Luxembourg City

The fact that the capital city shares the country's name speaks volumes: Luxembourg City is the political and cultural heart of the nation. It is by far Luxembourg's largest city, and it serves as a meeting point for people from all over the country and the Greater Region. The deep Alzette and Pétrusse valleys are crossed by several bridges, including the Pulvermuhle Viaduct which joins the capital's railway with the regions to the north and east of the country.

© SIP / Christof Weber
Luxembourg City grew up around a rock formation known as the 'Bock', a promontory overlooking the Alzette and Pétrusse rivers. This created a natural division between the two parts of the city: the bustling 'Upper City' contrasts with the 'Lower City', with its pretty views and calmer feel.

© Claude Piscitelli
For many centuries, Luxembourg City was fought over by the major European powers, which soon saw the potential of its unique geological setting and strategic position between its influential French and German neighbours. The Fortress of Luxembourg was constantly expanded and improved over time, becoming one of Europe's major strongholds and earning the sobriquet 'Gibraltar of the North' for its apparently impregnable nature.

© SIP / Christof Weber
The European powers, meeting in London in 1867 following the 'Luxembourg Crisis' between France and Prussia, decided to dismantle the fortress. Freed from the burden of military constraints, the city was able to develop and expand over the ensuing centuries. But it recognised the important architectural legacy left by the remains of the fortress, which now feature, along with the Old City, on the UNESCO World Heritage List.

© SIP / Christof Weber
Luxembourg City is constantly developing and there is an ongoing drive for modernisation. It is now a cultural hotspot within the country and the Greater Region, boasting varied architecture and a wealth of cultural institutions, tourist activities and public events all year round. Luxembourg's capital also has sophisticated leisure infrastructures, such as the National Sports and Cultural Centre ('D'Coque').

© SIP / Christof Weber
Luxembourg City is not only the country's capital but also one of the three seats of the European Union institutions. The young Kirchberg district, its entrance proudly marked by the 'Porte de l'Europe' or 'Europe Gateway', houses the EU's legal and financial institutions (it is known as the 'European quarter'), as well as the offices of several international business groups. It has also become a key cultural and sports district.

© SIP / Christof Weber
  • Updated 17-11-2017