Luxembourg Travel Guide

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Luxembourg in autumn

Luxembourg in autumn

Vilmar Schiff

The Grand Duchy of Luxembourg with a population of only 435,700 is bordered by Belgium on the north and west, Germany on the east, and France on the south. It has an area of 2,586 sq km (998 sq mi). Until the EU expansion of May 1 2004, Luxembourg was the smallest member country in the European Union (now Malta is the smallest EU member country).

Luxembourg is often divided in two parts: the northern plateau land called Ösling and the southern Gutland. Ösling is part of the Ardennes , a rolling high plateau from the Devonian, dissected by narrow valleys. Gutland is built up of sedimentary rocks from the Triassic and Jurassic.   Climate is sub-maritime in the north and somewhat more continental in the south. About a third of the country is forested, originally mainly oak and beech forest, now to a considerable degree replaced by spruce plantations.

Luxembourg is one of the world's most industrialised countries and has the highest standard of living in the EU. The GNP per capita is among the highest in the world, USD 66 727 in 2005. The Economy is based on the steel industry and on banking.

Founded in 963, Luxembourg became a Grand Duchy in 1815 and an independent state under the Netherlands. It lost more than half of its territory to Belgium in 1839, but gained a larger measure of autonomy. Full independence was attained in 1867. Overrun by Germany in both World Wars, it ended its neutrality in 1948 when it entered into the Benelux Customs Union and when it joined NATO the following year. In 1957, Luxembourg became one of the six founding countries of the European Economic Community (later the European Union) and in 1999 it joined the euro currency. The center of Luxembourg is Luxembourg city and there are a number of other beautiful small cities and villages to visit. Really worth a visit is Echternach and Vianden. All places can be easily visited in a day from the capital or neighbouring Trier.

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April 13, 2007 change by lpx

June 24, 2008 change by ingvar

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