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Luxembourg city


Middle Ages to the 18th century

In 963, Count Siegfried of the Ardennes, who is regarded as the founder of the county of Luxembourg, decided to build a castle on a rock along the Reims-Trier road. "Lucilinburhuc" (small castle) became the name of this fortress. Around this castle a settlement soon developed and the first trade and craft centre, the present capital Luxembourg, came into being. In 1354, the German Emperor Charles IV elevated Luxembourg to the rank of duchy and it became part of the German Empire. In 1443 the Burgundians conquered Luxembourg and subsequently the city and the surrounding area were occupied by Spaniards, French, Austrians and Prussians. This resulted in 20 sieges in 400 years and, to make matters worse, in 1554 the city of Luxembourg was almost completely destroyed by an explosion in a munitions depot. Napoleon I finally succeeded in conquering Luxembourg in 1795. The duchy became a province of France and was named Département de Fôrets (Department of Forests).

19th century up to and including the Second World War

1815 is an important year in Luxembourg's history. Napoleon is defeated and the later Belgium is annexed to the Netherlands. Luxembourg becomes a Grand Duchy and is assigned to King William I of the Netherlands and governed as a Dutch province (Congress of Vienna). In 1830, the great powers decided to divide the territory of the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg: the western French-speaking part became part of Belgium, the eastern and Luxembourgish-speaking part remained independent. By the Treaty of London (1839), this division became official and Luxembourg was recognised as a sovereign and independent Grand Duchy. In 1866, the French Emperor Napoleon III tried to annex Luxembourg to France, much against the wishes of the Prussians who threatened war. The so-called "Luxembourg question" was settled in London in 1867 by the countries involved and Luxembourg was guaranteed independence and declared "neutral forever". During the First and Second World Wars, Luxemburg was occupied by the Germans. The Grand Duchy was liberated in September 1944, but suffered great damage during the Ardennes offensive.

2nd half of the 20th century

After the Second World War, Luxembourg quickly recovered economically and began to play an important role in European trade and politics. Luxembourg became a member of major organisations such as the United Nations, Benelux, NATO and the European Coal and Steel Community (ECSC), the forerunner of today's European Union. In Jan. 1995, Prime Minister Santer accepted the position of President of the European Commission. Elections were held in Luxembourg on 13 June 2004, resulting in a new government sworn in on 31 July. The 15-member government was formed by a coalition between the Christian Social People's Party (CSV) of Prime Minister and Finance Minister Jean-Claude Juncker and the Luxembourg Socialist Workers' Party (LSAP) of Foreign Minister Jean Asselborn. The Democratic Party (DP, former coalition partner of the CSV) lost a significant number of seats and is now the main opposition party.

21th century

The June 2009 elections were won by the governing party of Prime Minister Jean-Claude Juncker, who has been Prime Minister since 1995.

In Luxembourg, there are no real political divisions. This makes the country very decisive internationally. In October 2012, the crown prince married.

Due to a wiretapping scandal, the Socialists leave the government in July 2013 and Juncker also disappears from the scene. Elections are held in October 2013 and although Juncker's Christian Democrats become the largest party, he fails to form a coalition. Xavier Bettel of the Democratic Party becomes Prime Minister in December 2013 in a coalition with the Socialists and the Greens. In June 2014, the parliament votes in favour of same-sex marriage. In 2016, Luxembourg adopts measures to combat tax evasion. In the 2018 elections, not much shifts, Bettel remains prime minister. The next elections will be held in 2023.


Encarta Encycloppedie

Europese Unie
Europees Platform voor het Nederlandse Onderwijs

Fonteyn, G. / Ardennen, Luxemburg
ANWB Media,

Grote Lekturama Wereldatlas, Europa

Smets, P. / Het Groothertogdom Luxemburg

Stoks, F. / Ardennen, Luxemburg

Vermeulen, J.J. / Het Groothertogdom Luxemburg

CIA - World Factbook

BBC - Country Profiles

Last updated April 2024
Copyright: Team The World of Info