The Grand Duchy of Luxembourg (Luxembourgish: Groussherzogtum Lëtzebuerg, French:Grand-Duché de Luxembourg, German: Großherzogtum Luxemburg), is a landlocked country in the Benelux bordered by Belgium, France and Germany which lies at the crossroads of Germanic and Latin cultures. It is the only Grand Duchy in the world and is the second-smallest of the European Union member states.
The city of Luxembourg proper was founded in 963, and its strategic position soon promised it a great fate. Luxembourg was at the crossroads of Western Europe and became heavily fortified, and you can still see the extensive city walls and towers which are the most distinctive aspect of the cityscape. Due to its key position, Luxembourg was raised up to a Duchy that included a much larger territory that stretched into present-day Belgium, Netherlands, Germany and France. The powerful Habsburg family kept its hands on it until late Renaissance times. After the Napoleonic wars, the Duchy of Luxembourg was granted to the Netherlands. It had a special status as a member of the German confederacy, and the citadel was armed with a Prussian garrison: Luxembourg was still a strategic lock that everybody aimed at controlling. It was granted the title "Grand Duchy" in 1815, but lost some territories that are today parts of France and Germany.