"LUXEMBOURG, Le Couer Vert de l'Europe" Top 5 Page for this destination Luxembourg by mtncorg

Luxembourg Travel Guide: 1,526 reviews and 4,213 photos

The tourist bureau here used to use the slogan: Luxembourg, the Green Center of Europe. Since 1989, Luxembourg is probably not in the 'center' anymore, but the landscape does remain green. Most people don't come to Europe for Luxembourg, but there is plenty to occupy a person's interest here in the Grand Duchy. The country is a mixing pot of French and German culture, tradition and language - similar to what you can find along other borderlands of these two neighbors. The country can be roughly divided into two geographical regions with the northern third lying within the Ardennes Mountains. The southerly two thirds is flatter, though not without hills. Outside of the capital city, the country maintains a rural landscape similar to bordering countries.

The history is old - the original House of Luxembourg being founded in 963, though the present family, from the House of Orange-Nassau, has ruled only since 1890. During the 14th century, Luxembourg was almost four times its present size. Two members of the ruling house were emperors of the Holy Roman Empire. But being a player in the grand scheme of things can also have its price. Hard times brought about a French invasion and annexation of Luxembourg to the House of Burgundy. This led to 400 years of foreign rule with Luxembourg changing hands between the French, then the Spanish Habsburgs, and then the Austrian Habsburgs - 1443-1794. The French Revolution brought the French back for one more time, only to leave in 1814 with the fall of Napoleon. A complicated system following the Treaty of Vienna had Prussian troops occupying the Fortress of Luxembourg - lands to the east of the Moselle also were annexed to the Hohenzollern crown. The country, itself, was made an independent state in the personal possession of the King of Netherlands. This awkward arrangement lasted until the Belgians kicked the Dutch out of Belgium - also depriving the Duchy of French-speaking lands in the west, which became the Belgian province of Luxembourg. After machinations on the part of Napoleon III and Bismarck, the fortress of Luxembourg was razed in 1867 and the Prussians went home, much to the dismay of the Prussian Field Marshall von Moltke who had to wait until 1870 for his war with the French - a war that Bismarck said, "... once started, this war will never cease." The Treaty of London guaranteed the neutrality of Luxembourg

That neutrality was disregarded twice by the Germans in subsequent years. Following WWII, Luxembourg went away from neutrality, joining NATO and was a founding member of the European Coal and Steel Community, a body that evolved into the European Economic Community.

Most people only know Luxembourg from its capital city or its airport, butthe country is a great place to bike or walk in. There are many gems hidden away in its forests and fields. The country is in ideal region to combine a visit here with neighboring areas of Belgium, France and Germany.

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:Small, grand rural landscapes, fascinating cultural milleau
  • Cons:Need a car to get around easily
  • In a nutshell:Fascinating Land with a Large History
  • Intro Updated Jan 6, 2004
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Reviews (11)

Comments (12)

  • karenincalifornia's Profile Photo
    Mar 13, 2010 at 3:27 PM

    My son just spent the day here, so I had to check out your page. He said L was gorgeous and very interesting. Your photos confirm that.

  • SteveOSF's Profile Photo
    Sep 20, 2009 at 10:35 AM

    Excellent page with great historical information.

  • May 25, 2009 at 9:22 AM

    You know Luxembourg better than I

  • BorderHopper's Profile Photo
    Feb 24, 2007 at 11:45 AM

    You've done a great job on these pages. Your photos are beautiful...I was actually pleased with how beautiful Luxembourg looks (never been there). Happy travels!

  • travelfrosch's Profile Photo
    Sep 18, 2006 at 2:54 PM

    This brought back memories! Vianden and Echternach were favorite hiking destinations of mine. Luxembourg city is quite interesting itself. Excellent page! Cheers, Mark

  • Dabs's Profile Photo
    Jul 22, 2006 at 4:37 PM

    I didn't know Patton was buried in Luxembourg. Interesting reading, hope to make it here in Sept.

  • hindu1936's Profile Photo
    Mar 16, 2006 at 11:55 PM

    This monument is one above all others for me. I wept as a child when Gen. Patton died. good photo

  • andrewwhite's Profile Photo
    Feb 28, 2005 at 10:24 AM

    Now these are really wonderful pages, informative & interesting - the works. Luxembourg has a wonderful set of footpath trails which join youth hostels from the capital right the way up to Clerveaux & Vianden (at least it had 40 years ago when I did it)

  • Paul2001's Profile Photo
    Nov 14, 2004 at 8:39 AM

    I really enjoyed Luxembourg. For such a small country, it has a lot to see. Great page.

  • iandsmith's Profile Photo
    Aug 16, 2004 at 5:55 PM

    Not much more to know after reading these! Great stuff.

mtncorg

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