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Thursday 24th August
Luxembourg Information - Page 1
Geography
The Grand Duchy of Luxembourg covers two thousand six hundred square kilometres. The Duchy is landlocked and bordered by France, Belgium and Germany. The capital city is also called Luxembourg.

Luxembourg is divided into twelve cantons: Capellen, Clervaux, Diekirch, Esch, Echternach, Grevenmacher, Luxembourg, Mersch, Redange, Remich, Vianden and Wiltz.

The north of Luxembourg is part of the Ardennes; the south is mainly rolling farmland. The Moselle valley with its vineyards is to the east and the iron and coal mining region is in the extreme south. Luxembourg's major rivers are the Moselle, Sure, the Alzette, and the Our.

The climate is temperate with mild winters and cool summers.

Environment
One-third of Luxembourg is covered by forest. The Ardennes, in the north, form part of The Natural Germano-Luxembourg Park which extends into Germany. The Nature Park of the Upper-Sure is a protected area. The flora and fauna are similar to the surrounding countries and the mountainous and forested regions are known as Little Switzerland.

Like most European countries, Luxembourg has not escaped air and water pollution in urban areas, but as a member of the European Union, the country participates in European initiatives to protect the environment. The mining areas of the south have suffered particularly.

Architecture
The traditional architecture of Luxembourg is typical of the forested and mountainous regions of Europe, with timbered and stone buildings combining housing with barns and animal stabling.

Luxembourg's central position in Europe has made the country militarily important and this is reflected in its military architecture. The country has many castles and the fortress of Luxembourg itself was, until sections had to be dismantled under the terms of the Treaty of London (1867), one of the world's greatest strongholds.

Examples can be found, throughout Luxembourg, of the architecture of earlier ages including Roman and Gothic. The EU Court of Justice is an example of modern architecture.

Population
It was estimated that there were 486,006 inhabitants living in the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg in 2008. In the nineteenth century one-sixth of the population migrated to the New World. With the discovery of iron ore in the middle of the nineteenth century a number of foreign workers (Portuguese and Italians) came to work in the iron and steel industry. Luxembourg's modern financial industries have attracted staff from many countries including the UK.

Languages
Lėtzebuergesch or Luxembourgish, French and German are all official languages. English is also spoken.

Religion
Most inhabitants of the Grand Duchy are Roman Catholics. The Virgin Mary is the Patroness of the city of Luxembourg.

There are minorities of Protestants, Jews and Muslims.

Food
Many of Luxembourg's speciality dishes are appropriate to forest areas: for example jugged hare and Ardennes ham. Other local foods include black-pudding, sausages and fish from the rivers (trout and pike). Plum tart and apple cake are popular desserts.

Luxembourg shares the Moselle valley with Germany and the local white wines are justly famous. Like other northern European countries, Luxembourg is also well known for its beers.

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