Luxembourg is a tiny country, but that doesn't mean it isn't worth visiting! From the historical capital Luxembourg City to the many castles and beautiful nature, Luxembourg has quite a bit to offer. Want to learn a bit more about the country before going? Then check out these 40 interesting Luxembourg facts.
Interesting Luxembourg facts
This post is part of a series of fun facts posts I'm doing for every country I have articles about here on the blog. Given their nature, these posts are research-based and even though a lot of time has gone into them, it's still possible a mistake has snuck in. If you see something that looks incorrect, please let me know at sofie [at] wonderfulwanderings.com and I'll look into it. Thanks!
1. The country’s name originated from the Lucilinburhuc (“little fortress”) castle bought by Siegfried, count of Ardennes, in 963 C.E., which marked the foundation of Luxembourg.
2. Luxembourg is the only remaining Grand Duchy in the world with a Grand Duke as head of state.
3. Grand Duke Jean ruled for 36 years until his son, Henri, succeeded him in 2000.
4. The Prime Minister is the head of government.
5. Luxembourg’s current Prime Minister, Xavier Bettel, was the first gay EU leader to marry. He married his partner, Gauthier Destenay, in 2015.
7. It has the largest gross domestic product (GDP) per capita in the world in 2014 at $111,716 based on the International Monetary Fund’s World Economic Outlook Report in April 2015.
8. The entire country’s population is approximately 525,000 and 43% of which are foreign residents. It has the highest number of expats among European countries.
9. The RTL Group, Europe’s largest entertainment network, is based in Luxembourg. It has interests in 55 TV channels and 29 radio stations worldwide.
10. There are three official languages: German, French, and Lëtzebuergesch (Luxembourgish). German and French are primarily used for administrative purposes and official written communication while Luxembourgish is used in everyday conversations. In school, everybody has to learn German beginning in first grade, French at the ending of second grade and English in 8th grade (Thanks for the info, Cathy!)
11. There are only two universities: University of Luxembourg and Sacred Heart University Luxembourg.
12. Luxembourg is among the twelve founding member countries of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO).
13. Luxembourg was also among the six founders of the European Union together with Belgium, France, Germany, Italy and the Netherlands.
14. Immigrants and cross-border employees comprise 70% of the country’s workforce.
15. The City of Luxembourg—its Old Quarters and Fortifications—is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
16. June 23 is Luxembourg’s National Day, which also commemorates the birthday of Grand Duchess Charlotte who ruled for nearly 50 years. (The Grand Duchess was actually born on January 23, 1896, but the holiday was moved to June due to more favorable weather conditions.)
17. The country’s motto is “Mir wëlle bleiwe wat mir sin” meaning “We want to remain what we are”.
18. Skype’s corporate headquarters, as well as the European headquarters of Amazon, Paypal, Rakuten and Rovi Corp. are based in Luxembourg because it is a known strong financial center and tax haven.
19. Based on 2015 data, Luxembourg ranks second in the world with the highest monthly minimum wage at $2,468 (based on a 40-hour work week). Australia ranks first at $2,863.
20. One of the country’s most famous attractions is the Bock Casemates, a 21-kilometer underground tunnel network.
21. The estimated average life expectancy is 82 years based on the US Central Intelligence Agency’s 2015 figures.
22. Included in the UNESCO Representative List of Intangible Cultural Heritage, the Dancing Procession of Echternach is an old religious tradition wherein thousands of pilgrims gather on Whit Tuesday to take part in a hopping/skipping procession in honor of St. Willibrord.
23. Elisabeth, Duchess of Luxembourg, sold Luxembourg to Philip the Good, Duke of Burgundy, in 1443.
24. The Bourscheid Castle is the largest among the 75 castles in the country that still stand today.
25. The dominant religion is Roman Catholicism.
26. The Moselle valley is known for producing excellent wines from nine grape varieties: Riesling, Pinot Noir, Pinot Blanc, Pinot Gris, Gewürztraminer, Auxerrois, Rivaner, Elbling and Chardonnay.
27. Crémant de Luxembourg, a high quality sparkling wine produced in the traditional way like Champagne, is another specialty from Moselle. France and Burgundy also makes this kind of wine but Luxembourg clearly produces the best variety winning 22 golds in the recent Crémant Awards—24th Concours National des Crémants—held in 2015.
28.Bouneshclupp, a green bean soup, is one of Luxembourg’s specialties usually served with Gromperekichelcher (potato pancakes), Rendfleeschbritt (Beef broth with vermicelli) and Gromperenzopp (a potato soup with leeks, egg yolks, and cream).
29. Gromperekichelcher – potato pancakes made from potatoes, onions, parsley, egg, and flour – is a national snack.
30. Pork is normally served in the form of ham. Judd mat Gaardebounen, smoked pork collar with broad or Fava beans, is another famous Luxembourgish dish.
31. Friture de la Moselle is a popular specialty made from small fried fish from the Moselle River.
32. Another traditional dish, The “Luxembourg Menu”, is a meat platter of cooked and smoked hams, pâté, and sausage, served with hard-boiled eggs, pickles, and fresh tomatoes.
33. Quetsch is a traditional alcoholic drink made from plum.
34. It is customary to bring a box of chocolates or flowers when invited to someone’s home.
35. Flowers should be given in odd numbers except 13, which is considered unlucky.
36. Chrysanthemums are considered funeral flowers.
37. It is illegal to let your dog defecate within the city; hence, dog poo bag dispensers are readily available and the bags even have printed instructions on them for proper disposal.
38. Even though the cost of living is generally high, Luxembourg’s petrol is one of the cheapest in the EU.
39. Main industries that drive the country’s economy are iron and steel, aluminum, glass, rubber, chemicals, telecommunications, engineering and tourism.
40. ArcelorMittal, the world’s top steel-producing company, is based in Luxembourg.
And that's it! I hope you enjoyed these fun facts about Luxembourg :-)
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