Everything You Need to Know About Luxembourg

Everything You Need to Know About Luxembourg


Did you know that if you search “Interesting
Luxembourg facts” you get a page that says “no”
*chuckles* The funny thing is, I wouldn’t be surprised if it were true. You know what? Let’s learn something about Luxembourg! That’s better! You probably don’t know much about Luxembourg,
and I guess that’s fair. It’s a tiny, little nation, tucked in between
France, Belgium, and Germany, but there’s more to it than initially meets the eye! Luxembourg has three official languages: French,
German, and a Germanic language called Luxembourgish. What is Luxembourgish, well, here’s what
it looks like on a sign, and here’s what it looks like on another sign, and here’s
what it looks like on a door of a Burger Kind, and here’s what it looks like on a manhole
cover. Looks kind of like German, right? Well, don’t say that out loud, they don’t
really appreciate that here! Now, what language should you brush up on
before coming here? Well, German works alright (and I’d assume
English would, too) but the language I’d actually recommend you learn before coming
here is actually French. Though, perhaps unexpectedly, 18% of Luxembourg’s
population is actually Portuguese, and Luxembourgish radio stations will actually play Portuguese
songs at times to accommodate for this. Now, Luxembourg is officially known as the
“Grand Duchy of Luxembourg” — or “Groussherzogtum Lëtzebuerg” in Luxembourgish, or “Grand-Duché
de Luxembourg” in French, or “Großherzogtum Luxemburg” in German (try to guess which
one I actually speak) — Luxembourg is actually the world’s last Duchy, which means that
they are led by Grand Duke Henri. So, why does Luxembourg have a Grand Duke? Actually, why does it exist? I mean, it is beautiful, but why isn’t it
a part of one of its neighbors? Well, first, be careful when asking that,
people don’t tend to like being asked that about their country! Second… Luxembourg was established after the acquisition
of Lucilinburhuc, where a fort was established in 963. A town developed there shortly after, and
it became a Duchy under the House of Luxembourg, three members of which even reigned as emperors
of the Holy Roman Empire. Eventually, they didn’t have a
male heir, so they sold off the fortress to Philip the Good of Burgundy, who I’ve heard
was a pretty chill dude. After Napoleon steamrolled through Europe
so hard he basically bulldozed the Holy Roman Empire, the Congress of Vienna established
Luxembourg as a Grand Duchy within the German Confederation. However, Luxembourg and the Netherlands, because
European history never completely makes sense, became part of a personal union, where King
William I of the Netherlands was also Grand Duke William I of Luxembourg. He ruled Luxembourg as if it were a province
of the Netherlands, and not as a separate country that he still led. Imagine what it would look like if personal
unions were still a thing today? Also, wir stimmen zu, dass Kanada ein Teil
von Deutschland wird, aber es gibt ein Problem. Sprechen Sie etwas Deutsch? No, no, sorry about that. Nein, nein, kein größer Problem, aber nur
lernen Sie etwas Deutsch und versuch’s nochmal. Perfect! I’ll get the paperwork done, and we’ll
get ourselves a double-double at Timmy-Ho’s! Yeah, okay. I just didn’t want to become America’s
51st state, it just seemed a bit of a cliché. Ja, das kann ich verstehen. Willkommen in Deutschland! It should perhaps also be mentioned that Luxembourg
was much bigger back then, but by the 1830’s, that quickly became not so true, once a lot
of that territory was ceded to Belgium’s Luxembourg region. So, basically, it’s a holdover of the old
Holy Roman Empire, how cool is that? Also, fun fact, Luxembourg technically has
two flags it likes to fly. First off, there’s their normal flag, which
you will see if you go to any international events featuring Luxembourg, but it looks
a bit like that of the Netherlands. And possibly in recognition of that, many
in Luxembourg might also like to fly this flag, which is definitely a bit more interesting. It definitely screams “hey, look at us,
we’re not the Netherlands!” In the European Union, there’s a group of
states called the Schengen Zone, which comprises most of the EU (expect the British Isles,
and the countries still yet to join), as well as the microstates, and even Switzerland. Do you know how much it takes for Switzerland
to agree to do something?! Schengen is an international agreement between
most of the member states of the EU to basically not have border checks between each-other. Obviously, you still need to go through customs
when going from the US to Germany, but no passport or visas are needed to go from Germany
to Luxembourg. In an immigration sense, the whole bloc kind
of acts as one huge super-country. The name “Schengen” came from the town
of Schengen, located on the tri-point border between Germany, France, and Luxembourg, which
was where the Schengen Agreement was signed in 1985. Luxembourg has been a very active member of
the EU since the very beginning, which is nice, since people would probably have noticed
that gap in the map. [Ha, gap-in-the-map!] Luxembourg was one of the six founding members
of the European Coal and Steel Community in 1951 (basically an alpha version of the EU),
and six years later became a founding member of the European Economic Community, and then
the European Union, once the full release came out. They were also one of the first to join the
Schengen Area (hardly surprising), and the Eurozone. Along with Brussels and Strasbourg, Luxembourg
City is even one of the EU’s main administrative centers (and admittedly, it is a lot nicer
than Brussels) Luxembourg’s even home to the European Court of Auditors, and the EU
Court of Justice. Luxembourg’s just one of those countries
that, like, really likes the EU.

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About the Author: Oren Garnes

51 Comments

  1. I was just talking about Luxembourg with my grandparents. We got very confused as to why it exists, but I guess being a major fortification between Germany and France always helps matters.

  2. Luxembourg's motto is "Mir wëlle bleiwe wat mir sinn", which means "We want to remain what we are". This motto comes from the chorus of the 1859 patriotic song "De Feierwon", and refers to the fact that Luxembourg wants to stay independent from its neighboring countries.

    Out of context, I think it's one of the stranger mottoes out there. It makes it sound like they hate change.

  3. The John Oliver joke at the start creates a simplified, anti-intellectual view of thr world. Luxembourg is in fact very interesting for many reasons but more broadly, everything had interest to some people and most things can be presented in a way thats interesting to a lot of people.

  4. Well I live in the luxembourgian border region in Germany and the luxembourgian language is a mix between french and the German dialect that you speak in the Saarland.

  5. Omg the way he says Strasbourg gives me a mini-seizure every time. I went back and listed to him say it multiple times and I just couldn’t get used to it

  6. The Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg, Germany, and Austria are the scars of the Holy Roman Empire. (Otherwise they would all be the same country, Germany)

  7. Interesting Luxembourg facts: I live in it.
    If you send a letter to state in German, French or Luxembourgish, the state is required to give you a response in the respective language you chose.
    The Luxembourgish Bus Lines exist in the hundreds or maybe thousands.(They’re basically Paris’ metro system but better, in bus lines form and not just in one city)

  8. Shoulda mentioned that Luxembourg likes their monarch so much, they abolished democracy and reinstated him as a ruler

  9. It's fun to see you ducking into alleys and parks to say facts about Luxembourg. 🙂 Using your phone to record audio is a good idea, and you told a cohesive and interesting story! Thanks for bringing us along on your trip!

  10. Luxemburg was actually in the german confederation. Together with austria they were the only countries which didn't became a part of the then formed german empire. I think when Austria would have formed Germany, Luxembourg would be part of it

  11. My great-grandfather was a Luxembourger and all of his ancestors too. I've visited it too, but I wish that I had more appreciation for my ancestors when I was there. I guess I'll be returning.

  12. I'm French, so I guess I have no reason not to go to Luxembourg, seems like a nice place, kinda like the EU in a nutshell.

  13. We also do really cool films such as my new film Sawah. Here's the trailer:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sWwJIT67C3Y

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