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Luxemburg, everybody’s neighbor

The next president-in-office will be the Grand Duchy of Luxemburg – and yes, we are talking about the country that we simply call “Luxemburg” and whose capital is also named Luxemburg. I think it won’t be challenging to remember.

Luxemburg is a small country with its 2586 square kilometers and a little more than half a million residents. Regarding its population and size, it ranks poorly on world lists, but it immediately jumps a hundred places when it comes to population density: with its 207 residents per square kilometer it occupies the 67th position.

 

It can be divided into two major regions: the first is the northern Oesling and the second is the southern Guttland that literally means “good land.” The latter makes 68% of Luxemburg and this is where the capital is located, too.

  

It has no such areas that we could call “national parks”; there are nature reserves instead, and the old quarters and fortifications of Luxemburg figure on the UNESCO World Heritage List.

 

A small country with great history

 

Its roots go back until 936, when Siegfried, count of the Ardennes, decided to establish his county town in one of the fortresses located there and known as Lucilinburhuc at the time.

 

In the course of the centuries, Luxemburg grew, changed, and passed from hand to hand. It took almost a thousand years until it finally became a sovereign state at the Congress of Vienna in 1815. The first grand duke of the country was William I, king of the Netherlands – that is, the two states were united by personal union. It was part of several economic and customs unions, so it is not surprising that Luxemburg had a major role in the process leading to the creation of the European Union. Since 2002, its official currency is the euro.

  

The official languages of the country are the Luxembourgian (this is the national language, a local dialect of German), German, and French.

 

Who are Luxembourgish people?

 

According to 2013 data, 61.3% of the population are first- or second-generation immigrants. 8.5% of society was already born in Luxemburg, but their parents are foreign citizens – almost half of them have Portuguese origins. Of course, young people come to settle from places other than Portugal: immigration is a complex issue that took place in several waves. According to this video, local people don’t mind it at all, and circumstances are rather advantageous for those arriving from abroad.

 

Commuters coming from neighboring countries each day to work in the capital of the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg more than double the city’s population on weekdays. It may seem odd at first sight, but there are no long distances. The north-south extent of the country is not longer than 100 kilometers, but a French, German, or Belgian citizen living close to the border can also reach their workplace within half an hour. This is something to be appreciated, especially in light of the fact that it takes at least an hour in the morning to get (halfway) across Budapest by car. Of course, rush hours in Luxemburg also mean slower travel, yet we are talking about transborder commuting.  

 

Távolságok az országon belül jóformán nincsenek, így várost és vidéket is lehet látni néhány nap leforgása alatt, de a biztonság kedvéért beütöm a Google képkeresőjébe a következőt: „Luxembourg tourism”. Aztán csak ennyit: „Luxembourg”.

 

Is it worth a visit? Based on the things mentioned above, I’ve got the illusion that Luxemburg is close to everything. More than 8% of the national GDP came from tourism in 2009, and more than 10% of the residents worked in that field. There are practically no distances within the country, so you can see both rural and urban areas during a few days’ time, but I enter the words “Luxemburg tourism” into the Google Images search bar, just to make it sure. Then I only write “Luxemburg.”

 

Yes, I would like to go!

 

Written by Kamilla Drubina

Translated by Mária Kenesei

 

Photos: Heribert PohlJakob MontrasioTristan Schmurr

 

Zveřejněno: út, 18/08/2015 - 13:50


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