Luxembourg

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Luxembourg
Lëtzebuerg
A view of the Boulevard Senneville towards the Demokrätiepalast
A view of the Boulevard Senneville towards the Demokrätiepalast
Motto: Mir Wëlle Bleiwe Wat Mir Sinn
First Settled 870 BC
Government
 • Mayor Godfried Hänsch
Elevation 188
Population
 • Estimate (2009) 724
Demonym(s) Lëtzebuerger
Time zone Marmorian Standard Time (UTC+4)
 • Summer (DST) Van Luxemburger DST (UTC+5) (UTC)
Postal Code 10000 (AA-ZZ)
Area code(s) +11188
License plate code LU
Website www.luxembourg.vl

Luxembourg is the capital of Van Luxemburg, a status governed by the constitution. It has an urban population of 724,892, and a total of 454,260 inhabitants reside in the inner city. Located in the similarly-named region of Luxembourg, it also serves as the capital of this region; together with the city of Esch-sur-Alzette (at a distance of 100km) it forms the largest conurbation in Van Luxemburg.

Unlike many capitals in the world, Luxembourg is not commonly regarded as the commercial capital of the country, as this role goes to Esch. Luxembourg however accommodates the Demokrätiepalast (house of parliament) and all ministries, making it the executive capital. In addition, the High Council of Van Luxemburg, the country’s highest judicial organ, is also located in Luxembourg.

History

Founded years and years ago, etc.

Geography

Part of the region of Luxembourg, the city is located some 100 km inland from Esch-sur-Alzette, and was built on the banks of the river Biwer. The river flows through the city but for shipping the city has been circumvented through the construction of the Biwer-Alzette channel in 1895.

Located at an altitude of 188 metres, the city is surrounded by a moderately hilly landscape. Whilst the eastern side of the city is largely urbanized, especially the western side of the city is surrounded by wooded areas up till the Zinzener Appeneninen mountain range, even though agriculture occupies significant stretches of land.

Climate

Luxembourg has an oceanic climate, even though both summers and winters are not as mild as in Esch-sur-Alzette. Eastern winds are prevailing, with western winds often bringing in colder air originating from the Zinzener Appeninen. Precipitation is common, roughly 190 days a year, mostly in the form of light rain. Temperature extremes in Luxembourg range from +38 °C in summer to -23 °C in winter.

Cityscape and architecture

File:Luxview.jpg
A typical street in the inner city of Luxembourg.

Luxembourg has gone through various architectural periods over the centuries, with parts of the city frequently being razed to make way for new construction plans. As this custom became increasingly expensive in the 19th century, and Luxembourg began to serve as the national capital once again following the One Hundred Years’ War, a final redesign of the city was completed around 1860, with buildings being constructed in a mixture of popular Victorian-era architecture styles. Several later additions were often made in the same style to preserve the appearance of streets and neighborhoods, however several architects openly opposed the idea of adhering to older architectural styles and constructed more modern buildings. The resulting cityscape is an interesting mixture of various 19th and 20th century styles, along with modern architecture. Due to the relatively low population and the city’s role as capital, the city boasts an impressive amount of villas and large public buildings, used to accommodate the various government agencies, services and high-ranking officials, along with various international institutions and diplomatic residences.

File:Mlhq.jpg
Luxembourg accommodates the headquarters of the Maredoratic League.

The city council of Luxembourg generally prohibits buildings of more than 10 floors to be constructed in the city center. It has also placed a great number of buildings on the municipal monument list, meaning that most of the city’s appearance is protected.

Especially interesting is the Boulevard Senneville, a wide boulevard that runs through the city from the direction of Esch-sur-Alzette and terminates at the Demokrätiepalast. Along the boulevard are all ministries, the headquarters of the Maredoratic League and various other important buildings. There are several smaller towns surrounding the city that have virtually become a part of it, resulting in smaller town centres being incorporated in the city’s outskirts. Particularly worth mentioning is the city of Bertrange, which houses the residence of the Grand Duke, otherwise known as Chateau Bertrange. The town of Grünewald is commonly regarded as the most expensive neighborhood in the city, next to the city center itself. Many industrials and wealthy individuals have chosen to reside in this part of the city.

Economy

File:Vltflagship.jpg
The modern appearance of the VLT Flagship store on the Boulevard Senneville has been the subject of much discussion.

Luxembourg is not the commercial capital of the country, nor does it accommodate a great many number of corporate headquarters or offices. The city relies mostly on tourism, as well as the government and the international community. A small financial district is located in and around the Rue Charles Corbeau in the city center, accommodating a number of small private banks that often specialize in wealth management and associated services. The ‘ old’ retail district of the city is not far from both the financial district and the parliament, and mainly houses the more exclusive retail outlets of the city, selling in the higher price segment.

Several large department stores are also located on the Boulevard Senneville, as well as various ‘flagship stores’ for important Van Luxemburger and foreign retail brands.

Demographics

Transport

Public Transport

File:Luxmetro.jpg
A view of the underground station Rue Charles Corbeau, on the U2 line.

Initially Luxembourg was served by a number of horse trams from the early 19th century on. This network of horse trams has been electrified and is now operated with low-floor trams, making the service reach to the outskirts of the city, where it is most popular. The trams often connect to metro and light rail services, to provide better coverage. Buses usually service those areas not within the reach of tramways. All public transport services are operated by the LTS, the municipal public transport firm. One tramline also extends to the town of Bertrange, somewhat outside of Luxembourg, famous for housing the residence of the Grand Duke known as Chateau Bertrange.

Since 1938, a relatively compact metro network has been constructed under the city, requiring complex tunnel-boring methods and more innovative solutions to prevent any damage to the city’s historical centre. Luxembourg now has four metro lines, with two lines stretching from east-west and north-south, and the other two interconnecting these lines by forming rings around the metro networks epicenter: the Demokrätiepalast station near the actual parliament building.

Buses are a common sight across the city, from the residential neighborhoods till the city centre. As parts of the old centre are hard to reach by regular bus, smaller minivans are commonly operated on these routes, allowing public transport to reach into all corners of the city centre.

Like any Van Luxemburger city, Luxembourg maintains a sizeable fleet of taxis, usually VLT L6’es or other midsize or executive cars of Van Luxemburger manufacture. The taxis have no particular colour, as they are recognizable by their taxi sign, license plate and license sticker, which should always be present according to van Luxemburger law. Most taxis are operated by Taxi vun Luxembourg (TvL), which operates cars in the colour Hellelfenbein (light ivory).

Roadways

Over the last fifty-seventy years, road traffic has grown explosively and even though Luxembourg has a better infrastructure than most older Van Luxemburger cities, heavy traffic is rather common. Traffic entering the city by road is generally discouraged from continuing into the city center and pointed towards parking facilities from where the journey into the city center can be continued using public transport. The city council also has initiated a rental bicycle programme throughout the city, and there are plans to start charging cars entering the city for the duration of their stay within the inner city.

Luxembourg is connected to the Van Luxemburger motorway system through the A1 motorway, which forms a ring road around the city. This ring road also connects to the A3, A4 and A5 motorways and various B-class motorways.

Railways

File:Luxstation.jpg
Luxembourg Central Station (Haaptgare), built in 1876.

Together with Esch-sur-Alzette, Luxembourg is the most important railway hub in the Grand Duchy. The monumental Luxembourg Central Station (known as Haaptgare locally) is the largest of its kind in Van Luxemburg, with Esch-sur-Alzette only ranking lower by several tracks. From Luxembourg, most 'regular' international trains leave, including the sleeping trains and trains such as the Alzettegold to Arugula, Ruccola. The station is also part of the nationwide High-Speed Train service, and unlike most stations served by HST trains, Luxembourg Haaptgare was not specifically built for these train lines, but the trains will instead have to travel over a small section of 15 kV track in order to get to the station.



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