Luxembourg is a mighty little country, although most Luxembourgers would resent the use of "little". It is the sixth-smallest country, yet holds the prestige of being the only Grand Duchy in the world. It is also one of the top three richest countries in the world with a matching high standard of living. Many people have come to enjoy it's treasures; Luxembourg has the highest proportion of inhabitants with a foreign passport among the EU countries. Stunning natural beauty, a dynamic banking sector, and international flair are packed into this tiny powerhouse.
Officially named the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg, the country actually has 3 names in it's 3 official languages.
Groussherzogtum Letzebuerg in Luxembourgish
Grand-Duche de Luxembourg in French
Grossherzogtum Luxemburg in German.
The country is only 2,586 sq km. Landlocked in western Europe between Belgium, France, and Germany, the country is often overlooked for it's more boisterous neighbors. There are about 497,500 people living in Luxembourg.
The northern third of the country is known as the "Oesling" or "Eisleck" and forms part of the Ardennes. This is the region of the highest point, the Kneiff which is 560 meters (1,837 ft). The region is sparsely populated, with only Wiltz having a population of more than four thousand people.
The southern two-thirds of the country is called the "Gutland". Much more densely populated than the north, it is also more diverse. It is divided into geographic sub-regions.
The Luxembourg plateau - south-central Luxembourg and the site of the city of Luxembourg.
Little Switzerland - east of Luxembourg city with craggy terrain and thick forests.
The Moselle valley - southeastern border, this is the lowest-lying region.
The Red Lands - far south and southwest, Luxembourg's industrial heartland.
The border between Luxembourg and Germany is formed by three rivers: the Moselle, the Sauer, and the Our. Other major rivers are the Alzette, the Attert, the Clerve, and the Wiltz.
Luxembourg has a marine west coast climate. Summers are generally cool, with a mean temperature of about 17 degrees C (63 degrees F). Winters are mild with an average temperature of 0 degrees C (32 degrees F). There are prevailing northwesterly winds. There is high precipitation, especially in late summer. Precipitation averages about 75 cm (30 in) annually. There is also dense fog cover between August and April. The fog can get trapped in the many valleys and linger.
The city of Luxembourg is both the capital and largest city. It is the hub of the rest of the nation, although it lies in the Southern half. The city is sometimes referred to as Luxembourg-Ville, or Luxembourg City to distinguish it from the country name.
The commune of Luxembourg City covers a total area of over 51 km2 (19.69 sq mi), or 2% of the Grand Duchy's total area. The city is moderately populated, with under 1,500 people per square km. The city is marked by beautiful bridges and lush green space. It is perched on high cliffs above the Alzette and Petrusse rivers, with a 70 meter (230 ft) deep gorge cutting through sections of the capital.
Luxembourg City is subdivided into twenty-four quarters, which cover the commune in its entirety. The quarters generally correspond to the major neighbourhoods and suburbs of Luxembourg City.
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