The Grand Duchy of Luxembourg is a tiny country of only 998 square miles, surrounded by Belgium, Germany, and France. Despite its size, Luxembourg is a center of European diplomacy and is an active part of a larger European government. It is a hereditary and constitutional monarchy, governed by a Chamber of Deputies with the Grand Duke as chief executive.
Luxembourg City is an ideal place to wander aimlessly around, everything is located in
a small area and it is "internationally friendly", meaning everything is listed
in multiple languages and even the ATMs dispense cash in many different currencies.
Luxembourg dates its founding from 963, when Sigefroi, Count of Ardennes, built a
castle -Lucilinburhuc, or "little fortress" - on the rock that is now the site
of Luxembourg city. In 1354 the county became a duchy, or dukedom. In 1443 however, it
fell to the Burgundians. Through inheritance it passed to the Spanish Hapsburgs, and
later, by the treaty of Utrecht, in 1713, to the Austrian Hapsburgs. The French conquered
Luxembourg in 1795 and made it a department of the Napoleonic Empire. The Congress of
Vienna, which redrew the map of Europe in 1815 after Napoleon's defeat, declared it an
independent grand duchy and gave it to the Dutch King. In 1890 Luxembourg became truly
independent and has been economically united with Belgium since 1921.
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