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General Information on Luxembourg

10 unexpected facts about Luxembourg

1) The official languages are Luxembourgish (a Franconian language of the Moselle Region), French, and German. In order to graduate from the Luxembourg educational system, you must be proficient in all three of these languages as well as in English. In addition, Portuguese is widely used since 15% of the population is of Portuguese origins.

2) Luxembourg is visited by 0.5 to 1 million people each year, a number that exceeds the actual population of the country. Not only that: during the week, 155,000 German, French and Belgian cross-border commuters come to work in Luxembourg –the economic, commercial and financial hub of the Greater Region. These and other cross-border commuters actually make up 71% of Luxembourg’s salaried population.

3) There are around 21 kilometers of hidden underground passages under the Fortress of Luxembourg (the so-called casemates).

4) The Schengen Agreement, which entails the abolition of border controls within the European Union, was signed on the 14th of June 1985, in the village of Schengen situated in Luxembourg –at the border with France and Germany.

5) The most well-known French writer, Victor Hugo, lived in Vianden, a little town near the German border in Luxembourg. Hugo’s house is now a museum frequented by many French and Dutch tourists.

6) Because of the historical significance of its fortifications built by famous French architect Vauban, the whole city of Luxembourg is a UNESCO World Heritage site.

7) Confiserie Sprüngli’s famous Luxemburgerli pastry (which looks like a mini-macaron) has, as the name suggests, Luxembourgish origins. In the 1950s, a Luxembourgish pastry chef whose employer was a friend of the Sprüngli family visited Zurich and inspired the creation of the Luxemburgerli.

8) Luxembourg is the world’s only sovereign Grand Duchy.

9) The world famous photographer Edward J. Steichen is from Bivange, Luxembourg. He is the creator of the “biggest and most popular photographic exhibition of all times” titled “The Family of Man”. This collection includes 508 photographs from 68 different countries and is now hosted by the castle in Clerveaux, Luxembourg.

10) Echternach is the oldest town in Luxembourg and was founded in 698 by a monk (St. Willibrord) of Irish origin. On Whit Tuesday, an annual dancing procession takes place in Echternach in honor of the saint.