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Luxembourg Travel Guide

The landlocked Grand Duchy of Luxembourg is one of the smallest sovereign states in Europe. This does not mean the country has little to offer those who enjoy exploring archaeological and historical sites. For centuries this 2,586 km2 area surrounded by Belgium, France and Germany and its inhabitants have played an important role in the political events that shaped Europe. And continues to do so; Luxembourg City is the seat of the European Court of Justice, and one of the three official capitals of the European Union.

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Interesting Things to Know About Luxembourg

A small country sandwiched between Belgium, Germany, and France, Luxembourg has three official languages: German, French, and Luxembourgish. The latter is a West Germanic tongue, one that was historically sometimes regarded as a dialect of German rather than a distinct language in its own right.
Luxembourg became a distinct political entity in the year 963. It was established by Siegfried, count de Ardennes, with its territories expanding under his descendants. One of them, Conrad, was the first to call himself count of Luxembourg, around 1060. In the 14th century, the Holy Roman Emperor Charles IV declared it to be a duchy, a title it bears to this day.
Luxembourg takes its name from a castle that existed there in the 10th century, Lucilinburhuc, or Little Fortress. Today, the most prominent castle in Luxembourg is the Château de Vianden, built between the 10th and 14th centuries and which still displays various Romanesque and Gothic architectural elements. Although it fell into a state of ruin, in recent centuries it has been fully renovated.
Helping to defend the City of Luxembourg from attack was the Casemates du Block, a 17km-long underground tunnel network built largely in the 17th and 18th centuries. In 1867, many of the above-ground defences were  destroyed following the Treaty of London which proclaimed Luxembourg’s independence. Today the Casemates, along with the Old City above them, are recognised as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Luxembourg’s location and comparatively small size has left it an obvious target for its neighbours’ imperial pretensions. France invaded in 1684 and again in 1795. As Germany took to imperial expansion in the 20th century, it conquered Luxembourg during the First World War and again during the Second. Each time, the duchy’s independence has been restored after the conflict’s end.