Sat, Jul 22, 2006 - Page 14 News List

Globe trotting 世界走透透 ─ Luxembourg 盧森堡

Throughout its history, Luxembourg has been known as a thriving state in a position of great importance for its European neighbors. One of the smallest countries in Europe, today it is the world’s only Grand Duchy. Find out more about this tiny trilingual country, and how it came to be an independent state surrounded by much bigger, more powerful countries.


A closer look 說古論今

Although it is independent today, Luxembourg has been at the center of European history for centuries. It’s history goes as far back as the Roman Empire, when the Romans built two roads that intersected there. Hundreds of years later, a man built a small castle on that spot, and a town grew up around it. The castle was built at the top of a steep cliff, and rivers ran through the surrounding areas. This made it very difficult to attack Luxembourg. Today, Luxembourg’s position gives the capital city, Luxembourg City, lots of beautiful views, pretty bridges and lovely scenery. Long ago, this meant that all the European powers wanted to hold Luxembourg, and from the 15th century on, many of them did. Luxembourg is ruled by a Duke or Duchess, and has been independent since 1839, although at that time Luxembourg lost a lot of land to Belgium.

Until 1890, the Duke of Luxembourg and the King of the Netherlands were the same person. In 1890, the King of the Netherlands (who was also the Duke of Luxembourg) died, and he left no male heir. Since it was legal for a woman to be queen in the Netherlands, the King’s daughter became the next Queen of the Netherlands. However, Luxembourg’s laws at the time stated that only a man could rule, so another relative was chosen to become the Duke of Luxembourg, and the two countries have had separate rulers ever since. The people of Luxembourg enjoy a relatively tranquil and comfortable life. The country is economically very comfortable, and the citizens of Luxembourg live well and peacefully.




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