Luxembourg-Ville Travel Guide
Luxembourg City © Claude Wians
In the early morning mist Luxembourg is reminiscent of an ancient fairytale city, full of towers and turrets. The old centre of town, which has been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site, can trace its history back to the 10th century, when Siegfried, Count of the Ardennes, built a castle on a rock above the Alzette River. He named the castle Lucilinburhuc. Over the centuries the castle and surrounding town was strengthened with numerous additional fortifications, walls and gates until it became known as the 'Gibraltar of the North'. Today the various components of the fortress are the city's chief tourist attraction. There are some other interesting sights in the old centre of town though, including several museums.
Modern Luxembourg, on the Plateau du Krichberg, is more concerned with business than pleasure, as the work of a major international financial centre goes on inside the many modern office complexes in the city. Luxembourg is chock full of banks and is home to numerous European Union institutions. The European Council of Ministers holds their sessions in the city for three months every year, and the European Court of Justice presides here too. Although tourists come to the city to enjoy the medieval charm and history, the financial prestige attracts businessmen and the modern buzz of the place ensures that there are good restaurants and lots of quality hotels. Luxembourg is a tiny country and there are many wonderful excursions from the city into the countryside and to surrounding towns.