A magical Duchy of Luxembourg, quaint and romantic!

On this wonderful Sunday in the Morbihan Breton, I am inspired to tell you about one of my favorite countries that have not live in yet. Visited several times always in family trips and many memorable moments, we love to visit more. I am talking about the beautiful country of Luxembourg.

The tourist office is here in English: https://www.visitluxembourg.com/en

Oh yeah, there is the country and then the city….Luxembourg and Luxembourg ville. Well briefly, the country, and I have been up and down on it by car! is really the Grand Duché of Luxembourg , and then you can write in German or Luxembourgeois as well. It is bordered by Belgium on the west and north, Germany on the east, France on the south. It has two regions ,the north or Oesling part of the massif of the Ardennes and the south or Gutland .  The Luxembourg  is a representative democracy with a constitutional monarch which is the Grand Duke as chief of State, making the only country still a Duchy in the world. This little country is founding member of the European Union, the Euro Zone, NATO, OCDE, United Nations, OSCE, Council of Europe and Council of Benelux.

A bit of history I like:  The Château fort of Luxembourg, jewel of the future city of Luxembourg and county of same name was founded in 963.  The future county of Luxembourg that could not be before the 11C show the title of Count of Luxembourg, been the first one Giselbert (1047-1059). During the Middle Ages, the counts were often at war with their neighbors especially the Bishop of Metz, that were the bankers and the powerful bishop of Trier that had property in the county and tried to control the valley of the Moselle for its trade and stop the expansion of the counts of Luxembourg.

Count Henri is elected emperor in 1312 and his son John married  the heir of the kingdom of Bohemia, which they ruled until 1437. Already in 1354, Emperor Charles IV of the Holy Empire raised to duchy.   The Duchess of Luxembourg, Elisabeth de Goerlitz sell the Duchy to Duke Philip III of Burgundy in 1441. Later it passes to the House of Hapsburgs in 1482. The emperor Charles V gives in heritage together with the Spanish Low Countries, Franche-Comté and a vast colonial domain to his son Philip II of Spain (Felipe II). The Duchy is annexed by France in king Louis XIV in 1684 but given back to the king of Spain in 1697, and following the war of successions is given in 1714 to tha Austrian branch of the house of Hapsburgs; this becomes in 1736 the House of Hapsburgs-Lorraine.

At the French revolution and after the revolutionaries defeating the Austrian army in 1795 much of this territory is integrated to France as the department of the Fôrets or forests.  Later, after the French defeat of 1815 the treaty of Vienna split the territory into the Kingdom of the Netherlands and the forest dept to  a state called Grand Duchy and given to the same ruler king duke William 1st .  By 1830, another rebellion known as the Belgian revolution and eventually gives independence to Belgium and the Grand Duchy loses more than half its territory gained in 1815 given rise to a complicated union with the kingdom of Netherlands and member of the German confederation with a presence of a Prussian garrison at the castle in Luxembourg city.  By 1890, the king Grand Duke William III that has no male heir died and the Grand Duchy passes to the House of Nassau-Weilburg ,this ending the relation between Luxembourg and the Netherlands. As William IV and Marie Anne de Braganza also had no male heir so the Salic law was abandoned in 1907 and the princess Marie Adelaide ascend as Grand Duchess in 1912.

During WWI , the Luxembourg is occupied by the Germans violating their neutrality until 1918; the Duchesse Marie Adelaide was contested by her people for some political errors and she abdicates to a convent in favor of her sister Charlotte, wife of Prince Félix de Bourbon-Parma. the treat of Versailles 1919 confirm the independence of the Duchy and a referendum confirm the monarchy of the country as well.  During WWII , The country is again invaded violating its neutrality in May 1940 by the Nazis; this time the Duchesse and family are exiled to London to maintain the fight and remain on the allied camp.  The Luxembourg is liberated in 1944 by American troops led by General Patton who is buried at the Cemetery of Hamm. Today the country is led by Grand Duke Henri and his wife Maria Teresa, the Grand Duchess( and must say native of Cuba). They have five children with the oldest heir Guillaume.

Very good road network leading to all corners of the country , and easy ride. Good train travel as it is in the center of it all, and the beautiful train station to see,  tramway and cable car are in the city of Luxembourg. There is a nice airport Luxembourg-Findel  outside of Luxembourg city so at Findel, and we have stayed by it with easy connection by bus to the city center. Public Transports CFL here: http://www.cfl.lu/en/home

The country recognized the national language as Luxembourgeois or Lëtzebuergesch. The German and French are very much in used in all domains. English is well understood and there is a large Portuguese community as well.  Ok ok is a bit long but the country is nice ::)

The city of Luxembourg tourist office in English is here:  https://www.luxembourg-city.com/en

I have criss cross the country but really been into the cities of Mersch , Hamm, Ettelbruck, Echternach, Grevenmacher, Remish, Schengen, Vianden, and of course Luxembourg city.

Standing at the  union of the Alzette and Pétrusse rivers and located centrally to Paris at 372 km (231 mi) and Brussels at 213 km ( 132 mi). Some of my favorite places to see here are the Ducal Palace, Grand Theater, Theater of Capucins, the Luxembourg city history museum, Casino of Luxembourg (art galleries)  , The Notre Dame Cathedral, the fortifications in the Gund and Pétrusse, the little train , the Casemates , and Neumunster Abbey, the wonderful Place d’Armes ,and the romantic Adolphe Bridge.

The WWII American Cemetery and Memorial at Hamm is the final resting place of  5,076 American military dead, including General George S Patton; there is also a memorial to 371 Americans whose remains were never recovered or identified.(RIP).

Again, hope it gives you enough to come to see this magical small country of Europe. We love it ,and can’t wait to be back again, hopefully this year. We had many memories of driving there even just for lunch at the Place d’Armes with the family by car and come back to Versailles sometimes on the same day!!! Yeah road warriors of Europe!

Enjoy the Sunday ,and happy travels, good health and not too much work lol! Cheers!!

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