Luxembourg: The First Impression of the "Country of a Thousand Castles"

Luxembourg is the only remaining Grand Duchy on the European continent, with its capital being Luxembourg City. It is a member state of the European Union. Due to its small size and abundance of castles, it is often referred to as the "pocket-sized kingdom" or similar titles.

The Luxembourg gorge is a world-famous attraction, stretching from east to west, about 100 meters wide and 60 meters deep, forming the natural north and south of the new and old city. The Constitution Square is the best place to enjoy the gorge and the scenery on both sides. On the opposite side of the gorge is a valley of ancient trees, lush and verdant, and a magnificent palace sits against the green background, which is the National Savings Bank of Luxembourg. At the north end of the bank is a tall pointed circular clock tower, with some medieval buildings visible only from the roofs on both sides. Behind these buildings is Luxembourg's new district, followed by the commercial and administrative center, and Luxembourg's central railway station is also there.
The Grand Ducal Palace is a palace located in the southern part of Luxembourg, with the name of Groussherzogleche Palais in Luxembourgish, Palais grand-ducal in French, and Großherzogliches Palais in German. As the official residence of the Grand Duke of Luxembourg, the Grand Ducal Palace is also where he exercises his duties as the head of state. Located in the Old Town to the north of the Notre-Dame Cathedral, the Grand Ducal Palace was originally built in 1244 and was destroyed in a fire in 1554. After extensive reconstruction, the Grand Ducal Palace officially opened as the official residence in 1890 and has beautiful internal decorations. During mid-July to the end of August each year, the Grand Ducal Palace is open to visitors, but tickets must be purchased in advance by phone reservation. Visitors can only enter the palace with the guidance of a tour guide.
The defensive walls of Grund area on the Alzette River are now one of the most beautiful viewing platforms in Europe. The walls used to have steep steps and served a defensive function, but the outer protective walls have now been removed, creating a gentle 360-degree viewing platform that allows people to fully appreciate the beautiful scenery of the Grund Valley.
The Luxembourg Castle, also known as the Bock Fortress, is located in the northeast corner of the old city area of Luxembourg. Its rocky cliff towers are surrounded by the Alzette River on three sides and have strong natural defense capabilities. The future prosperity and development of Luxembourg were also derived from the "Little Castle" built here by Count Siegfried in 963. Numerous fortifications, attacks, and reconstructions have made the castle a witness to history, with Burgundians, Habsburgs, Spaniards, Prussians, and French all competing for this military fortress. It was not until the 1867 "London Agreement" requiring the removal of defenses that the war was stopped. Although the powerful walls no longer exist, the castle still attracts visitors from all over the world, and the magnificent underground art galleries and corridors still amaze people. Initially built in 1644, the castle was located in a military fortress dug into the mountain, and after expansion under the guidance of French military engineer Vauban, it became a daunting project. There are 23 kilometers of underground tunnels beneath the castle, with underground defense channels built at different geological levels and extending 40 meters below ground. Although the fortress was demolished in 1867, the original appearance of the batteries is still preserved within the 17-kilometer-long city walls, which were listed as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1994. Inside the castle, visitors can not only admire the underground fortifications and battery appearance from the past but also learn about the detailed introduction of the fortress and exhibits of some historical relics, making the castle an important site to understand Luxembourg's military history.
Constitution Square is a famous attraction located on the edge of the ravine in the old town area of ​​ Luxembourg City. From the square, visitors can overlook the whole city area and the Adolphe Bridge with the most striking being the Gëlle Fra Monument, which is located on the square. The monument is 12 meters high and topped by a gilded figure of a girl symbolizing freedom and resistance. It was designed and constructed by local artist Claus in 1923 to commemorate the Luxembourg soldiers who died in World War I. The monument was damaged during the war but was restored in 1984. Because of the gold Victory Goddess statue above it, the monument is also known as the Golden Lady Monument and was featured at the Shanghai Expo. Therefore, the square is often referred to as the Little Golden Man Square by Chinese tourists. The underground entrances to the Betriels Battery and the Bech Battery are located in the two corners of the square, with the opposite being the Notre-Dame Cathedral.
This stone arch, with a total length of 153 meters, was built during the reign of Grand Duke Adolf in the early 20th century and was once the world's largest span.