Luxembourg was founded in 963 when the Ardennes Count Siegfried built a castle ('Lucilinburhuc', literally: little castle) on the Bock cliff, around which over the centuries a fortified city would grow.
Modified and reinforced countless times during centuries of foreign domination, the fortress of Luxembourg was once one of the largest in Europe. With a reputation of being impregnable, it became known abroad as the 'Gibraltar of the North'.
Since 1994, the bastions and the old city centre have been included on UNESCO's World Heritage List.
Cultural trails, such as the Wenzel or Vauban round walks, the underground labyrinth of casemates or a visit of the remains of the fortress and the many museums of the capital, such as the 'Musee Dräi Eechelen', allow visitors to experience and relive the captivating history of the capital.
Historical maps and views of the capital online
The site at www.mapping‐luxembourg.lu is an innovative visual tool for taking a look at the history of the Grand Duchy's capital. The Luxembourg City History Museum (Musée d'histoire de la Ville de Luxembourg, MHVL) and the National Archives (Archives Nationales de Luxembourg, ANLUX) have produced a digital representation of historical maps and views overlaying the current urban topography. Based on a Google Maps aerial view of the city, fifty historic buildings and thirteen areas mapped between the 17th century and the early 20th century have been marked with interactive tags to provide a user-friendly means of becoming familiar with the historical topography of the city and its urban development. The site provides historical information on each building, with various views dating from the 19th and 20th centuries.