Despite being one of the smallest members of the European Union, Luxembourg is nevertheless the birthplace of the concept of a unified Europe. Together with Brussels and Strasbourg, Luxembourg City is the official headquarters of many of the European Union’s major institutions.
Alongside Brussels and Strasbourg, Luxembourg is one of the three “capitals” of the European Union. The capital is home to several European services and institutions, including services of the European Commission (translation, publication, statistics), the European Court of Auditors, the Court of Justice of the European Union, the European Investment Bank (EIB), the European Investment Fund, the Secretariat of the European Parliament, the European Financial Stability Facility (EFSF) and the European Stability Mechanism (ESM).
About the history, the city of Luxembourg, the thousand-year-old capital of the Grand Duchy, was founded in 963. Luxembourg measures a maximum of 82 km from north to south and 57 km from east to west. Over the course of its history, Luxembourg has been occupied by Burgundians, Spaniards, French, Austrians and Prussians, all of whom contributed to making it one of the best-fortified cities in the world, the “Gibraltar of the North”. Today, the fortress, along with the Old Town, have gained international recognition.
Did you know that....?
… three elements of Luxembourg‘s heritage are officially recognised by Unesco?
The fortifications and old quarters of the City of Luxembourg have been registered on the Unesco World Heritage List since 1994; the photography exhibition ‘The Family of Man’ by Edward Steichen was added to the Unesco Memory of the World Register in 2003 and the Echternach hopping procession was registered on the Unesco Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity in 2010.
… 23 km of passages that date back to the times of the fortress and are known as ‘Kasematten’ run beneath Luxembourg City?
Indeed, the casemates of the Bock Casemates and those of the Petrusse Valley form an extraordinary network of 23 km of underground galleries and more than 40,000 m2 housed in the rocks of the city. The Casemates of the Bock, which counted about fifty guns, were dug by the Austrians in 1745/46. During the two world wars, they served as a shelter to protect up to 35,000 people in case of alarm or bombing.
… Luxembourger Pierre Werner is considered the ‘forefather of the euro’?
During his time as Prime Minister, Pierre Werner (1913-2002) was appointed to head a European group of experts and in 1970 presented the European Commission with a monetary integration project known as the ‘Werner Plan’, which can be considered the beginning of the euro.
… Robert Schuman, one of the founding fathers of Europe, was born in Luxembourg City?
Robert Schuman was born in Clausen, a suburb of Luxembourg City, to a Lorraine father of German nationality and a mother from Luxembourg. His mother tongue was therefore Luxembourgish. It is often mentioned that Robert Schuman’s personality was influenced by his origins. The combination of these Luxembourgish, German and French influences doubtlessly prompted him to launch a plan that was to result in the creation of the first European Community.