Luxembourg – the world’s only Grand Duchy
We’ve never thought about Luxembourg as a dream destination to travel. To be honest we’ve never thought about it at all. How wrong it was!
Luxembourg, or rather Grand Duchy of Luxembourg, is a beautiful country with a fantastic capital. It has a lot to offer! We were so amazed that we decided to make a video about it. Watch it and have fun 🙂
If you don’t want to watch a video, or just want to read more, we have some written information for you below 🙂
Let’s start from the beginning. Luxembourg is located between Germany, Belgium and France. It doesn’t have it’s own seashore. Neither culture or cuisine. Almost everything related to everyday life was impacted by neighbour countries and later enriched by imigrants.
Can you imagine that in all country (BTW one of the smallest in Europe) there are only 0.6 mln people? And only half of them are native Luxemburgers. The rest migrated there in the meantime. It causes a very interesting mix of cultures in this little area. Reasearches show that life here has a very high standard, one of the highest in the world. And the country is one of the richest in the world. Saying more, minimum salaries are the highest in Europe and unemployment rate the lowest. Probably because of these things, and openess for foreigners, number of population has been growing very fast.
So big amount of different nations lead to some needs. For example using different languages. There are three official ones: Luxembourgish, French and German. Poeple often learn also English and Dutch. Due to the number of imigrants from Portugal also their language is in common use. Most of people speak fluently 4 or 5 languages! It sounds unbelivable but it’s true 🙂
Mixing of cultures started a long time ago. On area of this country there were numerous battles, wars and conflicts. Luxembourg couldn’t also reject participation in German – French issues. So people were bulding castles to be safe. Many castles. The number of castles per capita is here the highest in Europe. Then they started to look for allies. It led to initate organizations like the European Union (its father – Robert Schuman was born in Luxembourg), OECD, NATO, United Nations, Benelux. After many years of invasions and conflicts, and final getting back a freedom and getting independence, Luxembourgers really wanted to stay free forever. They even have a motto: ‘we want to remain what we are’ which probably sais everything about their history and hopes.
They want to live in a happy country bulit by themselves. And foreigners of course. They are trully open for other people and their differences so any preferentions aren’t a problem. For example in 2014 government approved same-sex marriages after a poll which showed that 83% of people supported it. In many countries this topic still brings difficult emotions.
It seems that Luxembourg is a democratic country but officialy it’s a Grand Duchy. The only one in the world by the way. The Grand Duke’s name is Henri. He rules the country with a parliament and a Council of State. With them there is a red lion – a symbol of the country which you can see on flags and coats of arms. About flag… Luxembourg didn’t have any for a long time. The actual one was officialy adopted in 1997. It’s not a very creative composition. Three horizontal lines: red, white, blue. If you are good in things like that you should realize that it sound’s like Netherlands’ flag description. In practise these flags are very similar but Luxembourgish one is longer and has a lighter blue colour.
Let’s finish the topic of colours and say something about alcohol. In Luxembourg the most alcohol in Europe is being sold. Do Luxembourgers really drink so much? Is it the reason of their happy lives? Actually no. The truth is that their neighbours come there, buy a lot of alcohol and take it home.
We didn’t check alcohol prices but we checked many others, like fuel prices and they’re really good. Did you know that in Luxembourg there is the bigger amount of cars per capita? People here definitely like to drive. And they don’t have to complain for fuel prices.
Neither for taxes. In fact Luxembourg is a tax heaven. Many big companies have their headquarters and offices in Luxembourg City. Also a banking sector is huge and developed so probably keeps a lot of money.
All Luxembourgers, no matter what they do and where they come from, celebrate the duke’s birthday on 23rd of June. It’s a national holiday full of events and fun. But there is one thing… there was no duke who had birthday on that date. Despite that, there was a Duchess Chartlotte whose birthday was on 23rd of January. Close but not the same. Poeple celebrated her birthday like they did with all other dukes. But to be honest winter is not a good time for parties. So this important for a country day was moved to June. And was left in this place in the calendar. Yes, only because of the weather 🙂
As you can see Luxembourgers like having comfortable life. That’s why when you want to meet them you have to remember about a rule: Be punctual! It’s all about respect.
We said so much about a country, its history and population. Now I’d like to focus on it’s important part: a capital. It’s the biggest city in Luxembourg and probably the safest city in the world. It is called Luxembourg City (or rather in French: Ville de Luxembourg), but official name is just Luxembourg.
Like whole country this city is very interesting. Located in a valley between two rivers: Alzette i Petrusse, on a few ground levels, gives you the opportunity to walk up and down using many beautiful stairs. If you are lazy you can also use an elevator. One of them has a glass wall and during a short travel you can see a city. Amazing experience! Photos are in a gallery below.
When you leave the main paths you can spend some time in parks or green areas which are the third part of the city. So everyone has enough space there.
In general Luxembourg City is not very crowded. Only 100k people live there. And you know what, they come from 170 different countries! A true cultural mix. But what to expect from Luxembourg?
People live both in a new and old part of the city. Everywhere they have good and free (!!) public transport and free (!!) WIFI connection – tourists too 🙂 When you already have Internet you can find information about places you can visit. Like the one that the Old Town and a very old fortress have been a UNESCO heritage sites from 1994. Another one says that Grand Duke has his palace in the middle of the city. There are also numerous museums and historical places worth a visit. And a terrace with a breathtaking view. Some Luxembourgish writer said that it’s the most beautiful terrace in the world.
We’ll not write a guide with all attractions today because we’d need much more time than we have, but we can ensure you that everyone can find something for him/herself 🙂 As a cheer up we can show you more photos:
During our stay in Luxembourg we visited only a capital. We really wanted to go to a countryside but actual situation in Europe helped us to make a decision to change a country.
If you need more information about Luxembourg just let us know, perhaps we’ll be able to help 🙂