The history of Luxembourg starts with the Castle of Lucilinburhuc in 963.
The capital’s fortress is one of the most important heritages in the country. Since its construction, it has been modified many times, under many different occupations, including the French, Spanish and Prussian.
Thanks to the Vienna Congress, the Duchy of Luxembourg formed a personal union with the king of the Netherlands and became the Grand-Duchy of Luxembourg as it was impossible for a king to be a duke and a king at the same time. Following this Luxembourg was under the reign of the Nassau-Orange dynasty, which ended in 1890 with the arrival of the Nassau-Weilburg dynasty. The title of the Grand-Duke of Luxembourg has been passed on since.
In 1867, the Treaty of London gave Luxembourg the international status of disarmed perpetual neutrality and the capital’s fortress was demolished.
Nowadays, Luxembourg is the last existing Grand-Duchy in the world.
Luxembourg has three administrative languages, Luxembourgish, German and French. The native language is a Moselle Franconian dialect, which is mostly just spoken.
Heart of the European Union
Luxembourg has been called the cradle of Europe. The idea of a unified Europe was proposed by Robert Schumann, the son of a French father and a Luxembourgish mother, born in the Grand-Duchy. Since then, Luxembourg has been a founding member and remains a main contributor of the European Union. The Luxembourgish Prime Minister Pierre Werner was instrumental in planning the unified currency throughout Europe, which became the Euro .
The Schengen convention which abolishes the border controls in much of the European Union bears the name of a village in Luxembourg, where three countries (Luxembourg, France and Belgium) meet.
Gaston Thorn, Jacques Santer and Jean-Claude Juncker, Luxembourgish politicians, have all become presidents of the European Commission in 1981-85, 1995-1999 and since 2014 respectively.
Since the establishment of the Union, the plateau of Kirchberg in Luxembourg city has become home to several EU bodies, including the secretariat of the European Parliament, the court of justice, and the European Investment Bank.