Round The World and other travels

A frequent flyer's collection of trip diaries

September 2013: Luxembourg City

Luxembourg, the world's only surviving Grand Duchy, is the smallest of the six founding nations of the European Economic Community, later to become the European Union. As of summer 2013, it was the only one of the six that I had never visited. Luxembourg lies at the heart of Western Europe, where France, Germany and Belgium would otherwise all meet. It is a wealthy little country, boasting one of the highest figures in the world for gross domestic product per head of population.

The capital, Luxembourg City, is home to a number of EU institutions. Surprisingly, it accounts for less than a fifth of the population, making it comparable in size to the English city of Worcester and a little smaller than its nearest German neighbour, Trier. Luxembourg City has a spectacular setting: two 70 metre-deep gorges cut through the city, carrying the Alzette and Pétrusse rivers. The gorges are spanned by a series of bridges that are probably best avoided by acrophobics. It is one of those places where an ordinary streetmap can be found wanting, often concealing the dramatic vertical separation of apparently adjacent streets.

The largest group of visitors during my stay, far outnumbering all the others put together, comprised those from Germany.

City Centre

Grund (Ville Basse)

A different perspective on Luxembourg City can be obtained simply by walking down into the lower part of town, known locally as Grund.

National motto:
"We want to stay as we are"

Base: Sofitel Grand Ducal