Luxembourg is a modern, cosmopolitan, lively city on a human scale. The marks left by the past merge with a contemporary world on the move. This scholarly mixture is one of the components of the city's identity: a meeting place for cultures with a rich historic past.
Because of its strategic position between the Kingdom of France and the Holy Roman Empire, the fortress of Luxembourg became one of the most important fortified sites in Europe between the 16th century and 1867, the date of its demolition. Reinforced on several occasions during handovers from one great European power to the next (the emperors of the Holy Roman Empire, the House of Burgundy, the Habsburgs, the kings of Spain and France, and finally the Prussians), its fortifications presented an overview of military architecture spanning several centuries. The greatest engineers came from all corners of Europe, such as Vauban for example, leaving their mark on this fortress regarded as the Gibraltar of the North. Today, the fortress of Luxembourg expresses this common European past.
The military and civil edifices, built in a striking natural environment, define the architectural framework of the old city, which achieved its recognition through its registration on the UNESCO world heritage list in 1994. The casemates, the path of the ramparts (corniche), the Musée National Drai Eechelen (the Three Acorns Museum of the fortress and national identity), the military structures conserved in the public parks and paths, the thematic itineraries, including the essential Wenceslas tour, the exceptional visits organised by the Friends of the History of the Fortress (www.ffgl.lu) enable this world heritage of humanity to be discovered.