Luxembourg (Luxembourgish: Lëtzebuerg; German: Luxemburg), officially the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg, is a landlocked country in western Europe. It is bordered by Belgium to the west and north, Germany to the east, and France to the south. Its capital, Luxembourg City, is, together with Brussels and Strasbourg, one of the three official capitals of the European Union and the seat of the European Court of Justice, the highest juridical instance in the EU. Its culture, people and languages are highly intertwined with its neighbours, making it essentially a mixture of French and Germanic cultures. The repeated invasions by its neighbour countries, especially in World War II, resulted in the country's strong will for mediation between France and Germany and led to the foundation of the European Union.
It comprises two principal regions: the Oesling in the north as part of the Ardennes massif, and the Gutland ("Good Land") in the south. With an area of 2,586 square kilometres, it is one of the smallest sovereign states in Europe (about the same size as the state of Rhode Island or the English county of Northamptonshire). Luxembourg had a population of 524,853 in October 2012, ranking it the 8th least-populous country in Europe.
As a representative democracy with a constitutional monarch, it is headed by a grand duke, Henri, Grand Duke of Luxembourg, and is the world's only remaining grand duchy. Luxembourg is a developed country, with an advanced economy and the world's highest GDP (PPP) per capita, according to the United Nations in 2014. Its central location has historically made it of great strategic importance to numerous powers, dating back to its founding as a Roman fortress, its hosting of a vital Frankish castle during the Early Middle Ages, and its role as a bastion for the Spanish Road between the 16th and 17th centuries.
The Luxembourgers live not only on tourism and souvenir production. Their city is the largest trans-European transport node. The main sectors of production here are metallurgy and heavy engineering. There are chemical, food, and clothing industries. The city has the School of Arts and Crafts, the National Library, and the National Museum. Luxembourg is the most important administrative and financial centre of the Common Market’s countries. The tallest building in the city is the building of the Euro-Parliament Secretariat.
The most important monuments of ancient architecture include the remains of the Roman fortifications, bastions of the 10th century, the Chapel of St. Kieran (6 and 15 centuries), the Gothic church, the Saint-Michel (16th century), the Renaissance Palace of Justice (16th century), and the Baroque Cathedral of Notre Dame (17th century). Many ancient stone bridges across the gorge remain preserved. Image of the city is complemented by steel Grand Duchess Charlotte Bridge, which connects Luxembourg with its most modern suburb of Kirchberg.
This post is part of the Our World Tuesday meme,
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