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Coordinates : 49°45′N 6°10′E / 49.750°N 6.167°E / 49.750; 6.167

Grand Duchy
Grand Duchy
of Luxembourg

* _Groussherzogtum Lëtzebuerg_ ( Luxembourgish
Luxembourgish
) * _Großherzogtum Luxemburg_ (German ) * _Grand-Duché de Luxembourg_ (French )

Flag Coat of arms

MOTTO: " Mir wëlle bleiwe wat mir sinn" ( Luxembourgish
Luxembourgish
) "We want to remain what we are"

ANTHEM: " Ons Heemecht" "Our Homeland" ROYAL ANTHEM : " De Wilhelmus"a

Location of Luxembourg
Luxembourg
(dark green)

– in Europe
Europe
(green "> (green)

Capital and largest city Luxembourg City
Luxembourg City
49°36′N 6°7′E / 49.600°N 6.117°E / 49.600; 6.117

OFFICIAL LANGUAGES Luxembourgish
Luxembourgish
French German

NATIONALITY (2013)

* 55.5% Luxembourgers
Luxembourgers
* 16.4% Portuguese * 6.6% French * 21.5% other

DEMONYM Luxembourgish, Luxembourger

GOVERNMENT Unitary parliamentary constitutional monarchy

• GRAND DUKE (LIST ) Henri

• PRIME MINISTER (LIST ) Xavier Bettel
Xavier Bettel

• DEPUTY PRIME MINISTER Etienne Schneider

LEGISLATURE Chamber of Deputies

INDEPENDENCE

• FROM THE FRENCH EMPIRE AND ELEVATION TO GRAND DUCHY OF LUXEMBOURG 15 March 1815

• INDEPENDENCE IN PERSONAL UNION WITH THE NETHERLANDS TREATY OF LONDON ) 19 April 1839

• REAFFIRMATION OF INDEPENDENCE TREATY OF LONDON 11 May 1867

• END OF PERSONAL UNION WITH THE KINGDOM OF THE NETHERLANDS 23 November 1890

• FROM THE GERMAN REICH 1944 / 1945

AREA

• TOTAL 2,586.4 km2 (998.6 sq mi) (168th )

• WATER (%) 0.60%

POPULATION

• APRIL 2015 ESTIMATE 576,249 (170th )

• 2001 CENSUS 439,539

• DENSITY 222.8/km2 (577.0/sq mi) (60th )

GDP (PPP ) 2016 estimate

• TOTAL $58.234 billion (94th )

• PER CAPITA $100,991 (2nd )

GDP (NOMINAL) 2016 estimate

• TOTAL $60.176 billion (71st )

• PER CAPITA $104,359 (3rd )

GINI (2014) 28.7 low · 19th

HDI (2015) 0.898 very high · 20th

CURRENCY Euro
Euro
(€ )b (EUR )

TIME ZONE CET (UTC +1)

• SUMMER (DST ) CEST (UTC +2)

DRIVES ON THE right

CALLING CODE +352

ISO 3166CODE LU

INTERNET TLD .luc

* Not the same as the _ Het Wilhelmus_ of the Netherlands. * Before 1999, Luxembourgish franc. * The .eu
.eu
domain is also used, as it is shared with other European Union member states. * ^ "CIA – The World Factbook
The World Factbook
– Field Listing – Distribution of family income – Gini index". United States
United States
government. Retrieved 3 May 2013.

LUXEMBOURG /ˈlʌksəmbɜːrɡ/ (_ listen ) ( Luxembourgish
Luxembourgish
: Lëtzebuerg_ (_ listen ); German : Luxemburg_), officially the GRAND DUCHY OF LUXEMBOURG, is a landlocked country in western Europe
Europe
. It is bordered by Belgium
Belgium
to the west and north, Germany
Germany
to the east, and France
France
to the south. Its capital, Luxembourg City
Luxembourg City
, is, together with Brussels
Brussels
and Strasbourg
Strasbourg
, one of the three official capitals of the European Union
European Union
and the seat of the European Court of Justice
European Court of Justice
, the highest juridical authority in the EU. Its culture, people and languages are highly intertwined with its neighbours, making it essentially a mixture of French and Germanic cultures. This is emphasised by the three official languages, Luxembourgish
Luxembourgish
, French , and German . The repeated invasions by its neighbour countries, especially in World War II
World War II
, resulted in the country's strong will for mediation between France
France
and Germany
Germany
and, among other things, led to the foundation of the European Union.

With an area of 2,586 square kilometres (998 sq mi), it is one of the smallest sovereign states in Europe
Europe
, about the same size as the US state of Rhode Island
Rhode Island
or the English county of Northamptonshire
Northamptonshire
. In 2016, Luxembourg
Luxembourg
had a population of 576 249, which makes it one of the least-populous countries in Europe
Europe
, but by far the one with the highest population growth rate . As a representative democracy with a constitutional monarch , it is headed by a Grand Duke , Henri, Grand Duke of Luxembourg
Luxembourg
, and is the world's only remaining grand duchy . Luxembourg
Luxembourg
is a developed country , with an advanced economy and one of the world's highest GDP (PPP) per capita . The City of Luxembourg with its old quarters and fortifications was declared a UNESCO
UNESCO
World Heritage Site in 1994 due to the exceptional preservation of the vast fortifications and the old city.

The history of Luxembourg
Luxembourg
is considered to begin in 963, when count Siegfried I acquired a rocky promontory and its Roman-era fortifications known as _Lucilinburhuc_, ′little castle′, and the surrounding area from the Imperial Abbey of St. Maximin in nearby Trier
Trier
. Siegfried's descendants increased their territory through marriage, war and vassal relations. At the end of the 13th century, the Counts of Luxembourgreigned over a considerable territory. In 1308, Henry VII, Count of Luxembourg
Luxembourg
became King of the Germans
King of the Germans
and Holy Roman Emperor
Holy Roman Emperor
. The House of Luxembourgproduced four Holy Roman Emperors at the high time of the Middle Ages
Middle Ages
. In 1354, Charles IV elevated the County to the Duchy of Luxembourg. Since Sigismund had no male heir, the Duchy became part of the Burgundian Circle
Burgundian Circle
and then one of the Seventeen Provinces
Seventeen Provinces
of the Habsburg
Habsburg
Netherlands
Netherlands
. Over the centuries, the City and Fortress of Luxembourg, of great strategic importance situated between the Kingdom of France
France
and the Habsburg territories, was gradually built up to be one of the most reputed fortifications in Europe. After belonging to both the France
France
of Louis XIV and the Austria
Austria
of Maria Theresia
Maria Theresia
, Luxembourg
Luxembourg
became part of the First French Republic
First French Republic
and Empire under Napoleon
Napoleon
.

The present-day state of Luxembourg
Luxembourg
first emerged at the Congress of Vienna in 1815. The Grand-Duchy, with its powerful fortress, became an independent state under the personal possession of William I of the Netherlands
Netherlands
with a Prussian
Prussian
garrison to guard the city against another invasion from France. In 1839, following the turmoil of the Belgian Revolution , the purely French-speaking part of Luxembourg
Luxembourg
was ceded to Belgium
Belgium
and the Luxembourgish-speaking part became what is the present state of Luxembourg.

The steel industry exploiting the Red Lands\' rich iron-ore grounds in the beginning of the 20th century drove the country's industrialisation. ArcelorMittal
ArcelorMittal
, the world's largest steel producer with headquarters in Luxembourg
Luxembourg
City, is still a reminder of these times. After the decline of the steel industry in the 1970s, the country focused on establishing itself as a global financial centre and developed into the banking hub it is reputed for. Since the beginning of the 21st century, its governments have focused on developing the country into a knowledge economy , with the founding of the University of Luxembourgand a national space programme , projecting the first involvement in a non-manned lunar expedition by 2020.

Luxembourg
Luxembourg
is a founding member of the European Union, OECD , United Nations , NATO
NATO
, and Benelux
Benelux
, reflecting its political consensus in favour of economic , political, and military integration. The city of Luxembourg
Luxembourg
, which is the country's capital and largest city, is the seat of several institutions and agencies of the EU. Luxembourg
Luxembourg
served on the United Nations
United Nations
Security Council for the years 2013 and 2014, which was a first in the country's history. In 2016 Luxembourgish citizens had visa-free or visa-on-arrival access to 172 countries and territories, ranking the Luxembourgian passport 6th in the world, tied with countries such as Canada
Canada
and Switzerland.

CONTENTS

* 1 History

* 1.1 County * 1.2 Duchy * 1.3 Nineteenth century * 1.4 Twentieth century

* 2 Politics

* 2.1 Administrative divisions * 2.2 Foreign relations * 2.3 Military

* 3 Geography

* 3.1 Climate

* 4 Economy

* 4.1 Transport * 4.2 Communications * 4.3 Data centres

* 5 Demographics

* 5.1 Ethnicity * 5.2 Language * 5.3 Religion
Religion
* 5.4 Education * 5.5 Health

* 6 Culture

* 6.1 Sports * 6.2 Cuisine * 6.3 Media

* 7 See also * 8 Footnotes * 9 References * 10 Further reading * 11 External links

HISTORY

Main article: History of Luxembourg

*

Charles IV , the 14th century Holy Roman Emperor
Holy Roman Emperor
and king of Bohemia from the House of Luxembourg. *

Historic map (undated) of Luxembourg
Luxembourg
city's fortifications *

Photograph of the fortress of Luxembourg
Luxembourg
prior to demolition in 1867

COUNTY

Main article: County of Luxemburg

The recorded history of Luxembourg
Luxembourg
begins with the acquisition of Lucilinburhuc (today Luxembourg Castle
Luxembourg Castle
) situated on the Bock rock by Siegfried, Count of Ardennes
Ardennes
, in 963 through an exchange act with St. Maximin\'s Abbey, Trier
Trier
. Around this fort , a town gradually developed, which became the centre of a state of great strategic value.

DUCHY

Main article: Duchy of Luxemburg

In the 14th and early 15th centuries, three members of the House of Luxembourg
Luxembourg
reigned as Holy Roman Emperors
Holy Roman Emperors
. In 1437, the House of Luxembourg
Luxembourg
suffered a succession crisis, precipitated by the lack of a male heir to assume the throne, which led to the territories being sold by Duchess Elisabeth to Philip the Good
Philip the Good
of Burgundy .

In the following centuries, Luxembourg's fortress was steadily enlarged and strengthened by its successive occupants, the Bourbons, Habsburgs , Hohenzollerns and the French.

NINETEENTH CENTURY

See also: History of rail transport in Luxembourg

After the defeat of Napoleon
Napoleon
in 1815, Luxembourg
Luxembourg
was disputed between Prussia and the Netherlands
Netherlands
. The Congress of Viennaformed Luxembourg as a Grand Duchy
Grand Duchy
within the German Confederation in personal union with the Netherlands, being at the same time a part of the Netherlands and ruled as one of its provinces, with the Fortress of Luxembourg manned by Prussian
Prussian
troops. This arrangement was revised by the 1839 First Treaty of London , from which date Luxembourg's full independence is reckoned. Luxembourg
Luxembourg
City: The Passerelle, also known as the viaduct or old bridge, over the Pétrusseriver valley, opened 1861

At the time of the Belgian Revolutionof 1830–1839, and by the 1839 Treaty establishing full independence, Luxembourg's territory was reduced by more than half, as the predominantly francophone western part of the country was transferred to Belgium
Belgium
. In 1842 Luxembourg joined the German Customs Union ( Zollverein
Zollverein
). This resulted in the opening of the German market, the development of Luxembourg\'s steel industry , and expansion of Luxembourg\'s railway network from 1855 to 1875, particularly the construction of the Luxembourg-Thionville railway line, with connections from there to the European industrial regions. While Prussian
Prussian
troops still manned the fortress, in 1861, the Passerelle was opened, the first road bridge spanning the Pétrusseriver valley, connecting the Ville Hauteand the main fortification on the Bock with Luxembourg railway station, opened in 1859, on the then fortified Bourbon plateau to the south.

After the Luxembourg Crisis
Luxembourg Crisis
of 1866 nearly led to war between Prussia and France, the Grand Duchy's independence and neutrality were again affirmed by the 1867 Second Treaty of London , Prussia's troops were withdrawn from the Fortress of Luxembourgand its Bock and surrounding fortifications were dismantled.

The King of the Netherlands
King of the Netherlands
remained Head of State
Head of State
as Grand Duke of Luxembourg
Luxembourg
, maintaining a personal union between the two countries until 1890. At the death of William III , the throne of the Netherlands
Netherlands
passed to his daughter Wilhelmina , while Luxembourg
Luxembourg
(then restricted to male heirs by the Nassau Family Pact) passed to Adolph of Nassau-Weilburg .

At the time of the Franco- Prussian
Prussian
war in 1870, despite allegations about French use of the Luxembourg
Luxembourg
railways for passing soldiers from Metz
Metz
(then part of France) through the Duchy, and for forwarding provisions to Thionville, Luxembourg's neutrality was respected by Germany
Germany
, and neither France
France
nor Germany
Germany
invaded the country. But in 1871, as a result of Germany's victory over France, Luxembourg's boundary with Lorraine , containing Metz
Metz
and Thionville, changed from being a frontier with a part of France
France
to a frontier with territory annexed to the German Empire
German Empire
as Alsace-Lorraine
Alsace-Lorraine
under the Treaty of Frankfurt . This allowed Germany
Germany
the military advantage of controlling and expanding the railways there . View to Place de la Constitution and Gëlle Framonument, from the capital\'s Metz
Metz
square at the Adolphe Bridge
Adolphe Bridge
end of Avenue de la Liberté, connecting with the railway station

TWENTIETH CENTURY

Frontier with German Empire's Alsace-Lorraine, from 1871 to 1918

In August 1914, Imperial Germany
Germany
violated Luxembourg's neutrality in the war by invading it in the war against France. This allowed Germany to use the railway lines, while at the same time denying them to France. Nevertheless, despite the German occupation , Luxembourg
Luxembourg
was allowed to maintain much of its independence and political mechanisms. Current cross-border railway network, connecting Luxembourg
Luxembourg
City with Luxembourg's neighbouring countries, north (Belgium) – south (France) and east (Germany) – west (France)

In 1940, after the outbreak of World War II
World War II
, Luxembourg's neutrality was again violated when the Wehrmacht
Wehrmacht
of Nazi Germany
Nazi Germany
entered the country, "entirely without justification". In contrast to the First World War, under the German occupation of Luxembourg
Luxembourg
during World War II , the country was treated as German territory and informally annexed to the adjacent province of the Third Reich
Third Reich
. A government in exile based in London supported the Allies , sending a small group of volunteers who participated in the Normandy invasion . Luxembourg
Luxembourg
was liberated in September 1944, and became a founding member of the United Nations
United Nations
in 1945. Luxembourg's neutral status under the constitution formally ended in 1948, and in 1949 it became a founding member of NATO
NATO
.

In 1951, Luxembourg
Luxembourg
became one of the six founding countries of the European Coal and Steel Community
European Coal and Steel Community
, which in 1957 would become the European Economic Community
European Economic Community
and in 1993 the European Union
European Union
, and in 1999 Luxembourg
Luxembourg
joined the Euro
Euro
currency area. In 2005, a referendum on the EU treaty establishing a constitution for Europe
Europe
was held.

POLITICS

Main articles: Politics of Luxembourgand Law of Luxembourg

Luxembourg
Luxembourg
is a parliamentary democracy headed by a constitutional monarch . Under the constitution of 1868, executive power is exercised by the Grand Duke and the cabinet , which consists of several other ministers. The Grand Duke has the power to dissolve the legislature , in which case new elections must be held within three months. However, since 1919, sovereignty has resided with the Nation
Nation
, exercised by the Grand Duke in accordance with the Constitution and the law.

Legislative power is vested in the Chamber of Deputies , a unicameral legislature of sixty members, who are directly elected to five-year terms from four constituencies . A second body, the Council of State (_Conseil d'État_), composed of twenty-one ordinary citizens appointed by the Grand Duke, advises the Chamber of Deputies in the drafting of legislation.

The Grand Duchy
Grand Duchy
has three lower tribunals (_justices de paix_; in Esch-sur-Alzette, the city of Luxembourg
Luxembourg
, and Diekirch
Diekirch
), two district tribunals ( Luxembourg
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

Main articles: Cantons of Luxembourg
Cantons of Luxembourg
and Communes of Luxembourg Further information: Administrative divisions of Luxembourg

Luxembourg
Luxembourg
is divided into 12 cantons , which are further divided into 105 communes . Twelve of the communes have city status , of which the city of Luxembourg
Luxembourg
is the largest.

*

The three Partitions of Luxembourghave greatly reduced Luxembourg's territory. *

Cantons of Luxembourg
Cantons of Luxembourg

FOREIGN RELATIONS

Main article: Foreign relations of Luxembourg

Luxembourg
Luxembourg
has long been a prominent supporter of European political and economic integration . In efforts foreshadowing European integration, Luxembourg
Luxembourg
and Belgium
Belgium
in 1921 formed the Belgium–Luxembourg Economic Union(BLEU) to create a regime of inter-exchangeable currency and a common customs . Luxembourg
Luxembourg
is a member of the Benelux
Benelux
Economic Union and was one of the founding members of the European Economic Community
European Economic Community
(now the European Union). It also participates in the Schengen Group (named after the Luxembourg village of Schengen where the agreements were signed), whose goal is the free movement of citizens among member states. At the same time, the majority of Luxembourgers
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
NATO
, pro-US foreign policy.

Luxembourg
Luxembourg
is the site of the European Court of Justice
European Court of Justice
, the European Court of Auditors
European Court of Auditors
, the Statistical Office of the European Communities (" Eurostat
Eurostat
") and other vital EU organs. The Secretariat of the European Parliament is located in Luxembourg, but the Parliament usually meets in Brussels
Brussels
and sometimes in Strasbourg
Strasbourg
.

MILITARY

Main article: Luxembourg Army A NATO
NATO
-owned AWACS aircraft.

Luxembourg
Luxembourg
maintains a very small army of about 800 soldiers and 100 civil servants to its defense and to NATO. Being a landlocked country, it has no navy.

Luxembourg
Luxembourg
also lacks an air force, though the 17 NATO
NATO
AWACS aeroplanes are, for convenience, registered as aircraft of Luxembourg. In accordance with a joint agreement with Belgium, both countries have put forth funding for one A400M military cargo plane.

GEOGRAPHY

Main article: Geography of Luxembourg The largest towns are Luxembourg
Luxembourg
, Esch-sur-Alzette, Dudelange, and Differdange
Differdange
.

Luxembourg
Luxembourg
is one of the smallest countries in Europe, and ranked 179th in size of all the 194 independent countries of the world ; the country is about 2,586 square kilometres (998 sq mi) in size, and measures 82 km (51 mi) long and 57 km (35 mi) wide. It lies between latitudes 49° and 51° N , and longitudes 5° and 7° E .

To the east, Luxembourg
Luxembourg
borders the German _Bundesländer _ of Rhineland-Palatinate
Rhineland-Palatinate
and Saarland
Saarland
, and, to the south, it borders the French _région _ of Lorraine . The Grand Duchy
Grand Duchy
borders the Belgian Walloon Region , in particular the latter's provinces of Luxembourg and Liège , part of which comprises the German-speaking Community of Belgium
Belgium
, to the west and to the north, respectively.

The northern third of the country is known as the ' Oesling', and forms part of the Ardennes
Ardennes
. It is dominated by hills and low mountains, including the Kneiffnear Wilwerdange, which is the highest point, at 560 metres (1,837 ft). Other mountains are the 'Buurgplaaz ' at 559 metres near Huldangeand the ' Napoléonsgaard' at 554 metres near Rambrouch. The region is sparsely populated, with only one town ( Wiltz
Wiltz
) with a population of more than four thousand people. Countryside of Alscheid.

The southern two-thirds of the country is called the "Gutland ", and is more densely populated than the Oesling. It is also more diverse, and can be divided into five geographic sub-regions. The Luxembourg plateau , in south-central Luxembourg, is a large, flat, sandstone formation, and the site of the city of Luxembourg. Little Switzerland , in the east of Luxembourg, has craggy terrain and thick forests. The Moselle valley is the lowest-lying region, running along the southeastern border. The Red Lands, in the far south and southwest, are Luxembourg's industrial heartland and home to many of Luxembourg's largest towns.

The border between Luxembourg
Luxembourg
and Germany
Germany
is formed by three rivers : the Moselle, the Sauer
Sauer
, and the Our . Other major rivers are the Alzette, the Attert , the Clerve, and the Wiltz
Wiltz
. The valleys of the mid- Sauer
Sauer
and Attert form the border between the Gutland and the Oesling.

According to the 2012 Environmental Performance Index, Luxembourg
Luxembourg
is one of the world's best performers in environmental protection, ranking 4th out of 132 assessed countries Luxembourg
Luxembourg
also ranks 6th among the top ten most livable cities in the world by Mercer's.

CLIMATE

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

ECONOMY

Main article: Economy of Luxembourg Graphical depiction of Luxembourg's product exports in 28 colour-coded categories.

Luxembourg's stable and high-income market economy features moderate growth , low inflation , and a high level of innovation. Unemployment is traditionally low, although it had risen to 6.1% by May 2012, due largely to the effect of the 2008 global financial crisis
2008 global financial crisis
. Consequently, Luxembourg's economy was forecast to have negligible growth in 2012. In 2011, according to the IMF , Luxembourg
Luxembourg
was the second richest country in the world, with a per capita GDP on a purchasing-power parity (PPP) basis of $80,119. Luxembourg
Luxembourg
is ranked 13th in The Heritage Foundation's Index of Economic Freedom, 26th in the United Nations
United Nations
Human Development Index
Human Development Index
, and 4th in the Economist Intelligence Unit's quality of life index .

External debt of Luxembourg
Luxembourg
is extremely high when external debt per capita or debt-to-GDP ratio is taken into consideration. External debt per capita (2014) is $3,696,467 and as a percentage of GDP it is 3443%, the world's highest by both measurements.

The industrial sector, which was dominated by steel until the 1960s, has since diversified to include chemicals, rubber, and other products. During the past decades, growth in the financial sector has more than compensated for the decline in steel production . Services, especially banking and finance , account for the majority of economic output. Luxembourg
Luxembourg
is the world's second largest investment fund centre (after the United States), the most important private banking centre in the Eurozone
Eurozone
and Europe's leading centre for reinsurance companies. Moreover, the Luxembourg
Luxembourg
government has aimed to attract internet start-ups, with Skype
Skype
and Amazon being two of the many internet companies that have shifted their regional headquarters to Luxembourg.

In April 2009, concern about Luxembourg's banking secrecy laws, as well as its reputation as a tax haven , led to its being added to a "grey list" of nations with questionable banking arrangements by the G20
G20
. In response, the country soon after adopted OECD standards on exchange of information and was subsequently added into the category of "jurisdictions that have substantially implemented the internationally agreed tax standard". In March 2010, the _Sunday Telegraph_ reported that most of Kim Jong-Il's $4 billion in secret accounts is in Luxembourg
Luxembourg
banks. Amazon.co.uk also benefits from Luxembourg
Luxembourg
tax loopholes by channeling substantial UK revenues as reported by _The Guardian_ in April 2012. Luxembourg
Luxembourg
ranked third on the Tax Justice Network's 2011 Financial Secrecy Indexof the world's major tax havens, scoring only slightly behind the Cayman Islands
Cayman Islands
. In 2013, Luxembourg
Luxembourg
is ranked as the 2nd safest tax haven in the world, behind Switzerland
Switzerland
.

Agriculture is based on small, family-owned farms.

Luxembourg
Luxembourg
has especially close trade and financial ties to Belgium and the Netherlands
Netherlands
(see _Benelux_), and as a member of the EU it enjoys the advantages of the open European market .

With $171 billion in May 2015, the country ranks eleventh 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.

TRANSPORT

Luxembourg's international airline Luxair
Luxair
is based at Luxembourg Airport , the country's only international airport. Main article: Transport in Luxembourg

Luxembourg
Luxembourg
has efficient road, rail and air transport facilities and services. The road network has been significantly modernised in recent years with 147 km (91 mi) of motorways connecting the capital to adjacent countries. The advent of the high-speed TGV
TGV
link to Paris has led to renovation of the city's railway station and a new passenger terminal at Luxembourg Airportwas opened in 2008. There are plans to introduce trams 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
Luxembourg
— higher than all but two states , namely the Principality
Principality
of Monaco
Monaco
and the British overseas territory of Gibraltar
Gibraltar
.

COMMUNICATIONS

The telecommunications industry in Luxembourg
Luxembourg
is liberalised and the electronic communications networks are significantly developed. Competition between the different operators is guaranteed by the legislative framework Paquet Telecom of the Government of 2011 which transposes the European Telecom Directives into Luxembourgian law. This encourages the investment in networks and services. The regulator ILR – Institut Luxembourgeois de Régulation ensures the compliance to these legal rules.

Luxembourg
Luxembourg
has modern and widely deployed optical fiber and cable networks throughout the country. In 2010, the Luxembourg
Luxembourg
Government launched its National strategy for very high-speed networks with the aim to become a global leader in terms of very high-speed broadband by achieving full 1 Gbit/s coverage of the country by 2020. In 2011, Luxembourg
Luxembourg
had an NGA coverage of 75%. In April 2013, Luxembourg featured the 6th highest download speed worldwide and the 2nd highest in Europe: 32,46 Mbit/s. The country's location in Central Europe, stable economy and low taxes favour the telecommunication industry.

It ranks 2nd in the world in the development of the Information and Communication Technologies in the ITU ICT Development Index and 8th in the Global Broadband Quality Study 2009 by the University of Oxford and the University of Oviedo. Signs in front of the Centre Drosbach on the Cloche d'or, in the city of Luxembourg
Luxembourg
.

Luxembourg
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
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
Luxembourg
to the major European data hubs:

* Teralink ( P&TLuxembourg, also called EPT Luxembourg: incumbent operator) * LuxConnect (shareholder : Government) LuxConnecttested the 100G coherent transmission of data signals between Luxembourg
Luxembourg
and Amsterdam in June 2011. * Artelis/Cegecom (alternative telecommunications provider in Luxembourg
Luxembourg
and Saarland) * Satellite connectivity – Teleports (SES ), Broadcasting Center Europe
Europe
and P&T Luxembourg
Luxembourg
Teleport.

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

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

Luxembourg
Luxembourg
has one Internet exchange pointand one Carrier Ethernet Exchange point.

* LU-CIX is Luxembourg's neutral and commercial Internet Exchange Point which was founded in 2009 by Cegecom, Datacentre Luxembourg, Global Media Systems, INEXIO, LuxConnect, P&T Luxembourg
Luxembourg
and Root eSolutions. It offers a short, fast and efficient route to the major European Internet networks. In 2012, LIX, the neutral Internet exchange operated by the RESTENA Foundation, merged with LU-CIX. In March 2013, LU-CIX launched the 'Central European Peering Hub' in order to provide the opportunity to its members to connect to other IXs' reseller programs, AMS-IX (Amsterdam), LINX (London), DE-CIX (Frankfurt) and France-IX (Paris), etc. * LIX is the Luxembourg
Luxembourg
Ethernet Exchangelocated in the Tier IV certified eBRC datacentre.

The online portal De Guichet of the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg
Grand Duchy of Luxembourg
is a single one-stop online shop for citizens and companies to undertake various administrative operations (procedures, online forms, downloadable forms and advice) by Internet.

PSA Peugeot Citroën
PSA Peugeot Citroën
, with P the largest foreign ethnic groups were the Portuguese, comprising 16.4% of the total population, followed by the French (6.6%), Italians (3.4%), Belgians (3.3%) and Germans (2.3%). Another 6.4% were of other EU background, while the remaining 6.1% were of other non-EU background.

Since the beginning of the Yugoslav wars
Yugoslav wars
, Luxembourg
Luxembourg
has seen many immigrants from Bosnia and Herzegovina
Bosnia and Herzegovina
, Montenegro
Montenegro
, and Serbia
Serbia
. Annually, over 10,000 new immigrants arrive in Luxembourg, mostly from the EU states, as well as Eastern Europe
Europe
. In 2000 there were 162,000 immigrants in Luxembourg, accounting for 37% of the total population. There were an estimated 5,000 illegal immigrants in Luxembourg
Luxembourg
in 1999.

LANGUAGE

Coin of the former Luxembourg
Luxembourg
franc in two of the country's three languages: French (obverse, left) and Luxembourgish
Luxembourgish
(reverse, right). Main articles: Languages of Luxembourg, Multilingualism in Luxembourg
Luxembourg
, and Literature of Luxembourg

Three languages are recognised as official in Luxembourg: French, German, and Luxembourgish
Luxembourgish
, a Franconian language of the Moselle region that is also spoken in neighbouring parts of Belgium, France and Germany. Though Luxembourgish
Luxembourgish
is part of the West Central German group of High German languages, more than 5,000 words in the language are of French origin. The first printed sentences in Luxembourgish appeared in a weekly journal, the 'Luxemburger Wochenblatt', in the second edition on 14 April 1821.

Apart from being one of the three official languages, Luxembourgish is also considered the national language 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
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, however, an increasing number of novels have 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 and of the church .

Luxembourg's education system is trilingual: the first years of primary school are in Luxembourgish, before changing to German; while in secondary school, the language of instruction changes to French. Proficiency in all three languages is required for graduation from secondary school, but half the students leave school without a certified qualification, with the children of immigrants being particularly disadvantaged.

In addition to the three official languages, English is taught in the compulsory schooling and much of the population of Luxembourg
Luxembourg
can speak English, especially in Luxembourg
Luxembourg
City. Portuguese, the language of the largest immigrant community, is also spoken by large parts of the population, but by relatively few from outside their community.

French is the preferred language of the government. Official legislation must be conducted in French. Notre-Dame Cathedral , Luxembourg City
Luxembourg City

Religious Affiliation in Luxembourg
Luxembourg
2012 Roman Catholic
Roman Catholic
(67%) Protestant
Protestant
(3%) Orthodox Christian
Christian
(1%) Other Christian
Christian
(3%) Muslim (3%) Buddhist (1%) Other religion (1%) Non-religious /Agnostic (14%) Atheist (6%) Unknown (1%)

RELIGION

Main article: Religion
Religion
in Luxembourg
Luxembourg

Luxembourg
Luxembourg
is a secular state , 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
, Greek Orthodoxy
Greek Orthodoxy
, Anglicanism
Anglicanism
, Russian Orthodoxy , Lutheranism
Lutheranism
, Calvinism
Calvinism
, Mennonitismand Islam
Islam
.

Since 1980 it has been illegal for the government to collect statistics on religious beliefs or practices. An estimation by the CIA Factbook for the year 2000 is that 87% of Luxembourgers
Luxembourgers
are Catholic , including the royal family, the remaining 13% being made up of Muslims, Protestants , Orthodox Christians , Jews
Jews
, and those of other or no religion. According to a 2010 Pew Research Center
Pew Research Center
study 70.4% are Christian, 2.3% Muslim, 26.8% unaffiliated and 0.5% other religions.

According to a 2005 Eurobarometerpoll, 44% of Luxembourg
Luxembourg
citizens responded that "they believe there is a God
God
", whereas 28% answered that "they believe there is some sort of spirit or life force" and 22% that "they do not believe there is any sort of spirit, god, or life force".

EDUCATION

The University of Luxembourgis the only university in the country. See also: List of secondary schools in Luxembourg

The University of Luxembourgand the Luxembourg
Luxembourg
Miami University campus are two universities within Luxembourg.

HEALTH

Main article: Health in Luxembourg

Luxembourg
Luxembourg
sells the most alcohol in Europe
Europe
per capita. However, the large proportion of alcohol purchased by customers from neighboring countries contributes to the statistically high level of alcohol sales per capita; this level of alcohol sales is thus not representative of the actual alcohol consumption of the Luxembourg
Luxembourg
population.

CULTURE

Main articles: Culture of Luxembourgand National symbols of Luxembourg
Luxembourg
Edward Steichen
Edward Steichen
, Luxembourgish
Luxembourgish
photographer and painter

Luxembourg
Luxembourg
has been overshadowed by the culture of its neighbours. It retains a number of folk traditions, having been for much of its history a profoundly rural country. There are several notable museums, located mostly in the capital. These include the National Museum of History and Art (NMHA), the Luxembourg City
Luxembourg City
History Museum , and the new Grand Duke Jean Museum of Modern Art(Mudam). The National Museum of Military History (MNHM) in Diekirch
Diekirch
is especially known for its representations of the Battle of the Bulge
Battle of the Bulge
. The city of Luxembourg itself is on the UNESCO
UNESCO
World Heritage List
World Heritage List
, on account of the historical importance of its fortifications.

The country has produced some internationally known artists, including the painters Théo Kerg, Joseph Kutterand Michel Majerus, and photographer Edward Steichen
Edward Steichen
, whose _ The Family of Man_ exhibition has been placed on UNESCO's Memory of the World register, and is now permanently housed in Clervaux. Movie star Loretta Young was of Luxembourgish
Luxembourgish
descent.

Luxembourg
Luxembourg
was the first city to be named European Capital of Culture twice. The first time was in 1995. In 2007, the European Capital of Culture was to be a cross-border area consisting of the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg, the Rheinland-Pfalz and Saarland
Saarland
in Germany, the Walloon Region and the German-speaking part of Belgium, and the Lorraine area in France
France
. The event was an attempt to promote mobility and the exchange of ideas, crossing borders physically, psychologically, artistically and emotionally.

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

SPORTS

In his cycling career, Charly Gaul
Charly Gaul
won three Grand Tours . Main article: Sport in Luxembourg

Unlike most countries in Europe, sport in Luxembourg
Luxembourg
is not concentrated upon a particular national sport , but encompasses a number of sports, both team and individual. Despite the lack of a central sporting focus, over 100,000 people in Luxembourg, out of a total population of only 512,353, are licensed members of one sports federation or another. The largest sports venue in the country is d\'Coque , an indoor arena and Olympic swimming pool in Kirchberg , north-eastern Luxembourg
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 . The national stadium (also the country's largest) is the Stade Josy Barthel, in western Luxembourg
Luxembourg
City; named after the country's only official Olympic gold medallist, the stadium has a capacity of 8,054.

Notable sportspeople include (see also _List of Luxembourgish Sportspeople of the Year _):

* Alpine skier Marc Girardelli
Marc Girardelli
, World Cup overall champion five times between 1985 and 1993 * Cyclists Nicolas Frantz, winner of the 1927 and 1928 Tours de France
France
; Charly Gaul
Charly Gaul
, winner of the 1956 and 1959 Giro d\'Italia and of the 1958 Tour de France
France
; Elsy Jacobs, first ever women\'s Road World Champion in 1958; and Andy Schleck, winner of the 2010 Tour de France
France
* Middle-distance runner Josy Barthel, winner of the men\'s 1500 metres at the 1952 Summer Olympics * 1961 world water skiing champion Sylvie Hülsemann * Tennis players Gilles Muller, Anne Kremerand Mandy Minella.

CUISINE

Main article: Luxembourg cuisine

Luxembourg cuisinereflects its position on the border between the Latin and Germanic worlds, being heavily influenced by the cuisines of neighboring France
France
and Germany. More recently, it has been enriched by its many Italian and Portuguese immigrants.

Most native Luxembourg
Luxembourg
dishes, consumed as the traditional daily fare, share roots in the country's folk dishes the same as in neighboring Germany
Germany
.

*

_ Judd mat Gaardebounen
Judd mat Gaardebounen
_ served with boiled potatoes and Diekirch beer *

_ Bouneschlupp_ is considered to be a Luxemburgish national dish *

_ Träipen_, sometimes _treipen_, is the Luxembourg
Luxembourg
variant of black pudding

MEDIA

The main languages of media in Luxembourg
Luxembourg
are French and German. The newspaper with the largest circulation is the German-language daily Luxemburger Wort. In addition there are both English and Portuguese radio and national print publications, but accurate audience figures are difficult to gauge since the national media survey by ILRES is conducted in French.

Luxembourg
Luxembourg
is known in Europe
Europe
for its radio and television stations (Radio Luxembourg
Luxembourg
and RTL Group
RTL Group
). It is also the uplink home of SES , carrier of major European satellite services for Germany
Germany
and Britain.

Due to a 1988 law that established a special tax scheme for audiovisual investment, the film and co-production in Luxembourg
Luxembourg
has grown steadily. There are some 30 registered production companies in Luxembourg.

Luxembourg
Luxembourg
won an Oscar in 2014 in the Animated Short Films category with _ Mr Hublot_.

SEE ALSO

* Outline of Luxembourg * Architecture of Luxembourg * List of castles in Luxembourg * Luxembourg Leaks * List of countries by external debt

FOOTNOTES

* ^ Luxembourgish
Luxembourgish
: _Groussherzogtum Lëtzebuerg_ French : _Grand-Duché de Luxembourg_; German : _Großherzogtum Luxemburg_

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pavilion displays green heart of Europe" (PDF). Shanghai Daily. 12 November 2007. Retrieved 24 December 2011. * ^ "Luxembourg". Council of Europe. 2003. Archived from the original on 23 June 2004. Retrieved 25 November 2006. * ^ "Luxemburger Wort". _Wort.lu_. Retrieved 2 April 2015. * ^ "TNS ILRES – Home". Tns-ilres.com. Retrieved 2 April 2015. * ^ "Luxembourg, a film country". Eu2005.lu. 29 December 2004. Retrieved 25 April 2010. * ^ "Film Fund Luxembourg". En.filmfund.lu. Retrieved 2 April 2015.

* ^ " Luxembourgish
Luxembourgish
Film Production Companies". Cna.public.lu. Retrieved 2 April 2015.

FURTHER READING

* Kreins, Jean-Marie (2003). _Histoire du Luxembourg_ (in French) (3rd ed.). Paris: Presses Universitaires de France
France
. ISBN 978-2-13-053852-3 . * Thewes, Guy (July 2003). _Les gouvernements du Grand-Duché de Luxembourg
Luxembourg
depuis 1848_ (PDF) (in French) (Édition limitée ed.). Luxembourg
Luxembourg
City: Service Information et Presse. ISBN 2-87999-118-8 . Retrieved 10 July 2007. * Plan d\'action national luxembourgeois en matière de TIC et de haut-débit * CEE- Europe\'s Digital Competitiveness Report –Volume 2: i2010 –ICT Country Profiles- page 40-41 * Inauguration of LU-CIX * Art and Culture in Luxembourg

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