A BRIEF OVERVIEW
The Grand Duchy of Luxembourg is a landlocked country in Western Europe,Luxembourg happens to be one of the richest countries in the world. Although very small in area and least populous country in Europe, its convenient location with Belgum,France and Germany makes it an amazing place to visit.These countries are also major trade partners to Luxembourg.The rolling hills and forests are abode to beautiful churches and castles.European Union has four official capitals and Luxembourg is a major capital with three official languages:Luxembourgish,German and French.Even,foreigners occupy much of the population of this country,
In 1994,the UNESCO has declared it as World Heritage Site because of its fortifications and quarters.Presently,it is a sovereign grand duchy and headed by Great Duke Henry.The citizens here have always lived a good lifestyle and high standards of living.The country has always excelled in per capita income and economic development
LITTLE HISTORICAL BACKGROUND
- Luxembourg,basically emerged in the 10th century and even then it has been under the radar of many kingdoms and states but it tried its best to remain an independent political unit.
- The place was fortified by count Siegfried and his descendants and they ruled until the 13th century. The “Fortress of Luxembourg” and the city became places of utmost importance because of its location between the Habsburg territories and the France Kingdom. It is still considered to be one of the major war fortifications in world history.
- Under Napoleon,the province emerged powerful becoming part of the First French Republic for quiet sometimes till early 19th century.
- But,in 1815,after Napoleon got defeated,Luxembourg finally formed an alliance with the Netherlands and emerged as a recognized country at the Congress of Vienna in the same year.
- Due to some hostile during the Belgian Revolution in 1849;Belgium was ceded the purely French-speaking part of Luxembourg and the present state of Luxembourg that we know now was given to the Luxembourgish-speaking part.
- From the year 1867;Luxembourg became a sole independent country, headed by a constitutional monarch and a parliamentary democracy.The Supreme Law of the country was adopted on 17th October,1768
- Although,the neutrality of the country has been questioned and attacked in time and agin during the World Wars;it continued to take its stand and vested powers.
CULTURE AND ETHNICITY IN LUXEMBOURG
Although,the country has retained its folk traditions sometimes;it gets little overpowered by its Europeon counterparts.But,it has still been called the Cultural Capital of Europe,twice.The events organized here promotes exchange of ideas . Luxembourgh had always been an active participant in the Eurovision Song Contest.In fact,even in 2010,this country represented itself as the “Green Heart in Europe” in Shanghai’s event. World -renowed artists like Theor Kerg,Joseph Kutter & Michael Majerus ,photographer Edward Steichen are also natively from this country. We cant already deny the fact how the city itself is on the UNESCO World Heritage list.
The cuisine of this country has mostly been influenced by its neighbours-Germany and France;Even the immigrant settlers-the Portuguese and the Italian are also quiet responsible when it comes to their dishes. There is immense sales of alcohol in this region.
There are certain compulsory languages that are officially recognized in the states but otherwise,it is a very secular state.Some officially recognized religions includes Roman Catholicism,Judaism,Greek Orthodoxy etc.Luxembourgh welcomes people from the lengths and breadths of the world.The residents of Luxembourgh are rightly called-Luxembourgers.A recent study has shown that almost 50% of the population are foreigners and people are happy in the state co-living with each other multi-lingually. A decade old survey showed that the most widely spoken language was the French,then the Luxembourgish and then the German and English.While French is regarded as an important business communication language here;the Luxembourgish is highly popular among the local masses.
EDUCATION AND HEALTH
The education here is quiet noteworthy-It is a trilingual based education system.The initial years of primary education is in the native language,it becomes Gemran after quiet sometimes and then for much part of the school it is indeed,French. Additionally,English is taught too. Although,Proficiency in the former three is important or preferred till school is completed but meanwhile ,children learn English also .
The government of Luxembourgh spends a large amount from its GDP on Public Health.The country spends around 7% of its GDP on Health making it amoung the highest spending countries.It,in fact,amounts to around 8000$ for each of its residents.
Luxembourg does not seem to have much natural resource abundance like its neighbouring counterparts but its investment in its Human Resource or manpower is noteworthy.Most of its energy needs are met through imports.Nuclear Power is hardly there but hydro-electricity seems to be its only source of native power.
Presently, Luxembourg is the most affluent country in Europe and also ranks third among the world’s wealthiest. It has numerous good rankings from being a country with high standards of living to being a place very suitable for business,Luxemoburg has it al
Luxembourg is abode to the European Court of Justice,several EU administrative offices, and major investment banks also.Being a member of the United Nations and NATO, the country has very well integrated outsiders and the its own residents; by giving everyone the Right to Vote.
The Luxembourg passport ranks fifth in the world; its citizens get visa-on-arrival or visa-free access to 187 countries and territories.The country has a goal to reach zero emissions by 2050 and to increase its organic farming growth by five-folds from as of now.Even in Security and Safety,Luxembourgh has been performing really well from few years.Ranking 4th out of 132 countries, Luxembourg has emerged as one of world’s best performers in environmental protection,according to the 2012 Environmental Performance Index. In fact, even in “World’s Most Livable Cities”,Luxembourg ranks 6th among the top ten.
Lets delve in to our Touristy Feels and get to know what to explore in this country!
1.The Bock Casements
Built in 963,this powerful fortification of Luxembourg was once known as the Gibraltor.Erected by Count Siegfried,The Bock is the name for both the rocky promontory and the fortress.Although most of it was demolished in the 19th century but the defensive site structures have been expanded by rules from time and again.
Located just outside the town of Beaufort,it is a masterpiece amalgamation of both the Renaissance and Medieval sides.Although built in the 11th century,these castles have been expanded,annexed and undergone a lot of changes ever since but It has also been a Luxembourg National Monument since 1988.Presently,only 9 persons per group can go for a visit to this castle and it is open only during Winter season.
3.Grand Ducal Palace
This Renaissance building is definitely a must visit place for special organized tours for Public.Since it is the official residence of the country’s Monarch-it can be visited on its special timings from July to September.Tourists can enjoy the elegant interior,the ceremonial rooms and knowing very deeply and historically about the place by local guides.
Surrounded by woods and lying in rocky, narrowed down valley-is the old market town “Larochette”.On the valleys of the White Ernz stands partially built castles here.The industrial breathe medieval square and a number of historical monuments are all tourist attractions. Even the Neo-Roman Church,viewpoints like the castles of Nommerlayen and Meysembourg are a feast to the eyes.
Situated in Bettembourg, 3 miles from the French border and 6 miles from the capital city,this amusement centre with its amazing fairy-tale themed rides attracts thousands of visitors each year.There is also a zoo inside with exotic reptiles, birds and mammals. The park features pony-express,restaurants,concrts etc.There’s also an interesting zoo component that houses a large collection of exotic birds, reptiles, and numerous cute and cuddly mammals.
Built in the early 17th century and late Gothic style Rennaisance Architecture,The Roman Catholic Notre-Dame Cathedral in Luxembourg city has three notable towers and two original choir bays. The presence of monument around, in memory of the World War movement is symbolic here.
7.Upper Sûre Natural Park and Esch-sur-Sûre
Located somewhere in an old cloth mill , this place is an amalgamation of valleys,plateaus and wooden slopes and the beautiful central lake of this place. People love spending time here for their leisurely activities too.It is also famous for its eco-tourism,wildlife and water sports.Walking tours are also organised here for treks around the lake.Diving,fishing,swimming and solar-powered tours are also few activities here.
The presence of Museum also depicts its rich cultural heritage. one very famous event here is the Water Art Festival, which attracts about 200 musicians at a time.
Esch-sur-Sûre is a nearby place from here set by the river and in between the mountains; giving a spectacular view.The mansions here have free entry for every year round the year.
8.The Old Quarter of Luxembourg City
Often referred to as “d’Stad”,this historic Old Quarter ha been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since1994.
This can be said as the first exploring point of Luxembourg;to travel through beautiful gardens and small alleys. The city’s landmark, The Adolphe Bridge, also happens to be here.There are charming buildings and homes alongs its streets.The park-and-ride facility here makes it very convenient for any traveller to come by.
9.National Museum of History and Art, Luxembourg City
Even judging the already marvellous city on the number of great historical museums it would still top the list.Located in the Old Town centre,The National Museum of History and Art is top on the list.
Tools, arms,coins, archeological finds, art objects,furniture etc are all part of the Museum here and adds to its stunning beauty.The Gallo-Roman Period and the Contemporary Art Section is a must see which has been beautifully depicted through illustrations.
10.Walls Of The Corniche
Known as “The most beautiful balcony in Europe,” with beautiful river underneath and presence of the big “Gate of the Grund” since 1632-it depicts the old refugee and wealthy houses and also the St.Michael’s Church.The large cluster of buildings in the suburbs and the ancient Abbey of Neumünster is still remarkable
11.Echternach Benedictine Abbey
Dating back right from 17th century, this place is made up of a central courtyard ans four buildings.It also holds religious importance.There is a sarcophagus of St.Willibrord(made of colourful frescos and white marbles).The adjoining museum also makes it a sight to behold.
12.Town of Vianda
Close to the banks of the Rover Our,the town of Vianda is a majestically beautiful one.Surrounded by medieval outer wall and guard towers; it has manor built in the 9th century.It is also a famous pot because Victor Hugo had lived here during his exile period.For an amazing view of the countryside, there is a chairlift that can rise to 440 metres.
13.Philharomic of Luxembourg
The Philharmonic of Luxembourg is famous for being one exotic and luxurious concert venue in Europe.Home to the Orchestra Philharmonique de Luxembourg;tourists come here and play different types of music round the year.The best of best musical talents and powerful acoustics are acknowledged here.
Passerelle Viaduc is one of the most historically significant bridges in Luxembourg and was completed in 1861. Built by a British company called the Waring Brothers, the viaduct linked to the center of the city although despite how cutting edge it would have been at the time it is now known as Old Bridge.
15.Valley Of Seven Castles
Unfolding over 24 kms, the beautiful Valley of Seven Castles is located in the Guttland region of Luxembourg.Also,this is another name for Eisht Valley.It is named after the seven castles that comes in the route.
On a very personal note,I think the beauty of this place is unmatchable in entire vibe. The castles vibe of the city and the benevolent way multi-lingual people live here together is definitely a treat to the eyes. From going to all sorts of historical places to exploring the stunning towns, Luxembourg has a lot to offer even in its small space.Cant wait for y’all to actually go to the place and experience the majesty itself and come back with memories to cherish for a lifetime.