Luxembourg the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg, is a small landlocked country in western Europe. It is bordered by Belgium to the west and north, Germany to the east, France to the south, its capital, Luxembourg City, is one of the three official capitals of the European Union and the seat of the European Court of Justice, the highest judicial authority in the EU. Its culture and languages are intertwined with its neighbours, making it a mixture of French and German cultures, as evident by the nation's three official languages: French and the national language, Luxembourgish; the repeated invasions by Germany in World War II, resulted in the country's strong will for mediation between France and Germany and, among other things, led to the foundation of the European Union. With an area of 2,586 square kilometres, it is one of the smallest sovereign states in Europe. In 2018, Luxembourg had a population of 602,005, which makes it one of the least-populous countries in Europe, but by far the one with the highest population growth rate.
Foreigners account for nearly half of Luxembourg's population. As a representative democracy with a constitutional monarch, it is headed by Grand Duke Henri and is the world's only remaining grand duchy. Luxembourg is a developed country, with an advanced economy and one of the world's highest GDP per capita; the City of Luxembourg with its old quarters and fortifications was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1994 due to the exceptional preservation of the vast fortifications and the old city. The history of 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′, the surrounding area from the Imperial Abbey of St. Maximin in nearby Trier. Siegfried's descendants increased their territory through marriage and vassal relations. At the end of the 13th century, the Counts of Luxembourg reigned over a considerable territory. In 1308, Henry VII, Count of Luxembourg became King of the Germans and Holy Roman Emperor.
The House of Luxembourg produced four Holy Roman Emperors during the high 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 and one of the Seventeen Provinces of the Habsburg Netherlands. Over the centuries, the City and Fortress of Luxembourg, of great strategic importance situated between the Kingdom of France and the Habsburg territories, was built up to be one of the most reputed fortifications in Europe. After belonging to both the France of Louis XIV and the Austria of Maria Theresia, Luxembourg became part of the First French Republic and Empire under Napoleon; the present-day state of 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 with a 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 was ceded to Belgium and the Luxembourgish-speaking part became what is the present state of Luxembourg.
Luxembourg is a founding member of the European Union, OECD, United Nations, NATO, Benelux. The city of Luxembourg, the country's capital and largest city, is the seat of several institutions and agencies of the EU. Luxembourg served on the United Nations Security Council for the years 2013 and 2014, a first in the country's history; as of 2018, Luxembourgish citizens had visa-free or visa-on-arrival access to 186 countries and territories, ranking the Luxembourgish passport 5th in the world, tied with Austria, the Netherlands, Portugal, the United Kingdom and the United States. The recorded history of Luxembourg begins with the acquisition of Lucilinburhuc situated on the Bock rock by Siegfried, Count of Ardennes, in 963 through an exchange act with St. Maximin's Abbey, Trier. Around this fort, a town developed, which became the centre of a state of great strategic value. In the 14th and early 15th centuries, three members of the House of Luxembourg reigned as Holy Roman Emperors. 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 territories being sold by Duchess Elisabeth to Philip the Good of Burgundy.
In the following centuries, Luxembourg's fortress was enlarged and strengthened by its successive occupants, the Bourbons, Habsburgs and the French. After the defeat of Napoleon in 1815, Luxembourg was disputed between Prussia and the Netherlands; the Congress of Vienna formed Luxembourg as a Grand Duchy within the German Confederation. The Dutch king became, in the grand duke. Although he was supposed to rule the grand duchy as an independent country with an administration of its own, in reality he treated it to a Dutch province; the Fortress of Luxembourg was manned by Prussian troops for the German Confederation. This arrangement was revised by the 1839 First Treaty of London, from which date Luxembourg's full independence is reckoned. At the time of the Belgian Revolution of 1830–1839, 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. In 1842 Luxembourg joined the German Customs Union (Zoll
Diekirch is a commune with town status in north-eastern Luxembourg, capital city of the canton Diekirch and, until its abolition in 2015, the district of Diekirch. The town is situated on the banks of the Sauer river; the town's heraldic shield, showing a crowned lion on a castle, was granted in 1988. It is based on the town's 14th century seal and arms; as of 2001, the town of Diekirch itself, which lies in the south of the commune, has a population of 6,068. Diekirch was the first town in Luxembourg to have a pedestrian zone, in 1977. Diekirch is home to a brewery of national importance carrying the town's name. Three secondary schools are located in Diekirch: Lycée classique de Diekirch, Lycée technique hôtelier Alexis Heck and Nordstadlycée; the town is home to the national operational headquarters of the Luxembourgish Army at the Haerebierg Military Centre and the National Museum of Military History, reflecting Diekirch's pivotal role in the famous Battle of the Bulge, called by the Germans Rundstedt-Offensive, a major battle of World War II.
It was here that the river Sauer was crossed on the night of January 18, 1945, by the US 5th Infantry division. The town is the seat of one of the six regional headquarters of the Grand Ducal Police and of one of the two judicial districts of Luxembourg; as far as sports events are concerned, Diekirch has gained a reputation for its annual cross country running competition — the Eurocross —, an IAAF permit meeting and attracts world-class runners, with Gabriela Szabo and Irina Mikitenko among its past winners. The town received its name, according to old sources, when Charlemagne in the late 8th century resettled Saxons, in order to bring them under his control. One of the centre of these settlements was in the area of Diekirch. In order to convert the pagan Saxons to Christianity, a church was built, which gave the settlement its name: "Diet-Kirch". In Old Franconian, thiuda. Þeudō is a reconstructed word from Germanic, which plays a role in the etymology of the term "Deutsch". In the 14th century, the blind king of Bohemia, fortified it, surrounding the place with a castellated wall and a ditch supplied by a stream.
It remained more or less fortified until the beginning of the 19th century when the French, during their occupation, levelled the old walls and substituted avenues of trees. In the course of extensive excavation in the 1960s, it was shown that the St. Laurence church is a Roman building. In the early 20th century, wall ruins and mosaics were being found north of the town center. Archaeological investigations in 1992-1993, 1999 and 2008 enabled the reconstruction of a large Roman villa, which extended over all the land of the medieval town and was abandoned in the early 5th century; the town's mascot is the donkey. There is a donkey fountain in the centre of Diekirch; the yearly cavalcade is held under the sign of the donkey. Paul Eyschen a Luxembourgish politician, statesman and diplomat, he was the eighth Prime Minister of Luxembourg, serving for twenty-seven years, 1888-1915. Léon Roth a Luxembourgian sprint canoer who competed in the 1952 Summer Olympics Johnny Lucas a Luxembourgian sprint canoer who competed in the 1952 Summer Olympics Ali Kaes a Luxembourgish politician General Gaston Reinig a Luxembourgian soldier and a former Chief of Defence of the Luxembourg Army Michael Pinto a Portuguese professional footballer Diekirch is twinned with: Media related to Diekirch at Wikimedia Commons Official website
Heffingen is a commune and small town in central Luxembourg, in the canton of Mersch. As of 2005, the town of Heffingen, which lies in the centre of the commune, has a population of 598. Another town within the commune is Reuland. Heffingen is where a homo sapiens of over 8000 years old, was found. Media related to Heffingen at Wikimedia Commons
Luxembourgish, Letzeburgesch, or Luxembourgian is a West Germanic language, spoken in Luxembourg. About 390,000 people speak Luxembourgish worldwide. A variety of the Moselle Franconian dialect group, Luxembourgish has similarities with other varieties of High German and the wider group of West Germanic languages; the status of Luxembourgish as an official language in Luxembourg and the existence there of a regulatory body, has removed Luxembourgish, at least in part, from the domain of Standard German, its traditional Dachsprache. Luxembourgish belongs to the West Central German group of High German languages and is the primary example of a Moselle Franconian language. Luxembourgish is the national language of Luxembourg and one of three administrative languages, alongside French and German. In Luxembourg, 50.9% of citizens can speak Luxembourgish. Luxembourgish is spoken in the Arelerland region of Belgium and in small parts of Lorraine in France. In the German Eifel and Hunsrück regions, similar local Moselle Franconian dialects of German are spoken.
The language is spoken by a few descendants of Luxembourg immigrants in the United States and Canada. Additionally, in the German Eifel and Hunsrück regions, similar local Moselle Franconian dialects of German are spoken. Other Moselle Franconian dialects are spoken by ethnic Germans long settled in Transylvania, Romania. Moselle Franconian dialects outside the Luxembourg state border tend to have far fewer French loan words, these remain from the French Revolution. There are several distinct dialect forms of Luxembourgish including Areler, Kliärrwer, Stater, Veiner and Weelzer. Further small vocabulary differences may be seen between small villages. Increasing mobility of the population and the dissemination of the language through mass media such as radio and television are leading to a gradual standardisation towards a "Standard Luxembourgish" through the process of koineization. There is no distinct geographic boundary between the use of Luxembourgish and the use of other related High German dialects.
Spoken Luxembourgish is hard to understand for speakers of German who are not familiar with Moselle Franconian dialects. However, they can read the language to some degree. For those Germans familiar with Moselle Franconian dialects, it is easy to understand and speak Luxembourgish as far as the everyday vocabulary is concerned. However, the large number of French loanwords in Luxembourgish may hamper communication about certain topics, or with certain speakers. There is no intelligibility between Luxembourgish and French or any of the Romance dialects spoken in the adjacent parts of Belgium and France. Erna Hennicot-Schoepges, President of the Christian Social People's Party of Luxembourg 1995–2003, was active in promoting the language beyond Luxembourg's borders. A number of proposals for standardising the orthography of Luxembourgish can be documented, going back to the middle of the 19th century. There was no recognised system, until the adoption of the "OLO" on 5 June 1946; this orthography provided a system for speakers of all varieties of Luxembourgish to transcribe words the way they pronounced them, rather than imposing a single, standard spelling for the words of the language.
The rules explicitly rejected certain elements of German orthography. New principles were adopted for the spelling of French loanwords. Fiireje, rééjelen, shwèzt, veinejer bültê, âprê, ssistém This proposed orthography, so different from existing "foreign" standards that people were familiar with, did not enjoy widespread approval. A more successful standard emerged from the work of the committee of specialists charged with the task of creating the Luxemburger Wörterbuch, published in 5 volumes between 1950 and 1977; the orthographic conventions adopted in this decades-long project, set out in Bruch, provided the basis of the standard orthography that became official on 10 October 1975. Modifications to this standard were proposed by the Conseil permanent de la langue luxembourgeoise and adopted in the spelling reform of 30 July 1999. A detailed explanation of current practice for Luxembourgish can be found in Lulling; the Luxembourgish alphabet consists of the 26 Latin letters plus three letters with diacritics: "é", "ä", "ë".
In loanwords from French and Standard German, other diacritics are preserved: French: Boîte, Enquête, Piqûre, etc. German: blöd, Bühn, etc. Like many other varieties of Western High German, Luxembourgish has a rule of final n-deletion in certain contexts; the effects of this rule are indicated in writing, therefore must be taken into account when spelling words and morphemes ending in ⟨n⟩ or ⟨nn⟩. For example: wann ech ginn "when I go", but wa mer ginn "when we go" fënnefandrësseg "thirty-five", but fënnefavéierzeg "forty-five"; the consonant inventory of Luxembourgish is quite similar to that of Standard German. /p͡f/ occurs only in loanwords from Standard German. Just as among many native German-speakers, it tends to be simplified to word-initia
Erpeldange-sur-Sûre is a commune and small town in north-eastern Luxembourg. It lies between Ettelbruck and Diekirch, it is part of the canton of Diekirch. As of 2001, the town of Erpeldange, which lies in the centre of the commune, has a population of 818. Other towns within the commune include Burden and Ingeldorf Erpeldange-sur-Sûre was formed on 1 July 1850, when it was detached from the commune of Ettelbruck, along with the commune of Schieren; the law forming Erpeldange-sur-Sûre was passed on the 22 January 1850. Erpeldange Castle now houses the commune's administrative offices, it has a history dating from the 13th century. Media related to Erpeldange at Wikimedia Commons Official Website for Erpeldange Official website of the Erpeldange tourist board Football club in Erpeldange Team III from the Football club in Erpeldange Erpeldange Youth association Band and Choir Concordia Erpeldange
Schieren is a commune and town in central Luxembourg. It is part of the canton of Diekirch; as of 2011, the town of Schieren itself, which lies in the west of the commune, has a population of 1,497. It is located on the rail line to Ettelbruck. Schieren was formed on 1 July 1850, when it was detached from the commune of Ettelbruck, along with the commune of Erpeldange; the law forming Schieren was passed on 22 January 1850. In 1894, Schieren established a fire station with five volunteer firefighters, it has a notable church. Media related to Schieren at Wikimedia Commons Commune of Schieren official website Unofficial website on local activities
Reisdorf is a commune and small town in eastern Luxembourg, on the river Sauer. It is part of the canton of Diekirch. In 2005, which lies in the centre of the commune, had a population of 479. Other towns within the commune include Hoesdorf. Media related to Reisdorf at Wikimedia Commons