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Thursday, July 24, 2008

TT #85: Luxembourg

TT85

Thirteen interesting facts about Luxembourg

A few weeks ago I told you some things about Belgium, where we had just spent our vacation. The coming days we'll visit Luxembourg, so this week that's my subject!

fortress Luxembourg

  • Luxembourg is an independent sovereign state neighbouring Belgium, France, and Germany. Luxembourg is home to nearly 450,000 residents, with about a fifth of these individuals residing in or near Luxembourg City. Foreign residents represent more than a third of its population.
  • Luxembourg is a parliamentary representative democracy with a constitutional monarchy, ruled by a Grand Duke. It is the world's only remaining sovereign Grand Duchy.
  • The Grand Duchy of Luxembourg is just 60 kilometers (36 miles) wide east to west and 90 kilometers (51 miles) long north to south. This small country has a total area of 2586 square kilometers (999 sq. miles). It is located on the crossroads of several major highways; just a four hours drive from Paris, three from Frankfurt, five from Amsterdam or Basel.
  • The written history of Lucilinburhuc (i.e. Luxembourg) starts in the year 963, when Siegfried, Count of the Ardennes and founder of the Luxembourg Dynasty, had a castle built on the territory of the present-day capital of Luxembourg. This castle was the origin of the establishment of a town, which later was to develop into a formidable fortress, known by the name of 'Gibraltar of the North'. At its height, the fortress was girdled by three ring-walls studded with 24 forts, and linked underground by a 23 kilometre network of Casemates. In 1994, Luxembourg City was added to the UNESCO World Heritage list.
  • The present ruler, H.R.H. Grand Duke Henri, is the youngest European monarch. He succeeded his father Jean to the throne in October 2000. Executive power is in the hands of the Grand Duke and a Cabinet of 12 ministers. The legislative power rests with a Parliament (Chamber of Deputies) elected by men and women over 18, all of whom in Luxembourg have the right and duty to vote.
  • Already forming a close economic union with Belgium since 1921, the Grand Duchy is a founding member of the EU. Together with The Netherlands and Belgium it forms the Benelux. A lot of European institutions and organisations are based in Luxembourg
  • The linguistic situation in Luxembourg is characterized by the practice and the recognition of three official languages: French, German and Luxembourgish (“Lëtzebuergesch”). The plurilingualism of Luxembourg results from the coexistence of two ethnic groups, a Romanic and a Germanic one.
  • Grand Duke Jean, the father of Henri, actively participated in the D-Day landings. Grand Duke Jean's father was a British Brigadier. Grand Duke Jean is a Knight of the Garter and Colonel of the Irish Guards, therefore rides immediately behind H.M. The Queen during the "Trooping the Colour" ceremony, along with Prince Charles, Prince Philip, and the Duke of Kent. Incidentally, the Luxembourg Army trains at Sandhurst. While the Grand Duchy does not have no Navy nor Air Force, the country does have a sea-going flag. NATO's entire fleet of Airborne Early Warning reconnaissance aircraft is registered in Luxembourg.
  • The Luxembourg flag (used in the TT-header) has three horizontal bands of (top-down) red, white, and light blue (as opposed to the dark blue of the Dutch flag). People may well confuse the Luxembourg flag with the Luxembourg civil ensign. The latter is also known as "Roúde Léiw" which translates as "Red Lion", and is often seen at e.g. sports events to support the national team.
  • History tells us that Luxembourg has been independent, with a dynasty of its own, for a relatively short period of time. In the 19th century, Luxembourgers celebrated their national holiday on Kinnéksdag (King’s Day: the birthday of the Dutch king). The new country’s first real patriotic holiday was Groussherzoginsgebuertsdag (the Grand Duchess’s Birthday). Grand Duchess Charlotte who reigned from 1919 to 1964 was born on 23 January, but to take advantage of the better summer weather, her birthday celebrations were postponed by six months, to 23 June. After Grand Duke Jean ascended the throne, 23 June became the official national holiday.
  • Luxembourg City ranks as the world’s top city for personal safety and security, according to a 2005 Quality of Life survey by Mercer Consulting.
  • The commune of Luxembourg City covers a total area of over 51 km², or 2% of the Grand Duchy's total area. Luxembourg City is not particularly densely-populated, at under 1,500 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 that lie within the city limits.
  • Every summer Luxembourg City hosts the Medieval Anno Domini Festival on the Marche-aux-Poissons behind the Grand Ducal Palace and surrounding streets. The festival provides a live presentation of the middle ages, with the sights and sounds of market life, troubadours, dueling knights and wandering musicians. In 2008 the festival is called "Anno Domini 1408", in 2007 it was "Anno Domini 1407", etc. It is our main reason for going to Luxembourg.

Some interesting links about Luxembourg:
Wikipedia, Visit Luxembourg, Luxembourg.co.uk, Luxembourg National Tourist Office, Luxembourg City Tourist Office, Luxembourg fansite

map Luxembourg
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Links to other Thursday Thirteens!
~*~ Nicholas ~*~ Pretty Life Online ~*~ Sue ~*~ Chelle Y. ~*~ Claudia ~*~ Anthony North ~*~ Sandy Carlson ~*~ Hootin' Anni ~*~ Puss Reboots ~*~ Adelle ~*~ SJ Reidhead ~*~ Carol ~*~ The Gal Herself ~*~ Picturing of Life ~*~

Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!
The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It’s easy, and fun! Be sure to update your Thirteen with links that are left for you, as well! I will link to everyone who participates and leaves a link to their 13 things. Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!

30 comments:

  1. Over the years I have visited all the countries that surround Luxembourg but never to the country itself. I know that it has done very well out of the EU. No wonder they voted in favour of the appalling Lisbon Treaty!

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  2. Interesting information thanks for sharing ... Mine's up too hope you can drop by... Happy TT!

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  3. I would love to go to that medieval festival! Very informative post, and thank you so much for stopping by!

    Happy TT

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  4. It would be fun to visit there.

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  5. Boy that's fascinating. I've never been to Luxembourg - and have never really understood it. Like Monaco, it's hard to comprehend how it works. Thanks for sharing

    Happy TT

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  6. There are many of these little Duchies in Europe. They're fascinating places. I particularly remember Luxembourg from my youth, when it was one of the first places with a true radio station broadcasting pop music to Britain.

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  7. That medieval festival sounds like a lot of fun. I'm with Sue on that one. I hope you enjoy your visit. Maybe 13 pics from the trip sometime?

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  8. Oh if I could only go there to visit...."in my dreams only tho"...wow, amazing list.

    Mine's posted. Come by if you can find time.

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  9. Luxembourg is one of the places I'd like to visit some day.

    Until recently it was a popular income tax shelter for wealthy Americans. A disgruntled bank employee released all the private data and now those tax evaders are getting audits and fined for back taxes.

    Happy TT.

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  10. Sounds like a very interesting place to spend some time. Happy Trails

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  11. Excellent.

    SJR
    The Pink Flamingo
    http://thepinkflamingo.blogharbor.com/blog

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  12. I bet you are learning tons with all this T-13 research you're doing. Fascinating stuff! Yay, you!

    Mine's up, too.

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  13. What a rich history for such a small country! Did you research it before you visited Luxemborg yourself? Or did you find these facts for your TT? (Thanks for visiting mine)

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  14. i ever pass luxembourg when we went to france...

    Visit my T13 too : 13 things that happened...... Thanks

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  15. I always do some research before I go to any place. For this TT I found some extra intersting facts to add. I like to learn something from a TT!

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  16. Thanks for the history and geography lesson. You have some very interesting factoids here.

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  17. Sounds like a great place to visit! Thanks for posting this. :)

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  18. what a great idea for a tt!

    Please visit my tt. it's 77 reasons to donate to my blogathon on Sat, July 26!!
    http://www.bloggingforkids.shebecameabutterfly.net

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  19. I always thought it was in germany sounds like a great visit and you taught us a lot

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  20. My goodness...I must now run to Luxembourg. Incredible report! (Really, super informative.)Thanks for stopping by my blog. (And saying something nice about my pic, lol)

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  21. Tink - this was a fascinating TT. I visited Luxembourg (very briefly) in the 90's and didn't retain any of these interesting facts. Thanks for being teacher and travel guide!

    My TT is up at Six Degrees of Sexy this week: http://sixdegreesofsexy.blogspot.com

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  22. You learn something new everyday in the most unlikely places.

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  23. My husband and I took a road trip to Luxembourg the day the Berlin Wall "fell", on my husband's birthday, October 3, 1990. It didn't take long to drive to the other side, but coming back was long. Traffic jam, all the Germans seemed to have decided to go there, too.

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  24. Tink, I've never been to Luxembourg but I'd certainly go. Thanks for all the info! :)

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  25. I enjoyed this as I have been to Luxemburg even though it was a long time ago.

    Our TT lists are similar as I wrote about Knoxville...a city I was at last week:

    http://gnosticminx.blogspot.com/2008/07/13-things-about-knoxville.html

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  26. Interesting list, happy TT.

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  27. Very interesting. Luxembourg is just one of those countried that people tend to overlook I think!

    Happy TT. My list is, I have made it to the letter U

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  28. I remember in school they referred to the BENELEX region...Belgium, Netherlands, and Luxembourg. We zipped right through Luxembourg on our way to Belgium but that entire region was just beautiful.

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  29. It may have been your main reason for going, but it sounds like there are a lot of reasons for staying a while. I enjoyed this. You did a lot of research for it. Now I feel smarter. Ha ha...well at least less dumb about Luxembourg.

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Love, Tink