Luxembourg

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Tiny Luxembourg, nestled between Germany, France, and Belgium, has been a pawn of world powers for much of its 1,000 years. Today it looms large as a world financial powerhouse and one of Europe's most scenic countries. Come here for rambles through medieval villages and hilltop castles, strolls along riverbanks and through deep forests, and hearty meals in country inns. From sophisticated Luxembourg City, with its ancient fortifications and modern skyscrapers, to the Ardennes plateau, site of the World War II Battle of the Bulge, to the wineries along the Moselle, Luxembourg is 999 square miles of beauty, history, and good times.

The capital of Luxembourg greets visitors with an awe-inspiring view: up and down the length of the Alzette River stretches a panorama of medieval stonework—jutting fortification walls, slit-windowed towers, ancient church spires, massive gates—as detailed and complete as a 17th-century engraving come to life. Then you abruptly enter the 20th century. The boulevard Royal, little more than five blocks long, glitters with glass-and-concrete office buildings, each containing a world-class bank and untold anonymous, well-sheltered fortunes.

Luxembourg, once sovereign to lands that stretched from the Meuse to the Rhine, was reduced over the centuries to being a pawn in the power struggles between its many conquerors. Until recently little more than a cluster of meager farms and failing mines, Luxembourg today enjoys newfound political clout and the third-highest per capita income in the world.

The Grand Duchy of Luxembourg, one of the smallest countries in the United Nations, measures only 2,586 square km (998 square mi). Smaller than Rhode Island, it has a population of 512,000. It is dwarfed by its neighbors—Germany, Belgium, and France—yet from its history of invasion, occupation, and siege, you would think those square miles were filled with solid gold. In fact, it was Luxembourg's fortresses carved out of bedrock, its very defenses against centuries of attack that rendered it all the more desirable.

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Luxembourg City

The capital, perched on a bluff at the confluence of the Pétrusse and Alzette rivers, goes by the same name as the country— Lëtzebuerg in...

Vianden

...

Dudelange

Once a Roman village, then a monastic retreat, then a stop along the Crusade route, and finally a buzzing mining town, Dudelange has a rich...

Clervaux

...

Echternach

Echternach dates from the 7th century and is the home of the only religious dancing procession remaining in the Western world. You wouldn't...

Mondorf-les-Bains

Sitting near the French and German borders, this quaint spa town attracts visitors from hundreds of miles away for its natural spring waters...

Remich

Once a medieval fortification, Remich is now one of the busier towns along the Moselle, serving as home to the State Viticulture Institute and...

Diekirch

Diekirch preserves memories of Roman culture, early Christianity, and the brutalities of World War II. This small, easygoing city, with a pleasant...

Ehnen

Ehnen, with its narrow old streets, carved-wood doors, and unusual circular church, is a popular excursion goal for city dwellers who want to...

Esch-sur-Sure

...

Hamm/Sandweiler

...

Grevenmacher

Grevenmacher is one of the largest towns along the Moselle river. Founded in the 7th century, it eventually became a medieval fortress, and...

Bech-Kleinmacher

...

Larochette

...

Ettelbruck

Due north of Luxembourg City, Ettelbruck is a gateway to the Ardennes. Although much of the population commutes to the city daily, the town...

Schengen

Located at the point where the Luxembourg, German, and French borders converge, this small town looms large in recent European history. It was...

Esch-Sur-Alzette

Esch-Sur-Alzette, founded in 773, was the heart of the Luxembourg's lucrative mining and steel industries in the 19th century. Now it's becoming...

Asselborn

The heart of the Ardennes forest is in the northern wedge of the country, where Luxembourg meets Belgium and Germany. Here, quiet and humble...

Bourscheid

...

Beaufort

...

Luxembourg City

The capital, perched on a bluff at the confluence of the Pétrusse and Alzette rivers, goes by the same name as the country— Lëtzebuerg in...

Vianden

...

Dudelange

Once a Roman village, then a monastic retreat, then a stop along the Crusade route, and finally a buzzing mining town, Dudelange has a rich...

Clervaux

...

Echternach

Echternach dates from the 7th century and is the home of the only religious dancing procession remaining in the Western world. You wouldn't...

Mondorf-les-Bains

Sitting near the French and German borders, this quaint spa town attracts visitors from hundreds of miles away for its natural spring waters...

Remich

Once a medieval fortification, Remich is now one of the busier towns along the Moselle, serving as home to the State Viticulture Institute and...

Diekirch

Diekirch preserves memories of Roman culture, early Christianity, and the brutalities of World War II. This small, easygoing city, with a pleasant...

Ehnen

Ehnen, with its narrow old streets, carved-wood doors, and unusual circular church, is a popular excursion goal for city dwellers who want to...

Esch-sur-Sure

...

Hamm/Sandweiler

...

Grevenmacher

Grevenmacher is one of the largest towns along the Moselle river. Founded in the 7th century, it eventually became a medieval fortress, and...

Bech-Kleinmacher

...

Larochette

...

Ettelbruck

Due north of Luxembourg City, Ettelbruck is a gateway to the Ardennes. Although much of the population commutes to the city daily, the town...

Schengen

Located at the point where the Luxembourg, German, and French borders converge, this small town looms large in recent European history. It was...

Esch-Sur-Alzette

Esch-Sur-Alzette, founded in 773, was the heart of the Luxembourg's lucrative mining and steel industries in the 19th century. Now it's becoming...

Asselborn

The heart of the Ardennes forest is in the northern wedge of the country, where Luxembourg meets Belgium and Germany. Here, quiet and humble...

Bourscheid

...

Beaufort

...

The Luxembourg Ardennes

Vast, rolling green hills and dense fir forests alternate in Luxembourg's northern highlands, the southeast corner of the rocky, wooded Ardennes...

The Moselle Valley

Legend has it that the rambling vineyards in the fertile Moselle valley were originally developed to satisfy the wine-drinking habits of Roman...

Mullerthal/Le Petite Suisse

The northeastern quadrant of Luxembourg—a hilly area of dense fir and beech forests, high limestone bluffs, and twisting brooks—goes by two...

The Redlands

The southern part of Luxembourg has been a desired destination for over two millennia. Caesar's troops founded a series of villages in the area...

Side Trips from Luxembourg City

Hamm and Sandweiler are two small suburbs on the eastern edge of Luxumbourg City. Hamm is home to the Luxembourg American Cemetery and is the...

Valley of the Seven Chateaux

...

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