(Received in June, 2012)
Luxembourg, officially the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg (Groussherzogtum Lëtzebuerg), is a landlocked country in western Europe, bordered by Belgium, France, and Germany. It has two principal regions: the Oesling in the north as part of the Ardennes massif, and the Gutland ("good country") in the south.
Luxembourg has a population of just over half a million people in an area of 2,586 square kilometres (998 sq mi). A representative democracy with a constitutional monarch, it is ruled by a grand duke. It is now the world's only remaining sovereign grand duchy. Its historic and strategic importance dates back to its founding as a Roman era fortress and Frankish count's castle site in the Early Middle Ages. It was an important bastion along the Spanish Road when Spain was the principal European power influencing the whole western hemisphere and beyond in the 16th–17th centuries.
The city of Luxembourg, the largest and capital city, is the seat of several institutions and agencies of the EU.
Luxembourg culture is a mix of Romance Europe and Germanic Europe, borrowing customs from each of the distinct traditions. Luxembourg is a trilingual country: German, French and Luxembourgish are official languages.