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Lovely Luxemburg

Another country that straddles the divide between two cultures, The Grand Duchy of Luxemburg is an interesting glimpse into what would happen if the French and Germans melded into one people, then spoke a language that neither could understand. Luxemburg is a very prosperous nation, having had in the past the world’s highest GDP per capita, and one of the world’s lowest unemployment rates.

 

Luxemburg has been at various times under French or German rule, and is very much a multilingual culture (good for tourists). While French is often used officially, most people natively speak Luxemburgish – an interesting conflagration of German and Dutch with some French thrown in for good measure. A large portion of the population speaks English.

 

Luxembourg has a number of UNESCO world heritage sites, including the entirely of Luxemburg City itself. If you like historic architecture, be sure to see the Abbaye de Neumunster, which was constructed in the 17th and 18th centuries, and subsequently fully restored.

 

There have been a disproportionate number of famous artists born in Luxemburg, including American photography pioneer Edward Steichen and expressionist painter Joseph Kutter. Because of this, you will find a wide variety of art galleries in Luxemburg, particularly in Clervaux.

 

You should also be sure to check out Luxemburgish cuisine: it’s a fusion of Belgian Walloon cuisine (a lot of fish and game animals) and German (sauerkraut) with it’s own unique touch (liver dumplings). The beer and wine scene in Luxemburg is most pleasing; the beer is Belgian in style, while the Moselle Valley produces fruity white wines that can be quite delicious.

 

While I didn’t find as much to do in Luxemburg as, say, San Marino or Liechtenstein, it is still worth a visit. The people are friendly, the beer and wine are great, and you get to hear a rare language that you probably won’t hear anywhere else in the world. Not too shabby!