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Key Luxembourg Facts
These interesting facts about Luxembourg are the perfect at-a-glance guide.
1. The country’s full name is the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg.
2. Its capital, Luxembourg City, is one of the four official capitals of the European Union - the other three being Brussels, Frankfurt, and Strasbourg.
3. The three official languages of Luxembourg are the national language of Luxembourgish, plus French and German.
4. Headed by Grand Duke Henri, it is the only remaining sovereign grand duchy in the world.
5. The people of Luxembourg are called Luxembourgers, and they make up about half of the country's population.
6. As of the end of 2019, the population of Luxembourg City stood at only 122,273 inhabitants.
7. The flag of Luxembourg consists of three horizontal stripes, in the colors red, white and light blue, the colors of the coat of arms of the House of Luxembourg.
8. Luxembourg is one of the safest countries in the world, according to a UN survey.
9. The restaurant with the world’s largest wine list is in Luxembourg at Restaurant Chiggeri where adults can choose from more than 2,200 different wines.
10. Luxembourg’s motto is 'mir wëllebleiwewatmirsinn', meaning ‘we want to remain what we are’ - it refers to Luxembourg’s history of ownership by others and so its desire to now remain independent.
Luxembourg Economy And Politics Facts
Take a look at these interesting facts about Luxembourg's money and government.
11. Luxembourg is the second richest country in the world, ranked by GDP (gross domestic product) per capita.
12. Nearly half of Luxembourg's workforce lives in a different country, either France, Belgium or Germany, and commutes to work in Luxembourg.
13. Luxembourg spends a third of its revenue on universal health care and social services.
14. Luxembourg pays Europe’s highest minimum wage; and is second in the world behind Australia.
15. The Court of Justice of the European Union is located in Luxembourg.
16. With 647 cars per 1,000 people, Luxembourg has the highest rate of car ownership in the world.
17. Luxembourg is home to over 150 banks, including the European Investment Bank, making it one of the world’s most important business and financial centers.
Luxembourg Geography Facts
These Luxembourg fun facts are sure to help with your next school geography project.
18. Luxembourg is completely landlocked - it is bordered by Belgium to the west and north, France to the south and Germany to the east.
19. It is one of the smallest countries in Europe, with an area of 2,586 square kilometers (998 square miles).
20. It was ranked 167th out of all the 194 independent countries of the world for size.
21. The Luxembourg population is one of the lowest in Europe - in 2019, it had a population of only 626,108.
22. The northern third of the country is known as the Oesling; the southern two-thirds of the country is known as the Gutland.
23. The main river that runs through Luxembourg is best known by its French name, Moselle but it is called Musel in Luxembourgish and Mosel in German.
24. There are 17km of underground tunnels beneath Luxembourg City that are cut out of solid rock.
25. Forests cover more than a third of the entire country of Luxembourg.
Luxembourg Culture Facts
Luxembourg people and culture are amazing - you'll love these interesting facts.
26. Luxembourg's education system is trilingual: the first years of primary school are in Luxembourgish; the language then changes to German; and in secondary school, the language changes again to French.
27. Luxembourg was the first city to be named European Capital of Culture twice; the first in 1995 and the second in 2007, when it shared the title with neighboring areas of France, Germany and Belgium.
28. Luxembourg has a National Day which is celebrated on 23 June and was created to celebrate the birthday of the Grand Duke or Duchess. However, 23 June is no one's actual birthday!
Luxembourg is famous for its captivating traditions and events.
29. Buergbrennen or Bonfire Day is held on the first Sunday after Lent and people burn wood and leftover Christmas trees as a way to celebrate Spring Solstice, the end of winter and coming of spring.
30. Bretzelsonndeg or Pretzel Sunday is celebrated on the fourth Sunday of Lent. The tradition includes the Pretzel Sunday Procession in Luxembourg City, a big parade featuring the ‘Pretzel Queen’ that marches through the streets and hands out free pretzels.
31. Traditionally, a man should offer his sweetheart a pretzel on Pretzel Sunday and if she shares his affection, he will be given an Easter egg. If the suitor is rejected, he will be given the empty egg basket. This is where the Luxembourgish expression 'De Kuerf kréien' (to be given the basket), meaning to be rejected, came from.
32. On Easter Monday a folk festival with traditional pottery markets selling ceramics is held in Luxembourg City and Nospelt. Ceramic whistles and flutes hand-painted to look like colorful birds, called Péckvillercher, are sold and people enjoy traditional folk dancing.
33. On Whit Tuesday around 10,000 people gather in the city of Echternach to take part in Europe’s largest traditional dancing procession. The dancers wear white shirts and dark trousers or skirts and hold handkerchiefs to perform a synchronized hopping procession around the city, accompanied by a polka marching band. Over 40,000 spectators watch the event and it has been awarded UNESCO World Heritage status.
From sports to cooking, many people from Luxembourg have gone on to have very successful careers. Take a look at these people of note and see if you recognize any.
34. Henri Owen Tudor was a Luxembourg engineer, inventor and industrialist who developed the first commercially usable lead-acid battery.
35. Joseph "Josy" Barthel was a Luxembourgish athlete who was the surprise winner of the Men's 1500 meters at the 1952 Summer Olympics; he was the only athlete representing Luxembourg to have won a gold medal at the Olympics.
36. Michel Johann Théato was a Luxembourgish long-distance runner, who won the marathon at the 1900 Olympics in Paris, but he was representing France.
37. Félicien M. Steichen was a Luxembourgish surgeon and professor, and a pioneer in the development and use of surgical staples.
38. Léa Linster is a Luxembourgish chef, and the first woman to win a gold medal in the Bocuse d'Or, a world chef championship.
Luxembourg History Facts
Luxembourg has a long and interesting history - these fun facts about Luxembourg will really bring it to life.
39. The recorded history of Luxembourg began with the acquisition of Lucilinburhuc or 'little castle' in 963 by Siegfried, Count of Ardennes.
40. Situated on the Bock rock, which offered natural fortification with its towering cliffs, it became a place of great strategic value.
41. A town gradually grew and developed around the fort, which is now Luxembourg Castle.
42. The Congress of Vienna made Luxembourg into a Grand Duchy after the defeat of Napoleon in 1815.
43. The City of Luxembourg was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1994.
44. The banks of the Moselle have a winemaking history dating back to the Roman times.
45. Luxembourg had no flag until 1830 - a flag was introduced somewhere between 1845 and 1848 but it wasn't officially adopted until 1993.
46. The history of National Day started with the birthday of the Grand Duchess Charlotte, who was born on 23 January 1896. Because her birthday fell in the heart of winter, the celebrations were postponed until Summer and held instead on 23 June, and the date has not changed since.
There might not be any Luxembourgish restaurants in your home town, but there is still lots of interesting Luxembourg cuisine to discover. This list is sure to make you hungry.
47. Luxembourg's cuisine reflects the country's position amongst its neighbors Belgium, France and Germany and is heavily influenced by them.
48. Newer food trends have also been influenced by the country's large number of Italian and Portuguese immigrants.
49. Most traditional Luxembourg dishes are of peasant origin and include:
- Éisleker Ham, meaning Oesling ham, which comes from the north of the country. It is marinated for several weeks, then smoked and finally served with potatoes and salad.
- Hong am Rèisleck, chicken cooked in white wine with vegetables and spices.
- Huesenziwwi or Civet de lièvre, stewed hare.
50. Luxembourg has several traditional cakes and pastries including:
- Bretzel, a type of pretzel which is often eaten at Lent.
- Quetscheflued tart, made from the fruit of the zwetschge tree.
- Äppelklatzen, apples en croûte or apples 'in pastry'.
- Verwurelt Gedanken or Verwurelter, small sugar-coated doughnuts.
51. Luxembourg's famous cheese is called Kachkéis, a French cheese that has been melted to create a soft and runny consistency to be used as a dip or spread.
52. The national dish of Luxembourg is called Judd mat Gaardebounen, smoked collar of pork with broad beans.
Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly facts for everyone to enjoy! If you liked our suggestions for 52 interesting Luxembourg facts for school projects then why not take a look at facts about the Dominican Republic, or fun facts about Wisconsin?
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