Flanked by Belgium, Germany and France, the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg is a country of many contrasts. On the one hand, this fascinating region is one of the three official capitals of the European Union, a thriving centre for business and commerce and is home to some of the most impressive state-of-the-art architecture in Europe. On the other hand, the region (including the capital city of the same name, Luxembourg) boasts a wealth of historical sites and monuments, has many vineyards and intelligently combines old and new Luxembourg to create a diverse and inspiring nation.
Official records dating back to 963 A.D. indicate that the Luxembourg region was acquired by Siegfried I from the Imperial Abbey of St. Maximin. The descendants of Siegfried I, the Counts of Luxembourg, expanded their territory through marriage and war and by 1354, the region was elevated to the status of the Duchy of Luxembourg. Today, many of the region's monuments remain, chronicling its intriguing history and enviable culture. Visit Bock in the city's historical district and the site where Siegfried I built his castle after acquiring the land from the Abbey of St Maximin. Alternatively, visit the Notre Dame Cathedral: an impressive architectural gem built by the Jesuits between 1613 and 1621. The Cathedral's eclectic architectural styles feature 19th and 20th Century arabesques stained glass, neo-Gothic confessionals and the crypt is the final resting place of the Count of Luxembourg, John the Blind and the King of Bohemia.
Things to Do
Whatever your interests, the remarkable Luxembourg region boasts a myriad of attractions and activities for families, couples or solo travellers.
For the shopaholics
Visit the Place d'Armes flea and antique market held on the first Sunday of the month. The stalls are pitched in the city centre's picturesque square and visitors can browse the selection of interesting and competitively priced antiques. Alternatively, if you're seeking department and boutique type stores, head for the Grand Rue in the city.
For the foodies
Clairefontaine, in the heart of the city, is considered to be one of the finest restaurants in Luxembourg. This renowned restaurant boasts an impressive menu of French delicacies, such as frogs' legs, lobster and snails.
For the culture lovers
Named after Sébastien le Prestre de Vauban the French Fortress Builder, the Vauban Circular Walk guides visitors through the city's fortifications of the 17th, 18th and 19th Centuries. In addition, visitors will be taken across the fortified bridges and a number of bastions.
Calendar of Events
Irrespective of the season, a host of festivals and annual events occur throughout the year in Luxembourg, celebrating everything from music, art, food and history.
Festival de Wiltz. In June, the Festival de Wiltzan is held in an open-air theatre that hosts live performances from international musicians and artists. The City's castle forms the backdrop to the event, which spans five days.
The Nuit des Merveilles. Occurring in July, the Nuit des Merveilles is a performance venue for street artists, including tightrope walkers, musicians, jugglers, puppeteers and mimics.
The Wine and Grape Festival. Held every September, the Wine and Grape Festival is a celebration of the region's wines and an opportunity for growers to promote their products. The festival spans two days and includes a showband parade, crowning of the Wine Queen and a spectacular fireworks display.