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Luxembourg

Luxembourg City is the capital of the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg, located at the confluence of the Alzette and Pétrusse Rivers in southern Luxembourg. Its written history began in 963, when Siegfried, Count of the Ardennes had a castle built on the site of the present-day city which was the origin of the establishment of a town. Due to the city's location and geography, it's always been a place of strategic significance and it developed into a formidable fortress. After a long period of foreign sovereignty by several different nations, the Congress of Vienna raised the status of Luxembourg to Grand Duchy and established a personal union with Luxembourg and the King of the Netherlands until 1890 when Grand Duke William III died without any heirs and Luxembourg passed out of Dutch hands. It was during this time that the political independence and autonomy of Luxembourg were strengthened and its democratic institutions were developed. Despite Luxembourg's perpetual neutrality, it was occupied by German troops in both World Wars.

Luxembourg during the Battle of the Bulge

In September of 1944 the entire Grand Duchy was liberated by American troops after a series of small firefights with retreating Germans. But the massive Ardennes Offensive began on December 16, and took the Americans by surprise who had to yield ground to avoid annihilation as three German Armies supported by armor and artillery poured through the Luxembourg and Belgian Ardennes with the objective of splitting the Allied line in half. Once the American High Command realized the seriousness of the situation, The US Third Army which had been preparing to invade the Saar region, swung their forces north, pushing towards Luxembourg and hitting the left flank of the German attacking force. After Christmas, the weather conditions that had been screening the German attack cleared, allowing massive air strikes on the attacking forces and supply columns, putting the Germans onto the defensive and finally allowing them to be gradually pushed back. By the end of January 1945, 95% of Luxembourg had been liberated again with just two bridgeheads held by the Germans for the remainder of their troops to retreat.

Notre-Dame Cathedral of Luxembourg

Among the sights pictured here is the Notre-Dame Cathedral of Luxembourg City. Originally built as a Jesuit church in 1613, the church is a classic example of gothic architecture with many Renaissance adornments. The church was elevated to the status of Cathedral in 1870 and later consecrated as the Church of Our Lady by Pope Pius IX. The cemetery of the cathedral holds the National Monument to the Resistance and to the Deportation.

Churches in the Hollerich and Gasperich Quarters

Other points of interest are the Church of Saintes Pierre et Paul located in the Hollerich quarter and the Church of Sainte Thérèse de l'enfant Jésus located in the Gaspercih quarter of the city, both of these in the southern part of the city.

Luxembourg Railway Station

The main rail station serving Luxembourg City is the central hub of Luxembourg's domestic railway network and operated by a state owned railway company. It also serves as the country's international railway station with services into Belgium, France and Germany. The original station was built in 1859 and made out of timber. Its location away from the town center and across the River Pétrusse was due to the city's role as a Confederation of Germany fortress. The destruction of the fortifications following the Treaty of London in 1867 and the building of a viaduct to span the river allowed the city to expand around the railway station. The old wooden station was replaced with the modern building between 1907 and 1913. The new station was built in a neo-baroque style by a team of German architects.