon a particular national sport
National sport
A national sport or national pastime is a sport or game that is considered to be an intrinsic part of the culture of a nation. Some sports are de facto national sports, as baseball is in the U.S., while others are de jure as lacrosse and ice hockey are in Canada.-De jure national sports:-De facto...

, but encompasses a number of sports, both team
Team sport
A team sport includes any sport which involves players working together towards a shared objective. A team sport is an activity in which a group of individuals, on the same team, work together to accomplish an ultimate goal which is usually to win. This can be done in a number of ways such as...

 and individual
Individual sport
-Examples:Examples of individual sports include:*Archery*Athletics*Bodybuilding*Badminton*Boomerang*Boxing*Chess*Croquet*Cycling*Darts*Equestrian*Fencing*Figure Skating*Golf*Gymnastics*Knife Throwing*Krav Maga*Judo*Lawn Bowls*Orienteering*Pilates...

. Despite the lack of a central sporting focus, over 100,000 people in Luxembourg
Luxembourg
Luxembourg , officially the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg , is a landlocked country in western Europe, bordered by Belgium, France, and Germany. It has two principal regions: the Oesling in the North as part of the Ardennes massif, and the Gutland in the south...

, which has a total population of only 460,000, are licensed members of one sports federation or another. The largest sports venue in the country is d'Coque
D'Coque
The National Sporting and Cultural Centre , better known as d'Coque, is an indoor arena in Kirchberg, a quarter of Luxembourg City, in southern Luxembourg....

, an indoor arena in Kirchberg
Kirchberg
-Austria:*Kirchberg am Wagram, a town in Lower Austria*Kirchberg am Wechsel, a town in Lower Austria*Kirchberg an der Raab, a town in Styria*Kirchberg bei Mattighofen, a town in the district of Braunau, Upper Austria...

, north-eastern Luxembourg City, which has a capacity of 8,300. The arena is used for basketball, handball, gymnastics, and volleyball, including the final of the 2007 Women's European Volleyball Championship
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...

. The largest, and national
National stadium
Many countries have a national football stadium, which typically serves as the primary or exclusive home for one or more of a country's national representative sports teams. The term is most often used in reference to an association football stadium. Usually, a national stadium will be in or very...

, stadium is the Stade Josy Barthel
Stade Josy Barthel
Stade Josy Barthel is the national stadium of Luxembourg, home to the Luxembourg national football team and also used for athletics. It is located on route d'Arlon, in Luxembourg City.It was first constructed in 1928 and it was entirely rebuilt in 1990...

, in western Luxembourg City; named after the country's only official Olympic gold medallist, the stadium has a capacity of 8,054.

Luxembourg cuisine



Luxembourg cuisine reflects Luxembourg
Luxembourg
Luxembourg , officially the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg , is a landlocked country in western Europe, bordered by Belgium, France, and Germany. It has two principal regions: the Oesling in the North as part of the Ardennes massif, and the Gutland in the south...

's position on the border between the Latin and Germanic
Germanic peoples
The Germanic peoples are an Indo-European ethno-linguistic group of Northern European origin, identified by their use of the Indo-European Germanic languages which diversified out of Proto-Germanic during the Pre-Roman Iron Age.Originating about 1800 BCE from the Corded Ware Culture on the North...

 worlds, being heavily influenced by the cuisines of neighbouring France
France
The French Republic , The French Republic , The French Republic , (commonly known as France , is a unitary semi-presidential republic in Western Europe with several overseas territories and islands located on other continents and in the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic oceans. Metropolitan France...

 and Germany
Germany
Germany , officially the Federal Republic of Germany , is a federal parliamentary republic in Europe. The country consists of 16 states while the capital and largest city is Berlin. Germany covers an area of 357,021 km2 and has a largely temperate seasonal climate...

. More recently, it has had influence from its many Italian
Italy
Italy , officially the Italian Republic languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Italy's official name is as follows:;;;;;;;;), is a unitary parliamentary republic in South-Central Europe. To the north it borders France, Switzerland, Austria and...

 and Portuguese
Portugal
Portugal , officially the Portuguese Republic is a country situated in southwestern Europe on the Iberian Peninsula. Portugal is the westernmost country of Europe, and is bordered by the Atlantic Ocean to the West and South and by Spain to the North and East. The Atlantic archipelagos of the...

 immigrants.

Most particularly native Luxembourgian dishes, consumed as the traditional daily fare, share roots in the Luxembourgian peasantry, similarly to German cuisine
German cuisine
German cuisine is a style of cooking derived from the nation of Germany. It has evolved as a national cuisine through centuries of social and political change with variations from region to region. The southern regions of Germany, including Bavaria and neighbouring Swabia, share many dishes....

 and in marked contrast to more sophisticated French
French cuisine
French cuisine is a style of food preparation originating from France that has developed from centuries of social change. In the Middle Ages, Guillaume Tirel , a court chef, authored Le Viandier, one of the earliest recipe collections of Medieval France...

.

Media


Luxembourg is known in Europe for its radio and television stations (Radio Luxembourg
Radio Luxembourg (French)
Radio Luxembourg - 1933-1939 and 1951- is the name of a Long Wave commercial radio station that began broadcasting from the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg in 1933 as a daytime and evening service in the French language from Monday to Saturday and until 12 Noon on Sundays.The station closed down at the...

, RTL Group
RTL Group
RTL Group is Europe's largest TV, radio and production company, and is majority-owned by German media conglomerate Bertelsmann. It has 45 television and 32 radio stations in 11 countries...

). It is also the uplink home of SES, carrier of major European satellite services for Germany and Britain.

Due to the audiovisual law of 1988, which established a special tax regime for audiovisual investment, the film and co-production in Luxembourg has grown steadily. There exists approximately 30 by agreed production companies in Luxembourg.

Sport


Andy Schleck
Andy Schleck
Andy Raymond Schleck is a Luxembourgish professional road bicycle racer for UCI ProTour team . He is the younger brother of Fränk Schleck, who also rides for . Their father Johny Schleck rode the Tour de France and Vuelta a España between 1965 and 1974...

 and Frank Schleck
Fränk Schleck
Fränk René Schleck is a Luxembourgish professional road bicycle racer for UCI ProTeam . At the start of 2005, Schleck was joined by his younger brother Andy on , and they split the 2005 national championships between them, with Fränk winning the road race and Andy winning the time trial...

 are two famous professional cyclists for Leopard Trek
Leopard Trek
Leopard Trek is a professional road bicycle racing team licensed in Luxembourg and led by the brothers Andy Schleck and Fränk Schleck, with Brian Nygaard and Kim Andersen as team managers. The Schleck brothers were under contract with the Danish team Saxo Bank managed by Bjarne Riis through the end...

. They are best known for the Mountain stages of the Tour de France
Tour de France
The Tour de France is an annual bicycle race held in France and nearby countries. First staged in 1903, the race covers more than and lasts three weeks. As the best known and most prestigious of cycling's three "Grand Tours", the Tour de France attracts riders and teams from around the world. The...

.

Gilles Müller
Gilles Müller
Gilles Müller is a Luxembourgish professional tennis player. He was a US Open junior champion and is the most successful male tennis player in the history of his country...

 is a professional tennis player, Ranked No. 42 as of (3 October 2011), competing in the fourth round of the 2011 US Open
2011 US Open (tennis)
The 2011 US Open was a tennis tournament played on the outdoor hard courts at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Flushing Meadows Park, of Queens, New York City, United States...

.

Mandy Minella
Mandy Minella
Mandy Minella is a professional Luxembourgian tennis player. Her highest singles ranking to date is World Number 125 on July 25, 2011, and World Number 250 for doubles on July 17, 2006...

is a best female Luxembourgish tennis player in 2011.

See also


Further reading