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Grand-Duché de Luxembourg
Großherzogtum Luxemburg
Groussherzogtum Lëtzebuerg
Flag of Luxembourg Coat of arms of Luxembourg
Flag Coat of arms
Motto: Mir wëlle bleiwe wat mir sinn
( Luxembourgish: We wish to remain what we are)
Anthem: Ons Heemecht
Location of Luxembourg
Capital Luxembourg
49°36′ N 6°7′ E
Largest city Luxembourg
Official language(s) French, German, Luxembourgish
( de jure since 1984)
Grand Duke
Prime minister
Grand duchy
Grand Duke Henri ( List)
Jean-Claude Juncker ( List)
• Declared
• Confirmed

1839 & 1867
• Total

• Water (%)

2,586 km² ( 167th)
{{{areami²}}} mi²

• 2005 est.
• 2005 census

• Density

468,571 ( 162th)

171/km² ( 45th)
• Total
• Per capita
2005 estimate
.37 billion ( 97nd)
,700 ( 1st)
HDI ( 2003) 0.957 ( 4th) – high
Currency Euro 1 ( € EUR)
Time zone
• Summer ( DST)
CET ( UTC+1)
Internet TLD .lu
Calling code +352
1 Prior to 1999: Luxembourg franc.
The Grand Duchy of Luxembourg is a small landlocked country situated in the north-west of continental Europe, bordered by France, Germany and Belgium.

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Administrative subdivisions

History - Contents

The recorded history of the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg begins with the construction of Luxembourg Castle in the year 963. Around this fort a town gradually developed, which became the center of a small but important state of great strategic value. In 1437 the ruling family had no rightful heirs to assume the throne. In the following centuries, Luxembourg's fortress was steadily enlarged and strengthened over the years by its successive occupants, the Bourbons, Habsburgs, Hohenzollerns and the French, among others. Even after the defeat of Napoleon in 1815, when the Congress of Vienna gave formal autonomy to Luxembourg, the country was disputed between Prussia and the Netherlands.Luxembourg's independence was confirmed in 1839, but it was not formally ratified until 1867, after the Luxembourg crisis nearly led to war between Prussia and France. The king of the Netherlands remained head of state until 1890, when Luxembourg gained a grand duke of its own. William III left the Dutch throne to his daughter while Luxembourg (at that time restricted to male heirs (see Salic Law)) passed to Adolph of Nassau-Weilburg .The country was invaded and occupied by Germany during World War I and World War II.During World War II, Luxembourg abandoned its policy of neutrality, when it joined the Allies in fighting Germany. The government exiled to London set up a small group of volunteers, who participated in the Normandy invasion. It became a founding member of NATO and the United Nations. In 1957, Luxembourg became one of the six founding countries of the European Economic Community (later the European Union), and in 1999 it joined the euro currency area. Several European agencies are located in Luxembourg. In 2005 a referendum on the EU treaty establishing a constitution for Europe was held in Luxembourg.

Politics - Contents

Luxembourg has a parliamentary form of government with a constitutional monarchy by inheritance. Under the constitution of 1868, executive power is exercised by the Grand Duke and the cabinet, which consists of a prime minister and several other ministers. The Grand Duke has the power to dissolve parliament and reinstate a new one.Legislative power is vested in the Chamber of Deputies, directly elected to 5-year terms. A second body, the "Conseil d'État" (Council of State), composed of 21 ordinary citizens appointed by the Grand Duke, advises the Chamber of Deputies in the drafting of legislation. [1]

Justice - Contents

The Grand Duchy has three lower tribunals (justices de paix; in Esch-sur-Alzette, in Luxembourg and in Diekirch), two district tribunals (Luxembourg and Diekirch) and a Superior Court of Justice (Luxembourg), which includes the Court of Appeal and the Court of Cassation.There is also an administrative tribunal (Luxembourg) and an Administrative Court (Luxembourg), as well as a Constitutional Court (Luxembourg).

Geography - Contents

Map of Luxembourg
Luxembourg is one of the smallest countries in Europe. It is ranked 167th in size of all the countries of the world. The country is about 2,586 km² in size. In the west it borders the Belgian province of Luxembourg, which is (at 4,443 km²) nearly twice the size of the country.The north of the country, part of the Ardennes, has hills and low mountains, with the Buurgplaatz as the highest point at 559 m. The rest of the country is also hilly.Luxembourg's eastern border is formed by three rivers, the Moselle, the Sauer/Sûre and the Our.

Administrative subdivisions - Contents

The country is divided in 3 districts, 12 cantons and 118 communes.12 communes have city status, whereof Luxembourg, the capital, is the largest city in the country.

Economy - Contents

Stable, high-income economy features moderate growth, low inflation, and low unemployment. The industrial sector, until recently dominated by steel, has become increasingly more diversified to include chemicals, rubber, and other products. During the past decades, growth in the financial sector has more than compensated for the decline in steel. Services, especially banking, account for a growing proportion of the economy. Agriculture is based on small family-owned farms. Luxembourg has especially close trade and financial ties to Belgium and the Netherlands, and as a member of the EU, enjoys the advantages of the open European market. Luxembourg possesses the highest GDP per capita in the world (,700 as of 2005). Unemployment was 4.4% of the labour force as of July 2005.

Language - Contents

The linguistic situation in Luxembourg is characterized by the practice and the recognition of three official languages: French, German and Luxemburgish, a Franconian language of the Moselle region similar to German.Roughly 10% of the population is of Portuguese extraction and speaks Portuguese.

Religion - Contents

87 percent of Luxembourg's population are Roman Catholic Christians and the other 13 percent are Protestants, Jews, and Muslims.
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