Luxembourg is a small landlocked European country, bordered by Belgium, France and Germany. It’s mostly rural, with dense forests and nature parks in the north, rocky gorges in the east and a river valley in the southeast. Its capital, Luxembourg City, is famed for its fortified medieval old town perched on sheer cliffs. This country lies at the crossroads of Germanic and Latin cultures. It is the only Grand Duchy in the world and is the second-smallest of the European Union member states.
** A grand duchy is a country or territory whose ruler is a monarch bearing the title of grand duke or grand duchess.
This tiny country has a number of local industries achieving high levels of success. It also boasts a perfect location in the heart of Western Europe, with more natural beauty than you would expect, considering it’s size. Luxembourg is the second richest country in the world, so inhabitants of this microscopic land enjoy a very high standard of living!
European Road Trip Country #13
Luxembourg was our thirteenth country along our European Road Trip Adventure for 2016. We have only ONE post on this country because we really didn’t spend much time there at all. Although we knew that we would only have a half day to explore the capital, Luxembourg City, our plans were cut even shorter when it started to rain.
Fortunately, we did have time to walk around the city center, grab a gorgeous gelato, and take a few pictures. It was easy to see the wealth in this country – and there is no doubt that living there would be simply amazing.
Since we don’t have much to actually show you, and we didn’t visit any specific major sights, here are some interesting and informative facts about the country Luxembourg. Taken, and adapted, from 30 facts about Luxembourg on Expatica.com.
10 facts about Luxembourg
- Luxembourg has the highest minimum wage in the EU. Workers here are paid a minimum of EUR 1,923 per month.
- Luxembourg is one of the safest countries in the world. You have less chance of being shot in Luxembourg than in any other country in the world. There are only two jails in Luxembourg, and roughly 1,300 police in the whole country.
- Nearly half of Luxembourg’s workforce commutes to work in Luxembourg from another country. Most of Luxembourgs workers travel across the border from France, Belgium and Germany.
- The restaurant with the world’s largest wine list is in Luxembourg. If you visit the Restaurant Chiggeri in the city of Luxembourg, you can take your pick from more than 2,200 different wines.
- There are 17km of underground tunnels cut out of the solid rock beneath Luxembourg city. The network of Bock and Pétrusse casemates were built as part of the city’s defences. Some parts are 40m deep. They were used as air raid shelters during the two World Wars and could protect up to 35,000 people. Recognised as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, they are now open to the public.
- Luxembourg’s motto is ‘mir wëllebleiwewatmirsinn‘ which means ‘we want to remain what we are’.This refers to Luxembourg’s history of ownership by foreign powers and the wish to remain independent now and in the future.
- Euthanasia and assisted suicide is legal in Luxembourg – In 2008, the Grand Duke refused to sign a bill approving euthanasia because it was against his personal beliefs, however this led to a constitutional reform. The monarch is no longer required to approve laws and the role has become mainly ceremonial.
- Luxembourg is the least populated of all the EU countries.
- The city of Luxembourg is a UNESCO World Heritage Site because of its historic fortifications and old quarters.
- Luxembourgers are typically tri-lingual. The national language of Luxembourg is Luxembourgish (a Franconian dialect of High German). Children are taught in Luxembourgish in nursery schools; then also in French and German at primary school, plus English at secondary level. In the workplace, in the media and in everyday life, Luxembourgish, German, English, French and Portuguese are commonly spoken.
I LOVE these Elephants – and I get excited whenever we are traveling and we come across an “Elephant Parade” exhibition or store. Elephant Parade is an open-air exhibition dedicated to saving the Asian elephant from extinction. For one or more months, hundreds of painted elephant sculptures specially created by artists are placed in the streets of one or more host cities with the aim of increasing public awareness of the plight of the elephant and gaining support for Asian elephant conservation. They are then auctioned off, with the proceeds going to NGO Elephant Family.
The Crown Lion
As you can see, the Elephant that we saw above was specifically painted for Luxembourg. On the ear is the red crowned lion found in coat of arms of Luxembourg. Check out more of these gorgeous painting elephants HERE. You can even order your own little elephant and paint in a DIY box set. I very badly wanted to do this on one of our trips, but I often fight off the urge to buy things while we are traveling!
That is all that we have for you from our European Road Trip Country #13. Up next: Belgium. We visited Belgium TWICE. Once on our way up to the Netherlands, and then again on our way back down to our final, and starting, destination – Paris. At this point, we knew that our trip was starting to wind down, and even though we still had lots to see, we were sad our this epic adventure was soon going to end.
Onto Belgium – beer, chocolate, waffles and beer. YES PLEASE!