Luxembourg (Luxembourgish: Lëtzebuerg, French: Luxembourg, German:
Luxemburg),[pron 1] also known as
Luxembourg City (Luxembourgish: Stad
Lëtzebuerg or d'Stad, French: Ville de Luxembourg, German: Stadt
Luxemburg)[pron 2], is the capital city of the Grand Duchy of
Luxembourg (also named "Luxembourg"), and the country's most populous
commune. Standing at the confluence of the
Alzette and Pétrusse
rivers in southern Luxembourg, the city lies at the heart of Western
Europe, situated 213 km (132 mi) by road from Brussels,
372 km (231 mi) from Paris, and 209 km (130 mi)
from Cologne. The city contains
Luxembourg Castle, established by
Franks in the Early Middle Ages, around which a settlement
As of January 2016, the commune had a population of 115,227, which
was more than three times the population of the country's second most
populous commune (Esch-sur-Alzette). The city's metropolitan
population, including that of surrounding communes of Hesperange,
Sandweiler, Strassen, and Walferdange, reaches 180,000.
Luxembourg was ranked as having the second highest per capita
GDP in the world at $80,119 (PPP), with the city having developed
into a banking and administrative centre. In the 2011 Mercer worldwide
survey of 221 cities,
Luxembourg was placed first for personal safety
while it was ranked 19th for quality of living.
Luxembourg is one of the de facto capitals of the European Union
Brussels and Strasbourg), as it is the seat of several
institutions of the European Union, including the European Court of
Justice, the European Court of Auditors, the Secretariat of the
European Parliament, the European Investment Bank, the European
Investment Fund, and the European Stability Mechanism.
2.2 Quarters of
3.1 Local government
3.2 National government
3.3 European institutions
5 Places of interest
6.2 Public transport
7 International relations
7.1 Twin towns – Sister cities
8 Image gallery
9 See also
13 Further reading
14 External links
See also: Timeline of
Luxembourg City and
Fortress of Luxembourg
Old City of
Luxembourg at night
In the Roman era, a fortified tower guarded the crossing of two Roman
roads that met at the site of
Luxembourg city. Through an exchange
treaty with the abbey of Saint Maximin in
Trier in 963, Siegfried I of
the Ardennes, a close relative of King
Louis II of France
Louis II of France and Emperor
Otto the Great, acquired the feudal lands of Luxembourg. Siegfried
built his castle, named Lucilinburhuc ("small castle"), on the Bock
Fiels ("rock"), mentioned for the first time in the aforementioned
In 987, Archbishop Egbert of
Trier consecrated five altars in the
Church of the Redemption (today St. Michael's Church). At a Roman road
intersection near the church, a marketplace appeared around which the
The city, because of its location and natural geography, has through
history been a place of strategic military significance. The first
fortifications were built as early as the 10th century. By the end of
the 12th century, as the city expanded westward around the new St.
Nicholas Church (today the cathedral of Notre Dame), new walls were
built that included an area of 5 hectares (12 acres). In about 1340,
under the reign of John the Blind, new fortifications were built that
stood until 1867.
In 1443, the Burgundians under
Philip the Good
Philip the Good conquered Luxembourg.
Luxembourg became part of the Burgundian, and later Spanish and
Austrian empires (See
Spanish Netherlands and Spanish road) and under
those Habsburg administrations
Luxembourg Castle was repeatedly
strengthened so that by the 16th century,
Luxembourg itself was one of
the strongest fortifications in Europe. Subsequently, the Burgundians,
the Spanish, the French, the Spanish again, the Austrians, the French
again, and the Prussians conquered Luxembourg.
In the 17th century, the first casemates were built; initially, Spain
built 23 km (14 mi) of tunnels, starting in 1644. These
were then enlarged under French rule by Marshal Vauban, and augmented
again under Austrian rule in the 1730s and 1740s.
During the French Revolutionary Wars, the city was occupied by France
twice: once, briefly, in 1792–3, and, later, after a seven-month
Luxembourg held out for so long under the French siege that
French politician and military engineer
Lazare Carnot called
Luxembourg "the best fortress in the world, except Gibraltar", giving
rise to the city's nickname: the '
Gibraltar of the North'.
Nonetheless, the Austrian garrison eventually surrendered, and as a
Luxembourg was annexed by the French Republic, becoming
part of the département of Forêts, with
Luxembourg City as its
préfecture. Under the 1815 Treaty of Paris, which ended the
Luxembourg City was placed under Prussian military
control as a part of the German Confederation, although sovereignty
passed to the House of Orange-Nassau, in personal union with the
United Kingdom of the Netherlands.
Luxembourg Crisis, the 1867 Treaty of
Luxembourg to dismantle the fortifications in
Luxembourg City. Their
demolition took sixteen years, cost 1.5 million gold francs, and
required the destruction of over 24 km (15 mi) of
underground defences and 4 hectares (9.9 acres) of casemates,
batteries, barracks, etc. Furthermore, the Prussian garrison was to
When, in 1890, Grand Duke William III died without any male heirs, the
Grand Duchy passed out of Dutch hands, and into an independent line
under Grand Duke Adolphe. Thus, Luxembourg, which had hitherto been
independent in theory only, became a truly independent country, and
Luxembourg City regained some of the importance that it had lost in
1867 by becoming the capital of a fully independent state.
Despite Luxembourg's best efforts to remain neutral in the First World
War, it was occupied by
Germany on 2 August 1914. On 30 August,
Helmuth von Moltke moved his headquarters to
Luxembourg City, closer
to his armies in
France in preparation for a swift victory. However,
the victory never came, and
Luxembourg would play host to the German
high command for another four years. At the end of the occupation,
Luxembourg City was the scene of an attempted communist revolution; on
9 November 1918, communists declared a socialist republic, but it
lasted only a few hours.
In 1921, the city limits were greatly expanded. The communes of Eich,
Hamm, Hollerich, and
Rollingergrund were incorporated into Luxembourg
City, making the city the largest commune in the country (a position
that it would hold until 1978).
Luxembourg again. The Nazis were not
prepared to allow
Luxembourgers self-government, and gradually
Luxembourg into the Third Reich by informally attaching the
country administratively to a neighbouring German province. Under the
occupation, the capital city's streets all received new, German names,
which was announced on 4 October 1940. The Avenue de la Liberté
for example, a major road leading to the railway station, was renamed
Luxembourg City was liberated on 10
September 1944. The city was under long-range bombardment by the
V-3 cannon in December 1944 and January 1945.
After the war,
Luxembourg ended its neutrality, and became a founding
member of several inter-governmental and supra-governmental
institutions. In 1952, the city became the headquarters of the High
Authority of the European Coal and Steel Community. In 1967, the High
Authority was merged with the commissions of the other European
Luxembourg City was no longer the seat of the
ECSC, it hosted some part-sessions of the
European Parliament until
Luxembourg remains the seat of the European Parliament's
secretariat, as well as the European Court of Justice, the European
Court of Auditors, and the European Investment Bank. Several
departments of the
European Commission are also based in Luxembourg.
View from the Grund up to the Old Town
The highest point of the Grand-Duchy of
Kneiff at 560 m,
closely followed by Burgplatz at 559 m and Napoleonsgaart at 554 m.
Luxembourg City lies on the southern part of the
Luxembourg plateau, a
Early Jurassic sandstone formation that forms the heart of the
Gutland, a low-lying and flat area that covers the southern two-thirds
of the country.
The city centre occupies a picturesque site on a salient, perched high
on precipitous cliffs that drop into the narrow valleys of the Alzette
Pétrusse rivers, whose confluence is in
Luxembourg City. The
70 m (230 ft) deep gorges cut by the rivers are spanned by
many bridges and viaducts, including the Adolphe Bridge, the Grand
Duchess Charlotte Bridge, and the Passerelle. Although
is not particularly large, its layout is complex, as the city is set
on several levels, straddling hills and dropping into the two gorges.
The commune of
Luxembourg City covers an area of over 51 km2
(20 sq mi), or 2% of the Grand Duchy's total area. This
makes the city the fourth-largest commune in Luxembourg, and by far
the largest urban area.
Luxembourg City is not particularly densely
populated, at about 1,700 people per km2; large areas of Luxembourg
City are maintained as parks, forested areas, or sites of important
heritage (particularly the
UNESCO sites), while there are also large
tracts of farmland within the city limits.
Main article: Quarters of
Luxembourg City is subdivided into twenty-four quarters (French:
quartiers), which cover the commune in its entirety. The quarters
generally correspond to the major neighbourhoods and suburbs of
Luxembourg City, although a few of the historic districts, such as
Bonnevoie, are divided between two quarters.
Considering its latitude,
Luxembourg City has a mild oceanic climate,
with moderate precipitation, cold to cool winter temperatures and
temperate summers. Moderate to heavy cloud cover is present for more
than two-thirds of the year.
Climate data for Luxembourg,
Luxembourg (1981–2000, extremes
Record high °C (°F)
Average high °C (°F)
Daily mean °C (°F)
Average low °C (°F)
Record low °C (°F)
Average precipitation mm (inches)
Average precipitation days (≥ 0.1 mm)
Average snowy days
Average relative humidity (%)
Mean monthly sunshine hours
Percent possible sunshine
Luxembourg communal council and List of mayors of Luxembourg
Luxembourg City Hall is the heart of the communal administration, and
hosts the offices of both the communal council and the mayor.
Under the Luxembourgian constitution, local government is centred on
the city's communal council. Consisting of twenty-seven members (fixed
since 1964), each elected every six years on the second Sunday of
October and taking office on 1 January of the next year, the
council is the largest of all communal councils in Luxembourg. The
city is nowadays considered a stronghold of the Democratic Party
(DP), which is the third-largest party nationally. Currently, the
Democratic Party is the largest party on the council, with eleven
The city's administration is headed by the mayor, who is the leader of
the largest party on the communal council. After Xavier Bettel became
Luxembourg's new prime minister on 4 December 2013,
Lydie Polfer (DP)
was sworn in as new mayor of
Luxembourg on 17 December of the same
year. The mayor leads the cabinet, the collège échevinal, in which
the DP forms a coalition with The Greens. Unlike other cities in
Luxembourg, which are limited to four échevins at most,
given special dispensation to have six échevins on its collège
The Plateau de Kirchberg has many new buildings including those for
the European Institutions
Luxembourg City is the seat for the
Luxembourg Government. The Grand
Ducal Family of
Luxembourg lives at
Berg Castle in Colmar-Berg.
For national elections to the Chamber of Deputies, the city is located
in the Centre constituency.
Luxembourg City is the seat of several institutions of the European
Union, including the European Court of Justice, the European
Commission, the secretariat of the European Parliament, the European
Court of Auditors and the European Investment Bank. The majority of
these institutions are located in the Kirchberg quarter, in the
northeast of the city.
Main article: Culture of Luxembourg
Luxembourg is currently used for exhibitions of local art.
Grand Théâtre de Luxembourg
Despite the city's comparatively small size, it has several notable
museums: the recently renovated National Museum of History and Art
Luxembourg City History Museum, the new Grand Duke Jean
Museum of Modern Art (Mudam) and National Museum of Natural History
(NMHN). The city of
Luxembourg itself is on the
UNESCO World Heritage
List, on account of the historical importance of its
fortifications. In addition to its two main theatres, the Grand
Luxembourg and the Théâtre des Capucins, there is a new
concert hall, the Philharmonie, as well as a conservatory with a large
auditorium. Art galleries include the Villa Vauban, the Casino
Luxembourg and Am Tunnel.
Luxembourg was the first city to be named European Capital of Culture
twice. The first time was in 1995. In 2007, along with the Romanian
city Sibiu, the European Capital of Culture was to be a
cross-border area consisting of the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg, the
Rheinland-Pfalz and Saarland in Germany, the Walloon Region and the
German-speaking part of Belgium, and the Lorraine area in France. The
event was an attempt to promote mobility and the exchange of ideas,
crossing borders in all areas, physical, psychological, artistic and
Luxembourg City is also famed for its wide selection of restaurants
and cuisines, including four Michelin starred establishments.
Europe Marathon has been contested annually in the capital
since June 2006. It attracted 11,000 runners and over 100,000
spectators during the 2014 edition
Luxembourg Open is a tennis tournament held since 1991 in the
capital. The tournament runs from 13 to 21 October. BGL BNP Paribas,
one of the most famous sponsors in the world of tennis, is the
contracted title sponsor of the tournament until 2014.
D'Coque National Sporting and Cultural Centre, in the quarter of
Kirchberg, is the largest sporting venue in the country, with a
capacity of 8,300 for indoor sports and swimming.
The two football clubs of the city of Luxembourg; Racing FC Union
Luxembourg and FC RM Hamm Benfica, play in the country's highest
Luxembourg National Division. The 8,000-seater Stade Josy
Barthel hosts the
Luxembourg national football team, and CAL Spora
Luxembourg, which with 400 members is the nation's largest athletics
Places of interest
Luxembourg American Cemetery and Memorial
Places of interest include the Gothic Revival Cathedral of Notre Dame,
the fortifications, the AM Tunnel (an art gallery underground), the
Grand Ducal Palace, the
Gëlle Fra war memorial, the casemates, the
Neumünster Abbey, the Place d'Armes, the
Adolphe Bridge and the city
hall. The city is the home of the University of
Luxembourg and RTL
The Second World War
Luxembourg American Cemetery and Memorial is
located within the city limits of
Luxembourg at Hamm. This cemetery is
the final resting place of 5,076 American military dead, including
General George S. Patton. There is also a memorial to 371 Americans
whose remains were never recovered or identified.
Luxembourg is situated in the heart of Europe in the Gold Triangle
Paris and Amsterdam. It is therefore connected to
several motorways and international routes.
A1 (E44): to
A3 (E25): to
A4: to Esch-sur-
Alzette and to A13 to Petange,
Athus (Belgium) and
A6 (E25 / E411): to
Arlon and Brussels.
A7 (E421): to
Mersch and Ettelbrück.
Luxembourg Railway Station
Luxembourg City has a network of 31 bus routes, operated by the
buses of the City of
Luxembourg (Autobus de la Ville de Luxembourg,
AVL), partly subcontracted to private bus companies. There is also a
free bus service linking the Glacis to the Central Station, the "Joker
Line" for seniors, and a "City night network". The city also owns 5
free carparks, situated at the entry points of
Luxembourg (Beggen: 160
cars, Bouillon: 2442, Kirchberg: 265, Kockelscheuer: 567,
Luxembourg-Sud: 881). Those "Park & Ride" carparks are connected
to the bus network with the aim of encouraging people to commute into
town by bus. In addition to AVL buses, the CFL and RGTR operate
regional buses to other places in
Luxembourg and nearby cities in
Germany and France.
On 10 December 2017, the first stage of the new tram opened between
Rout Bréck-Pafendall and Luxexpo serving the Kirchberg quarter. An
extension to the city centre (Stäreplaz-Étoile) is envisaged for
April 2018, further extensions to Gare Centrale, Bonnevoie, Howald and
Cloche d’Or are also under construction are planned to be finished
by 2020/21. The tram, as with other public transport means in
Luxembourg, costs €2 to ride for one hour and €4 for a day ticket.
Luxembourg City has only one railway station, the main one of the
country, which is also the terminus of all the lines in the Grand
Duchy. It is owned by the state of
Luxembourg and by the Luxemburgish
railway company: the CFL. It is connected to the German, Belgian and
French railway network via several trains per hour. The station is
also connected to the French
TGV Est network (with which connections
are provided to
Paris and Strasbourg) and to
Switzerland via two daily international trains.
Luxembourg is served by the only international airport in the country:
Luxembourg Findel International Airport (codes: IATA: LUX, ICAO:
ELLX). It is situated in the municipality of Sandweiler, 6 kilometres
(3.7 miles) from the City. It is linked to the city centre by bus, but
railway and tram links are planned. The airport is the main base for
the two Luxembourgish airlines,
Luxair and Cargolux.
Luxembourg is a member of the QuattroPole union of cities, along with
Trier, Saarbrücken, and
Metz (neighbouring countries:
Twin towns – Sister cities
See also: List of twin towns and sister cities in Luxembourg
Luxembourg is twinned with:
State / Region
Luxembourg seen from Spot satellite
Skyline of the
The gorges and Adolphe Bridge
Gëlle Fra monument commemorates those who volunteered for service
in the armed forces of the Allies of World War I
Monument national de la solidarité luxembourgeoise
Flag of the City of Luxembourg
Luxembourg center citscape view from Cité Judiciaire
Luxembourg City center with Pulvermuhl Viaduct
Cité Judiciaire in Luxembourg
Cité Judiciaire fountain close-up
List of mayors of
Eurovision Song Contest
Eurovision Song Contest 1962, held at the Villa Louvigny
Eurovision Song Contest
Eurovision Song Contest 1966, held at the Villa Louvigny
Eurovision Song Contest
Eurovision Song Contest 1973, held at the Nouveau Théâtre Municipal
Eurovision Song Contest
Eurovision Song Contest 1984, held in the Nouveau Théâtre Municipal
^ Luxembourgish: [ˈlətsəbuːə̯ɕ]
^ Luxembourgish: [ˈʃtaːt ˈlətsəbuːə̯ɕ], [tʃtaːt]
French: [vil də lyksɑ̃buʁ]
German: [ˈʃtat ˈlʊksm̩bʊɐ̯k]
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