Luxembourg is a small landlocked country in Western Europe, bordered by Belgium, France, and Germany. Luxembourg is a parliamentary representative democracy with a constitutional monarch, ruled by a Grand Duke. It is the worlds only remaining sovereign Grand Duchy. The country has a highly developed economy, with the second highest Gross Domestic Product per capita in the world (U.S. Central Intelligence Agency 2007 est). Its historic and strategic importance dates back to its founding as a Roman era fortress site and Frankish count’s castle site in the Early Middle Ages. It was an important bastion along the Spanish road when Spain was the principal European power influencing the whole western hemisphere and beyond in the 14th–17th centuries. Luxembourg is a founding member of the European Union, NATO, the United Nations, Benelux, and the Western European Union, reflecting the political consensus in favour of economic, political, and military integration. The city of Luxembourg, the capital and largest city, is the seat of several institutions and agencies of the European Union. Luxembourg lies on the cultural divide between Romance Europe and Germanic Europe, borrowing customs from each of the distinct traditions. Luxembourg is a trilingual country; German, French and Luxembourgish are official languages. Although a secular state, Luxembourg is predominantly Roman Catholic.
Luxembourg City is the heart of the country in cultural, political and social respect. Luxembourg City is not only the country’s capital but also one of the three capitals of the European Community (Strasbourg and Brussels). Luxembourg City is a banking centre and cosmopolitan town surrounded by magnificent historical fortifications, classified as world patrimony by UNESCO. The city is very pleasantly situated overlooking the Pétrusse and Alzette Valleys. While Luxembourg City in no way comparable in size to most other European capitals, the city has a lot of charm and the people are justifiably proud of their country. The nation’s motto ‘Mir wëlle bleiwe wat mir sin’ (We want to remain what we are) underlines the uniqueness of Luxembourg. Apart from the numerous beautiful sights, the city of Luxembourg offers quite a good nightlife with a large number of pubs, cafes and discos despite of its small population of less than 100.000 people. Luxembourg City is an ideal starting point for excursions all over, for example Vianden Castle, Wiltz Festival Town or the Abbey Town of Echternach.