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Preface Last Updated: 12/5/2005 10:58 AM

It would be easy to overlook tiny Luxembourg in a European itinerary, but you'd be missing out on a very charming experience. Squeezed into a pocket of land about one-fiftieth the size of England, it is Europe in miniature, complete with wine country, abbey towns, a cosmopolitan city, hiking trails, restored castles, lovely river valleys, and a multilingual populace.

Luxembourg has been influenced at one time or another by the Spanish, Belgians, French, Germans and Austrians. But perhaps the most influential of all were the Romans, who ruled the land for nearly 500 years. They left behind an excellent network of roads and bridges that, in addition to unifying the nation physically, linked the people psychologically.

Positioned between two major historical world powers (and having been conquered at times by both of them), Luxembourg takes a good deal of its identity from its neighbors’ contributions. This shows itself both in the generally amicable relationship between the countries and their citizens and in their shared linguistic traits. Multilingualism is universal among Luxembourgers, and both the German and French languages are used in the press, in politics, and in daily life. French is most common in government and schools, though Luxembourgish is the language you will hear most frequently on the street. English is widely understood in tourist areas.

Luxembourg's location in the heart of Europe made it a desirable territory for the continent's abundance of expansion-minded rulers. So it built itself into one of the most powerful fortresses in the world. Most of the fortifications were dismantled in the mid-19th century, and fortresses were converted into parks — too soon, as it turned out. Luxembourg was invaded and occupied in both World Wars by its neighbors to the east and sustained terrible damage in World War II at the Battle of the Bulge. The damage has since been repaired, and Luxembourgers, grateful for the U.S. role in liberating their country, have been particularly friendly to travelers from the U.S. ever since.

Geographically, the country is surprisingly varied, considering its small size. The northern area has the best scenery, particularly in the heavily forested area of the Ardennes, whereas the southern area is more industrial and urbanized. The eastern region, along the Sauer and Moselle Rivers, has lovely vineyards and wineries.

Service in Luxembourg is interesting and challenging. The range and variety of responsibilities are broad. Officers working in the political and economic fields deal with the major issues of Europe and the European Union and NATO as well as with bilateral U.S.-Luxembourg matters. Administrative and consular officers are diversified in their respective fields of activity. In addition, consular officers assume reporting functions. Comparable variety and interest characterize the Embassy's locally-engaged staff positions.

Luxembourg offers the advantage of life in a medium-sized Western European city coupled with many of the social and cultural aspects of a modern capital. Its central location in the heart of Western Europe, its lovely countryside, and its hospitable people make Luxembourg an unusually attractive assignment for overseas service.

The Host Country

Area, Geography, and Climate Last Updated: 12/5/2005 10:59 AM

Luxembourg, located in Western Europe, is bordered by France, Germany, and Belgium. The country is 50 miles long and 36 miles wide, covering 999 square miles, or slightly less than the area of Rhode Island.

Geographically, the Grand Duchy is divided into two sections. The forested and hilly northern half of the country is a continuation of the Belgian Ardennes. In the south, the Lorraine Plateau extends from France, creating an open, rolling countryside with an average elevation of 1,000 feet. The Our, Sure, and Moselle Rivers flow north-south along the frontier between Luxembourg and Germany.

Temperatures range from 5°F (-15°C) to 90°F (32°C), with an annual mean temperature of 49°F (9°C). Summer temperatures average 60°F (15°C) and winters are mild with an average low of 29°F (-1.7°C). July and August are the warmest months; May and June are the sunniest; and January and February are the coldest months. Luxembourg has a climate much like that of the U.S. Pacific Northwest — cool, temperate, and rainy. The northwesterly winds that traverse the western, lower portion of the Belgian Ardennes cause abundant clouds, fog, and rain. Average annual rainfall is 30 inches; some rain falls 50% of the year.

Population Last Updated: 12/5/2005 10:59 AM

The Grand Duchy has a population of approximately 440,000 (2000 est.). The population is most dense in the industrial southwest region and around the capital city, with a population of 78,300. Of the entire population, 34% are aliens, most from other European countries (12% Portuguese). The European Union Institutions located here employ 9,000 citizens of the different member states.

The native population is at least bilingual, often trilingual. Luxembourgish is the native language spoken in the majority of homes. German is the language of instruction beginning in first grade; French begins shortly thereafter as a foreign language. Luxembourgish and French are the official languages of the country. French is used in diplomatic exchanges, in drafting decrees and legislation, and in the upper courts.

Local newspapers are usually published in German, and German is used in the lower courts. French is the most common second language used in stores within the city, but German is often more useful in the northern part of the country. Luxembourgers invariably speak Luxembourgish among themselves. Related to the old Moselle Frankish language of Western Germany, Luxembourgish is basically a Germanic language enriched by French and Flemish words and expressions. This language is rarely written and varies from region to region. English is also taught in the schools. Most Luxembourgers in regular contact with Embassy personnel speak English well, with the exception of some Management contacts and contractors.

While there is no state religion, Luxembourg is predominantly Roman Catholic. Protestant and Jewish communities also exist, and all faiths are welcome.

Public Institutions Last Updated: 12/5/2005 11:00 AM

Luxembourg has a parliamentary form of government with a constitutional monarchy. Under the Constitution of 1868, as amended, the Grand Duke is the Chief of State. Executive power is exercised by the Grand Duke and the Council of Government (Cabinet), which consists of a dozen members led by the President of the Government (Prime Minister). The Prime Minister is the leader of the political party or coalition of parties that has the most seats in the Parliament.

Legislative power is vested in the Chamber of Deputies, elected directly to 5-year terms. A second body, the Council of State, exercises some of the functions of an upper house, but can be overridden by the Chamber of Deputies. It is composed largely of ordinary citizens appointed in part by the Grand Duke, in part by the Council of Government.

The law is codified, as in France and Belgium, and is a composite of local practice, legal tradition, and foreign systems (French, Belgian, and German). The apex of the judicial system is the Superior Court, whose judges are appointed by the Grand Duke.

Under the Constitution of 1868, as amended, Luxembourg is a parliamentary democracy. A coalition of two of the three major parties — the Christian Social Party (CSV), the Socialist Party (LSAP), and the Democratic (or Liberal) Party (DP) — have formed the government in recent decades.

Arts, Science, and Education Last Updated: 12/5/2005 11:00 AM

Over the ages, the cultural influences upon Luxembourg life have been extremely varied. Until the 19th century, Luxembourg was dominated by the various European powers: France, Spain, Prussia, Austria, and the Netherlands. The strongest influences have been those of its immediate neighbors: France, Belgium, and Germany. Luxembourg’s technology is primarily German-influenced. While many Luxembourg engineering students train in Germany, others take higher education in Belgium or France. The French and, to a lesser degree, the Belgians, are the strongest cultural influences. However, Luxembourgers are appreciative of many other cultures as well, including those of Great Britain, Italy, and the U.S.

Commerce and Industry Last Updated: 12/5/2005 11:01 AM

Luxembourg is aptly described in tourist literature as the “Green Heart of Europe.” The open rolling countryside is accentuated by Luxembourg’s small but productive agricultural sector, which concentrates on animal husbandry. Its principal products are meat and dairy products. Vineyards along the Luxembourg side of the Moselle River annually produce almost 4 million gallons of high-quality dry white wine, almost half of which is consumed locally.

Luxembourg’s standard of living and per capita income are the highest in the European Union. The Grand Duchy is a charter member of the Euro, the European Union's Common Currency. The economy is stable and prosperous, enjoying modest growth, low inflation, and low unemployment (2.9%; 1999 est.). Steel production, financial services, and light industry are the primary sectors. The industrial sector, until recently dominated entirely by steel, is increasingly diversified. The financial sector’s rapid growth over the past two decades has more than compensated for the long-term decline of the steel industry, which now contributes only 1.8 % of GDP.

American investment has played a large role. Goodyear, DuPont, Guardian, General Motors, Commercial Intertech, and Delphi Automotive Systems are among the American firms with industrial facilities in Luxembourg. Several major hi-tech companies have also relocated their European operations to Luxembourg recently, including AOL and

Services, especially banking, account for a growing proportion of the economy. Luxembourg's 210 banks now employ over 9 percent of the working population (20,557).

Luxembourg's dependence on exports of goods and services has made it favorable to open borders and commercial activity generally. Most trade is with Luxembourg's immediate neighbors. The U.S. accounts for only 3% of Luxembourg’s trade. Steel exports to the U.S. dominate our trade relations. Although the country usually registers a trade deficit, a surplus in earnings from financial services contributes a very large current account surplus.

GDP growth in 1999 was 7.6%, the highest in recent years. Inflation was 1.4%. Unemployment, at 3.3%, remains the lowest in the European Union.

Government finances are conservatively managed. Government budgets usually record surpluses. In order to prevent these surpluses from growing even larger, the government introduced tax cuts in both 1997 and 1998.


Automobiles Last Updated: 12/5/2005 11:02 AM

Luxembourg has excellent paved highways and secondary roads. Driving in Luxembourg is on the right side of the road with “priority to the right” (the driver from the right normally has the right of way and exercises it).

Rental cars are available through car rental agencies locally or at nearby U.S. military bases. The Embassy provides for the sale of duty-free gasoline to Embassy employees via a tax-free gas card, billed monthly. Gasoline quality is comparable to American grades. Lead-free gasoline is always available and diesel is on sale at most gas stations in Luxembourg and neighboring countries.

Many people prefer small American or European cars. However, no restrictions apply to the type of car brought into the country.

Repairs and spare parts are not readily available for American automobiles in Luxembourg, and prices are higher than in the U.S. However, parts are usually available at the BX garage at Bitburg Air Force Base, Germany, 40 miles away, or at Spangdahlem AFB, which is another 20 minutes' drive beyond Bitburg.

Some cars need minor modifications to pass a safety inspection required for all vehicles registered in Luxembourg. Regulations on tire tread and the color of side/tail lights are strict, and Embassy employees sometimes have to purchase new tires and light covers in order to pass the inspection.

Vehicles must be registered within three months of arrival in Luxembourg. Automobile registration costs about $45 (plus any required modifications to meet the safety inspection — usually from $0-$250). A valid U.S. drivers license is sufficient for a tour of duty not exceeding 1 year. After 1 year, you must apply for a local driver's license. Personnel are exempt from paying the fee for a driver's license, but a medical examination is necessary and costs about $43. Before registration can be completed, the car must pass inspection by the Ministry of Transport.

The law requires that all cars registered in Luxembourg be insured with a Luxembourg firm for third-party liability insurance. The insurance "green card" proves that your automobile insurance is valid in Europe and is obtained from the Luxembourg insurance company with which you have third-party liability coverage. The GSO Motor Pool can assist with obtaining a Luxembourg third-party insurance policy.

The cost of third-party insurance is based on engine displacement. Costs are generally higher than in the U.S. A letter from your American (or present) insurance company stating that you have been driving "X" number of years without a claim against them, will cause the local insurance company to deduct 5% for each year (up to 45%) from the prices listed above on comprehensive insurance. Comprehensive & Collision insurance may be obtained outside Luxembourg (i.e., Clements in Washington, USAA).

The not-for-profit Automobile Club of Luxembourg provides travel information, maps, emergency, assistance, and many other services for a modest membership fee. With the purchase of a carnet d'assistance, members have access to services from automobile clubs throughout Europe and in North Africa. (Automobile Club, 54 Route de Longwy, L-8007 Helfenter-bruck, Telephone: 45-00-45.)

Local Transportation Last Updated: 12/5/2005 11:02 AM


Bus service in the city is reliable and inexpensive. Frequency of service and start/end times vary with the bus line, but many Embassy employees successfully commute to and from the office on a regular basis with the city bus service.

TDY personnel as well as those living in the newer homes by the train station or working at the Management Annex in the City Center are particularly well served by the bus system.

Buses also run on evenings and weekends with adjusted schedules.


Taxicabs are plentiful but prices are higher than in the U.S. Most employees (American and local) drive their POVs to the Embassy.

Regional Transportation Last Updated: 12/5/2005 11:02 AM

Luxembourg’s central location is a definite advantage; all of Europe is easily accessible from Luxembourg. Paris is 4 hours away by car; Brussels 2 hours; Le Havre 10 hours; Frankfurt 3 hours; and Amsterdam 5 hours.

Bus or rail connections can be made between Luxembourg City and most other towns in the Grand Duchy. The schedules, however, are primarily geared to workers and students; therefore, they are generally inconvenient for Embassy personnel.

Trains stop at Luxembourg’s Central Station en route to Paris, Brussels, Cologne, Amsterdam, Milan, and the south of France.

Second class trains are generally clean and pleasant. A modern (and expanding) airport (Findel) is located only 4 miles outside Luxembourg City. The passenger terminal was opened in November 1975 and a new terminal was added in 2004. Luxembourg has daily (or more) air service to Paris, London, Frankfurt, and Amsterdam. Other major European cities are also served but schedules vary. Limited tourist flights are scheduled to most major vacation areas. Attractive package tours to some 30 destinations from Algarve to Zurich are offered by Luxair, the Grand Duchy’s passenger airline.

A wide variety of connecting flights to other points in Europe is available in Amsterdam, Paris, London, and Frankfurt.


Telephones and Telecommunications Last Updated: 12/5/2005 11:03 AM

Telephone service in Luxembourg is excellent. STL apartments have local phone service installed when the unit is occupied — employees pay monthly subscription bills (approximately $15). Local and international calls may be direct-dialed. A 3-minute person-to-person call from Luxembourg to New York costs $2.50.

Wireless Service Last Updated: 12/5/2005 11:03 AM Employees assigned permanently or for long-term TDY will be issued a U.S. Government mobile phone (GSM). Mobile phone coverage in Luxembourg and the surrounding countries is excellent, with fewer gaps than in the United States. Rates are generally slightly more expensive than in the U.S. The Embassy pays for official calls and employees are responsible for paying personal phone bills, which are reconciled monthly.

EFMs wishing to have their own cell phones may purchase a European GSM (or use a U.S.-purchased "tri-band" phone) for use with a locally-purchased subscription. Subscription rates vary based on provider selected and a variety of contact options are available.

Internet Last Updated: 12/5/2005 11:04 AM

Broadband (A/DSL and Cable) and dial-up internet access are widely available in Luxembourg. Pricing depends on the neighborhood service provider in the employee's neighborhood. The Embassy is also connected to the State Department's OpenNet Plus.

Mail and Pouch Last Updated: 12/5/2005 11:04 AM


The Embassy pouch address for official shipments is:

5380 Luxembourg Place Washington, DC 20521-5380

For personal shipments, the address is: 5380 Luxembourg Place Washington, DC 20189-5380


APO privileges are available through Bitburg/Spangdahlem AFB; postage is the same as U.S. domestic mail. The official APO mailing address is:

American Embassy Luxembourg Unit 1410 APO AE 09126-1410

The personal APO address is:

John Doe American Embassy Luxembourg PSC 9, Box 9500 APO AE 09123

Airmail letters and magazines take 5-6 days. Surface packages usually take 1 month. The Embassy has two regular weekly deliveries of APO mail.

Local Mail

Mail in Luxembourg is delivered once daily, Monday through Friday. International airmail from the U.S. takes 3-6 days. This is the most rapid means of communication between the two countries. Packages sent from the U.S. by regular surface mail take 6-7 weeks. The address for international mail is:

John Doe American Embassy 22 Blvd. Emmanuel Servais L-2535 Luxembourg

You may also use a private home address.

Radio and TV Last Updated: 12/5/2005 11:05 AM

Radio reception in Luxembourg is adequate to receive stations throughout Western Europe, including the BBC, VOA and the American Forces Network from Germany.

Cable TV service is generally adequate although with the exception of CNN, BBC World and MSNBC, all programing is in French, German, Luxembourgish or Dutch. All channels are in color. An American TV, however, cannot be converted to receive Belgian, French, German, or Luxembourgish programs. Newly assigned employees should plan to bring or buy a 220V multisystem TV and VCR/DVD (available at Bitburg, Spangdahlem and other bases). Luxembourg does not tax owners of televisions and radios. Post recommends that the equipment be purchased here rather than the U.S., both because of price and the availability of dual voltage, multi-system appliances at the BX.

Satellite television (SKYTV) from the UK is also available from the Eifeline store at Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany. Post reimburses employees for the purchase of a receiver/dish (if equipment is not already provided in a given STL residence) and employees pay monthly service fees. Armed Forces Network (AFN) television subscriptions are also available from Spangdahlem's Eifeline store. Post reimburses for decoders if one is not provided in the STL apartment/house.

Newspapers, Magazines, and Technical Journals Last Updated: 12/5/2005 11:05 AM

The leading newspapers of Luxembourg are in German. The French-language La Voix, Le Quotidien and the Républicain Lorrain (published in France) are also widely available. The main newsstands in Luxembourg carry a wide section of Europe newspapers as well as French, Belgian, and German magazines.

The International Herald Tribune is also available at local newsstands or by subscription. It is possible to obtain American magazines in Luxembourg, but the selection is limited. Except for some technical journals, most American magazines can be purchased in the Stars N’ Stripes bookstores at the Bitburg and Spangdahlem Air Force Bases. Embassy personnel should use the A.P.O. address for subscriptions to American periodicals.

About 1,500 English and American books of the former USIS library have been donated to the National Library of Luxembourg. The library at Bitburg Air Force Base has a good selection available to Embassy personnel. The University of Miami and the British Ladies Club maintain good reading libraries in Luxembourg. Some American books are sold in shops, but prices are high.

Health and Medicine

Medical Facilities Last Updated: 12/5/2005 11:05 AM

The Embassy does not have a resident doctor. The Commander of Bitburg Air Force Base Hospital, Germany, acts as the Embassy’s medical adviser. The regional medical officer is located in London, U.K. The Embassy has a part-time (three days per week) nurse.

Medical and surgical attention in Luxembourg is good, although in view of the small community served, the depth of a coverage in some specialities might not be as great as in the U.S. All Luxembourg physicians and surgeons receive their medical education abroad. Several local doctors, including pediatricians, have trained in the U.S. The hospitals, including maternity hospitals, are clean and well kept and are well staffed. Embassy personnel may use the USAEUR (military) medical facilities.

Another option is Landstuhl Military Hospital. Landstuhl is one of the largest military hopsitals in Europe, used as an international MEDEVAC center. Services available cover family practice, pediatrics, dental clinic, cardiology, neurology, ER and many of the other specialities to be found in a general hospital. The information desk may be reached at: +49 6371 86 8106; Duty desk (open 24 hours) +49 6371 86 7184. Landstuhl is located in Germany around 150km from Luxembourg. Access to the facility is good, but expect a 1.5 hour drive.

Competent dentists practice in Luxembourg, and Americans are usually satisfied with routine dental work done locally. As with medical care described above, there may be areas of special dentistry where the size of the community does not support the fullest facilities. Dental work may also be performed at Bitburg AFB.

Local ophthalmologists and opticians are dependable. Glasses may be obtained at Bitburg for somewhat lower prices than in the U.S.

Pharmacies in Luxembourg are well supplied with most general medicines. The Bitburg Air Force Hospital has a pharmacy for prescription drugs. The Bitburg and Spangdahlem commissaries have drug counters that stock U.S.-manufactured over the counter medicines.

Community Health Last Updated: 12/5/2005 11:06 AM

Luxembourg enjoys a high standard of living. Public health standards compare well with those in the U.S. Sewage and garbage disposal are not a problem. The public water supply is potable.

Preventive Measures Last Updated: 12/5/2005 11:06 AM

Prevalence of disease is comparable to that in the New England states, except for a slightly higher incidence of tuberculosis and respiratory diseases. Several outbreaks of typhoid, influenza, and infantile paralysis have occurred since World War II; none has assumed serious proportions, and statistics reflect a steady downward curve. The last recorded case of infantile paralysis was in 1963. Ordinary colds and bronchial coughs from the damp climate are the most common ailments. Humidity increases sinus trouble, rheumatism, arthritis, catarrh, and asthma.

Pasteurized milk sold in cartons is considered safe by U.S. Armed Forces standards. No special treatment is required for water or fresh vegetables.

While potable, the local water supply is very hard. Many people drink mineral water or use a softener available at Bitburg or locally.

Employment for Spouses and Dependents Last Updated: 12/5/2005 11:06 AM

Employment opportunities are extremely limited for spouses in Luxembourg. Even though priority is given to European Union citizens, opportunities occasionally arise within the large European Union Institutions complex located in Luxembourg. Temporary employment for spouses or teenage dependents is sometimes available at the Embassy, although the small size of the Mission limits the opportunities. The USG has a bilateral work agreement with the GOL.

American Embassy - Luxembourg

Post City Last Updated: 12/5/2005 11:07 AM

The Embassy is located in Luxembourg City, the capital of the Grand Duchy. Luxembourg City is situated in central, southern Luxembourg. The city is the formal residence of the Grand Duke and the seat of government. The Court of Justice of the European Union, the EU Court of Auditors, the Secretariat-General of the European Parliament, the European Investment Bank, the EU Office of Statistics, and many other EU institutions are also found here.

In 1963, the city celebrated its 1,000th anniversary. For centuries, Luxembourg was one of the most powerful fortresses in the world, earning the name of “Gibraltar of the North.” Although the fortress was dismantled during the years 1867-83, the many remnants of these ancient fortifications, the medieval towers and ramparts, are of great interest. The casemates are a 23-kilometer network of underground passages, hewn from solid rock. The Grand Ducal Palace, built during the 16th and 18th centuries, is located among the narrow, winding streets of the old city.

Within the Cathedral Notre Dame are the Grand Ducal Mausoleum and the tomb of Luxembourg's national hero, John the Blind, who was killed in 1346 at the Battle of Crécy. The European Center on the Kirchberg Plateau commands an impressive view of the entire city. Built on ridges overlooking the confluence of the Alzette and Pétrusse Rivers, the city has attractive park areas along both streams. The Place d’Armes, in the center of the city, is the site of numerous band concerts during the spring and summer months.

The Post and Its Administration Last Updated: 12/5/2005 11:07 AM

The Embassy is the only U.S. Mission maintained in Luxembourg, and it is a small post. Office hours are 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and 1:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m., Monday through Friday.

The Chancery is located at 22 Boulevard Emmanuel Servais and houses EXEC, POL/ECON, POL/MIL, RSO, PAO, and CONS. The telephone number is (country code: 352) 46-01-23 and is listed in the local telephone directory under both “United States Embassy” and “Ambassade des Etats-Unis.” The Embassy fax number is (352) 46-14-01.

The Management Annex is a state of the art facility located in the City Center, approximately 10 minutes (on foot) from the Chancery. The Management Annex houses all Management sub-sections (Mgmt, GSO, B&F, HR, MED) as well as the Protocol Assistant. Post's Wellness Center (gym, wellness library, shower) and Multi-Purpose Conference Room (including DVC) are also located in the Management Annex.

The Embassy also maintains a very small, leased warehouse facility outside Luxembourg City. No employees are based at the warehouse.

Newly assigned personnel are met upon arrival. If for some reason you are not met, telephone the Embassy. During office hours, ask for the Management Officer. During nonworking hours, weekends, and holidays notify the duty officer. Staff members are briefed on arrival by the DCM, the RSO and the Management Officer.

In accordance with the provisions of the Fly America Act, travelers arriving by air usually fly U.S. air carriers to Paris, Frankfurt, or London and then take a connecting flight to Luxembourg. For other routes, travelers should check with the transportation office in the Department to ensure that their routing complies with the provisions of the Fly America Act.

All American personnel receive their salary every 2 weeks via Direct Deposit to their U.S. bank account.

The Embassy duty officer is reachable by telephone from 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 a.m. on weekdays and 24 hours per day on weekends and holidays. Normally, duty does not require actual presence at the Chancery during these hours.


Temporary Quarters Last Updated: 12/5/2005 11:07 AM

Post makes every effort to move employees directly into their assigned quarters upon arrival. Sometimes, due to the post's small size, employees may be required to spend several nights in a hotel prior to a move into permanent quarters. Employees will be notified in advance should assignment to temporary quarters be necessary.

Permanent Housing Last Updated: 12/5/2005 11:08 AM

The United States Government owns only one residential property in Luxembourg, the Chief of Mission Residence. The residence, which is co-located with the Chancery on the Embassy Compound, was purchased in 1948 from the Luxembourg Government. It is located in an attractive and desirable section of the city. Its small garden and terrace atrium overlook the valley of the Alzette. The residence consists of three floors for living: the first floor includes entrance foyer, powder room, front hall, library, drawing room, formal living room, dining room (seating 24), and serving pantry and kitchen; second floor includes master bedroom with bath, two medium-sized double bedrooms with bath, and a small sitting room; third floor contains three double bedrooms, one guest bathroom with a shower and sink only, two servant’s bedrooms with one full bath each, and a utility room. The residence also has a storage attic and a large basement with laundry rooms, wine cellar, a brand new representational kitchen and a small garage.

All other personnel (including the DCM) occupy short-term leased housing which meets OBO space standards for "area one" posts. Most single employees live in two-to-three bedroom apartments. Employees with families and/or larger pets are usually assigned to small detached or semi-detached houses.

Apartments and houses are scattered throughout the city and it's immediate suburbs. Apartments tend to be most convenient to the Embassy and city center whereas houses are located further out. No housing is available in the city center (it is a commercial district), however some apartments are within a 10-15 minutes walk.

Competetion for the best housing units is high, as are prices. The Embassy GSO staff makes every effort to find an ideal property for each employee. Some apartments and houses, however, have layouts which are not typical in the U.S. Many apartments, for example, have large entry halls (foyers) but relatively small kitchens, bedrooms, and bathrooms. Many houses have a large amount of "dead space" and do not have closets (wardrobes are provided).

Furnishings Last Updated: 12/5/2005 11:09 AM

Employee Housing

Luxembourg is a fully-furnished STL post. All apartments and houses are outfitted with the following standard-issue DOS furniture:

- Living Room Set (sofa, two side chairs, two end tables, coffee table, credenza, two lamps, two occasional chairs, bookcase, area rug)

- Dining Room Set (table, chairs [8-10], hutch, area rug)

- Master Bedroom Set (queen bed, dresser, chest, mirror, two nightstands, two lamps, one large wardrobe if no closet is built-in)

- Extra Bedroom Sets, in accordance with number of bedrooms (twin bed, night stand, dresser or chest, mirror, area rug, lamp, one small wardrobe if no closet is built-in)

- Kitchens are equipped with all major appliances (refrigerator, stove with range, microwave). Dishwashers are available in some properties. All properties also include washers and dryers, often in kitchens, space permitting, but sometimes in utility rooms, if available.

- Three transformers, a vacuum cleaner, and sheer curtains (except kitchen) are provided.

Additional furniture is available locally at prices somewhat higher than in the U.S. Employees are encouraged to hold off on shipping large furniture pieces in their HHE until they are settled in their house/apartment. No large furniture can be removed from STL units due to very limited warehouse space. Post may be able to remove smaller pieces, depending on available warehouse space. Additional pieces may be available should furnishings provided not meet the family's needs — contact GSO Maintenance & Labor on arrival to check current warehouse stock for particular items of interest.

Local sheets and bed linens are heavier and rougher in quality and higher in price than U.S. linens, and sizes are different. U.S. linens are sold at Bitburg. Standard-quality tablecloths at the BX cost about the same as in the U.S. Fine Belgian table linen, lace tablecloths, and mats are available locally but at high prices. IKEA and other similar retail outlets are available within easy driving distance.

The Chief of Mission Residence

The Ambassador’s residence is furnished with government-owned furniture, including rugs, draperies, and servant's furniture. The Ambassador should bring flower vases, ashtrays, cigarette boxes and lighters, table centerpieces, paintings, and other decorative objects.

Among the furnishings are a crested government-owned crystal and cream and gold china service, but bring chinaware for everyday and kitchen use. (Extra glasses can be rented for special occasions.) A complete service of sterling silver flatware for 24 persons, one complete silver tea and coffee service, soup tureen, a pair of seven-arm candelabras, one pair of three-arm candelabras, and a hot buffet ensemble are provided.

Other furnishings include a linen tablecloth (long enough for the table seating 24 persons) with matching napkins, a smaller damask tablecloth with 12 napkins, and a set of 24 placemats and napkins.

Sheets, blankets, pillowcases, towels, and dish towels are available. Stove, refrigerators, deep-freeze cabinets, washer, dryer, vacuum cleaner, etc., are all government-owned.

Utilities and Equipment Last Updated: 12/5/2005 11:09 AM

Electricity in Luxembourg is 220v, 50-cycle, three-phase AC. Three transformers are provided in each residence. Additional transformers are available for purchase locally and at the Bitburg BX.

All STL utilities are connected by the Embassy's GSO staff prior to the employee's arrival. The Embassy connects electricity, water, sewer, telephone and cable (and refills any gas heating tanks).

Employees pay only monthly fees for local telephone and a yearly fee for local cable. All other payments are handled by the Embassy's B&F section.

Food Last Updated: 12/5/2005 11:10 AM

Most foodstuffs, including many American products, are available in Luxembourg. Prices are higher than in the U.S. for many foods, such as meat. Uncooked fruit and vegetables are safe, and the quality is high. American cuts of meat cannot be obtained locally, but quality is good. High quality poultry is available. Excellent-quality fish and seafood are available.

Water is potable, but it has a high calcium content, making it hard for washing purposes. Bottled water is available at reasonable prices.

The Embassy does not maintain a commissary, but U.S. Government personnel have access to the commissary at Bitburg and at other U.S. forces’ facilities. Please note that public transportation does not operate between Luxembourg and Bitburg; a private car will be necessary. You can order liquor, cigarettes, and some canned or dried foodstuffs from a diplomatic discount house.

Although the Embassy has no cafeteria, a few restaurants nearby provide reasonably priced, good-quality meals. The Management Annex, in the city center, is served by a wide variety of local restaurants within five minutes walk, including McDonald's.

Clothing Last Updated: 12/5/2005 11:10 AM

Clothing is similar to that worn in the northern U.S. Average annual rainfall is heavy, so raincoats, umbrellas, and waterproof footwear are needed. Extremely cold weather is not prolonged, but it is often chilly and damp. Bring warm suits, coats, overshoes or other warm footwear, and a good supply of sweaters. Summer weather is also cool and unpredictable. Most summer-weight clothes can be worn for only a limited time. Sports clothing and heavy shoes are useful for walking, shooting, fishing, and other outdoor activities. Some clothing and shoes are sold at Bitburg. Quality and prices are the same as those in less-expensive U.S. department stores, but the selection is limited. Mail order clothing from the U.S. can be shipped via APO.

The U.S. Ambassador will need the following attire: Man—full evening dress (tails), a dinner jacket, and a morning coat with stripped trousers; woman—long evening gown, formal gown, and black dress, gloves, and hat. Note, however, that for the commemorative Mass and other functions attended by female members of the royal family, completely white or completely black attire is not worn by female guests. Other Embassy officers find a dinner jacket or formal occasionally necessary.

Men Last Updated: 12/5/2005 11:11 AM

Men can rent evening dress in Luxembourg. Ready-made European-style suits are available locally. Workmanship of these suits is good, but costly. Much available haberdashery is imported, and prices are higher than in the U.S. Good shoes from England, Switzerland, Germany, and Italy are available.

Women Last Updated: 12/5/2005 11:11 AM

Because of the cool, damp climate and the tendency to under heat houses, women wear more suits and sweaters throughout the year than in most parts of the U.S. Competent, but expensive, dressmakers are available. Hats, gloves, and other accessories are available, and there are several good, but expensive, women's wear shops. “A” width or narrower shoes are scarce, and local shoes are generally expensive. At least one evening gown and several dinner dresses are useful for most women at post, particularly those on the diplomatic list. Court functions require a long-sleeved or half-sleeved dress. Some women bring gloves, but they are rarely worn. A woman Chief of Mission or the Chief of Mission's wife can wear a two-piece suit, provided that the skirt is ankle length.). She will wear it with a simple hat or veil for the reception at the Grand Ducal Court the day the credentials of the Ambassador are presented. Women who attend the commemorative High Mass will need a hat. They can be purchased locally.

Good-quality furs are priced lower than in the U.S. Mending, glazing, and alteration of furs are done well and more cheaply than at home.

Children Last Updated: 12/5/2005 11:11 AM

Children’s clothes, including winter clothing, are similar to those worn in the northern U.S. and are readily available in Luxembourg, though they are more expensive than in the U.S. Due to the damp climate, children need warm boots and extra shoes. A good selection of children's clothing, at reasonable prices, is available at the PX’s.

Office Attire Last Updated: 12/5/2005 11:11 AM

Office attire is similar to that worn in the Department. Luxembourg is generally a more formal society than the U.S., and official receptions require coat and tie for men and pant suit or dress for women.

Supplies and Services

Supplies Last Updated: 12/5/2005 11:12 AM

General living needs are sold locally and at Bitburg/Spangdahlem. American Embassy personnel may use the BX, commissary, and hospital facilities at Bitburg Air Force Base in Germany, about 40 miles away. Internationally known cosmetics and toiletries are available locally.

Bring a supply of any favorite or special cosmetics. Cosmetics, perfumes, a limited variety of radios, photographic equipment, compact discs, costume jewelry, men’s and women’s wristwatches, chests of flatware, kitchenware, linen, small electrical 220v and dual voltage appliances (i.e., vacuum cleaners, irons, toaster ovens, coffee makers, etc.), sporting equipment, etc., may be bought at Bitburg and other BX locations. Embassy personnel may shop at the Bitburg Audio Club where audio and photo equipment of both American and foreign manufacture is available at a discount. Items sold at these clubs are sometimes different than those sold at the BX’s. Personal can also use the Photo Club.

A wide variety of good-quality fabrics is available locally. A small selection is sometimes available at Bitburg and the other BX’s. Bitburg also sells some better-known paper patterns, knitting yarns, and sewing notions.

American cigarettes are available at Bitburg.

Basic Services Last Updated: 12/5/2005 11:12 AM

A wide range of personal services is available in Luxembourg, including shoe repair, laundry, drycleaning, hair-dressing, clothing alterations. Photographic equipment is readily available, and developing is of good quality, but much more expensive than in the U.S. Drycleaning and photodeveloping services are also available at Bitburg at much lower costs than locally.

Although Ford, GM, Honda, Toyota and Chrysler have agents in Luxembourg, parts are scarce and repair service is quite expensive. U.S. cars can also be taken to the BX garages at Bitburg and Spangdahlem AFB's for repairs. At the BX garage, the work is usually done properly, and parts are usually available or can be special ordered.

Domestic Help Last Updated: 12/5/2005 11:12 AM

Some personnel choose to hire part-time help for cleaning and general household work.

Full-time domestic help, especially a competent housekeeper, is extremely difficult to find. It is somewhat easier to find cleaning personnel who work by the hour.

Persons who employ domestic help for at least 4 consecutive hours a week must register with the “Office des Assurances Sociales.” The employer must contribute to the worker's social security. This tax is about 25% of the worker’s salary and includes medical and retirement.

Cleaning help can also be obtained from several companies who supply their own staff and equipment. The client pays these companies a flat hourly rate and they take care of all insurance. Some American students at the Miami University European Study Center take odd jobs, such as helping in the house, working in the garden, and babysitting. They may be contacted through the university.

Religious Activities Last Updated: 12/5/2005 11:12 AM

The local population is predominantly Roman Catholic. Although many church services are held in German, services in English, French, or Luxembourgish are available. Sermons are frequently given in a different language from the service. A Lutheran church with services in German and a synagogue are also located in Luxembourg City.

The English-speaking Catholic Community of Luxembourg offers services in English. The Protestant Anglican Chaplaincy and Christian Community Church also hold services in English. A number of American residents in Luxembourg attend Christian services at Bitburg AFB and English-speaking churches in the area around Bitburg.


Dependent Education

At Post Last Updated: 12/5/2005 11:13 AM Primary and secondary public education in Luxembourg is operated by the Ministry of National Education. Tuition is free and foreign students are accepted. The curriculum is roughly the same as in the other European schools. Languages of instruction are Luxembourgish, German, and French. American students, unless fluent in German or French, may experience considerable difficulty. English is taught only as a second (fourth) language. Religious instruction is conducted in all schools by Roman Catholic clergy, but students are exempted if the parents so request.

Historically, a majority of school-age children of Embassy personnel attend the International School of Luxembourg, which offers a full American curriculum in grades kindergarten through 12. ISL is fully accredited by both the European Council of International Schools (ECIS) and the Middle States Association in the U.S. It is overseen by a board of directors, including several American board members, under the aegis of the Luxembourg Ministry of Education, which subsidizes ISL's operation. The student body is comprised of at least 27 nationalities from five continents. The Upper School offers advanced placement and honors classes in most key subjects. Small classes provide each student with a good deal of personal attention. Comprehensive information can be found on ISL's web-site:

In addition to its formal curriculum, ISL offers a wide variety of supplementary and elective opportunities, including vocal music, instrumental music, art, computer science, theater, debate, etc. With its relatively new gymnasium and extensive contact with other American and international schools in the region, ISL conducts an active sports program, both intramural and interscholastic.

The European School in Luxembourg (kindergarten through grade 12) is for children of employees of the European Community who are working in Luxembourg. Instruction is in English, French, German, Dutch, Italian, Portuguese, or Spanish. Each section has teachers accredited by the board of education in the respective countries. The European School has occasionally admitted dependent children of Embassy personnel if space is available. First choice, however, is given to families belonging to the European Union countries.

An English-speaking International Kindergarten is also located in Luxembourg.

Miami University (Oxford, Ohio) European Study Center was opened in Luxembourg in 1968. About 100 American undergraduates come there from Ohio to study for one or two academic terms under a faculty of 12, including 4 American professors. Students wishing to attend the center must request approval from Miami University in Ohio. Sacred Heart University (Fairfield, CT) is also established in Luxembourg and offers an MBA program as well as certificate in various fields of management.

Luxembourg has no full-curriculum university of its own. Luxembourgers must go to France, Belgium, Germany, Switzerland, or elsewhere for their higher education.

Away From Post Last Updated: 12/5/2005 11:13 AM There is no away-from-post allowance at the present time.

Higher Education Opportunities Last Updated: 12/5/2005 11:14 AM

Several language schools are located in Luxembourg. Private tutors are available for French, German, and most other school subjects. The Luxembourg Board of Education arranges courses in Luxembourgish for foreigners as part of its adult education program. Luxembourg City also makes available, cost free, courses in French, German, and Luxembourgish. Foreign women's clubs have also organized language courses.

A number of dancing schools and gymnastics classes are available in Luxembourg. There are also ballroom dancing classes for adults.

Some professional schools in Luxembourg allow amateurs to study pottery-making, drawing, etc. During the summer, special classes called Beaux Arts are held for about 6 weeks.

The post language program is extremely limited. Employees in language-designated positions, but who are not at the designated rating, are able to continue a limited French program.

Recreation and Social Life

Sports Last Updated: 12/5/2005 11:14 AM

The Grand Ducal Golf Club, 5 miles from the Embassy, has an excellent 18-hole course and a small, attractive clubhouse where meals are available. The course, considered to be among the most challenging and beautiful in Europe, attracts golfers from all over Europe. Instructors and caddies are available. Membership is not inexpensive, nor necessarily available to all.

A permit from the Ministry of Justice is required to possess a hunting weapon. Hunters and fishermen also must purchase an annual license. Diplomatic personnel are granted free permits and licenses. Wild boar, deer, and pheasant hunting are excellent and popular in Luxembourg. Many wooded streams provide fine fishing. However, hunting and fishing rights are privately owned, so you are usually dependent on invitations from Luxembourgers. American Government employees are eligible for membership in the Bitburg Rod and Gun Club, which maintains a large game preserve in nearby Germany.

Gym classes for men and women are available. The more popular spectator sports are basketball, soccer, rugby, bicycling, handball, and volleyball. Team membership in these sports and activities such as karate and judo are open to everyone.

The city has several swimming pools; the Olympic Swimming Pool in the suburb of Kirchberg is a world-class facility. Pool memberships are also available at the Hotel Intercontinental and Royal Hotel.

River bathing is possible in several places. Water skiing is popular on the Moselle, and scuba diving may be done in Lake Esch-sur-Sure. Sailing, kayaking, and canoeing are also possible, but you sometimes have to provide your own equipment.

Membership is possible in several private tennis clubs, and a few well-kept municipal courts are available. Indoor tennis courts are also available for hire by the hour or on a seasonal basis. About 4 miles outside the city is an indoor ice skating rink that can be enjoyed year round. Two riding academies offer riding lessons, and many riding trails are located in the surrounding countryside. A new squash club is also available. There are several lovely bicycle paths, both from the city and out in the countryside.

Touring and Outdoor Activities Last Updated: 12/5/2005 11:15 AM

The Luxembourg countryside is beautiful in the spring, summer, and early fall. There are hundreds of kilometers of well-groomed hiking trails throughout the country. Tourists and hikers from all over Europe enjoy the unspoiled natural attractions of “Little Switzerland,” the Sure and Moselle Valleys, and the thick forests of the Ardennes Mountains. Over 130 old castles dot the country, including Vianden, Clervaux, Bourscheid, Beau-fort, and Esch-sur-Sure. Grape and wine festivals and tastings are held in towns and villages along the Moselle in the fall and spring when the grapes are gathered and the wine is bottled.

Trier, a former provincial capital of the Roman Empire and an important German town in medieval days, is 30 miles from Luxembourg City and an interesting day’s excursion. North from Trier along the German Moselle, a series of picturesque wine towns and ruined castles extends to Koblenz where the Moselle joins the Rhine.

To the south near Luxembourg, the Verdun Battlefield in France is well worth a visit. Paris and Brussels are fun for a weekend visit. Reims, Cologne, Aachen, and Strasbourg are within easy reach of the Grand Duchy. Spring trips to Holland’s tulip fields also are popular.

Entertainment Last Updated: 12/5/2005 11:15 AM

Luxembourg has several motion picture theaters. American, English, French, German, Italian, and other films are shown. American films are usually 6-12 months old, but are ordinarily presented in their original English-language version.

Luxembourg City’s cultural center is the Grand Theatre. It offers opera, drama, symphonic concerts, and solo recitals and otherwise enriches the country’s cultural life. In the winter, the Grand Theatre presents two series of plays, one in French and one in German, by excellent touring companies. Touring companies also perform operatic and ballet series each season. Luxembourg has an excellent philharmonic orchestra. Luxembourg's New Theater Club presents two or three plays in English during the season. The “Old Theater” on the Rue des Capucins has been revived and presents very interesting plays by professional and amateur actors.

The French, Italian, and German cultural centers have interesting programs. Luxembourg City has several nightclubs and bars.

In the summer, music is everywhere. Groups from all over Europe, Canada, and the U.S. perform in the Place d’Armes. Concerts are also held in the Municipal Theater, the “Cercle Municipal,” churches, and various other places in and around Luxembourg City. The annual Open Air Theater and Music Festival at Wiltz Castle in northern Luxembourg provides a well-rounded selection of musical events, theater, and ballet, as does the Echternach Festival. The U.S. Air Force bands have concerts several times a year.

During 3 weeks in May, pilgrimages are made from all parts of the country to the Cathedral, culminating in a procession of the statue of “Our Lady of Luxembourg” through the city streets. The “Schueberfouer” comes to town at the end of August, following an almost unbroken tradition of over 450 years. This annual street fair has all the usual attractions loved by children: bumper cars, carousels, shooting ranges, plus many temporary restaurants and two dance halls.

Social Activities

Among Americans Last Updated: 12/5/2005 11:15 AM Luxembourg is a small post and there is no American Embassy club. An American Chamber of Commerce, an American Business Association of Luxembourg, and an American Women's Club operate here. Small scouting groups are provided for both boys and girls.

International Contacts Last Updated: 12/5/2005 11:15 AM All Embassy officers are in constant social contact with diplomatic colleagues, government officials, community leaders, and many Luxembourg associations. Luxembourg has an active American-Luxembourg Society.

Official Functions

Nature of Functions Last Updated: 12/5/2005 11:16 AM

Diplomatic corps members are frequently invited to official and quasi-official ceremonies and entertainment. American officers receive many American visitors, both official and private. Other American personnel have few official social obligations. Luxembourgers are friendly to Americans and deeply appreciative of their role in the two World Wars. Many events commemorate American-Luxembourg friendship, where U.S. Embassy representation is requested.

Standards of Social Conduct Last Updated: 12/5/2005 11:16 AM

The existence of a court imposes some formal, social obligations upon Embassy officers. Although engraved cards are available in Luxembourg, they are quite expensive.

Special Information Last Updated: 12/5/2005 11:16 AM

Army attachés assigned to and resident in Brussels are also accredited to Luxembourg. The NATO Maintenance and Supply Agency (NAMSA) is located at Capellen, 8 miles from Luxembourg City. A U.S. military officer or civilian is attached to this organization as the liaison officer. A number of U.S. civilian employees work at NAMSA. U.S. Army military storage facilities in the towns of Bettembourg and Sanem have a small American Army contingent working with the Luxembourg contractor who operates the sites.

Two U.S. civilian employees of the American Battle Monuments Commission are the only other non-Foreign Service U.S. employees assigned to Luxembourg.

No restrictions exist on movements within Luxembourg.

Notes For Travelers

Getting to the Post Last Updated: 1/9/2005 10:40 AM

The climate in Luxembourg is changeable even in summer. Therefore, bring warm clothing in your accompanying baggage.

Most travelers arrive by air via London, Paris, or Frankfurt. All airports have exchange facilities for changing small amounts of currency.

Flying time from Washington to Luxembourg is about 12 hours, including a stopover at an intermediate airport. Unaccompanied airfreight from the U.S. usually arrives within 7-10 days. Surface freight takes a minimum of 1 month.

Customs, Duties, and Passage Last Updated: 12/5/2005 11:17 AM

The Luxembourg Government accords unlimited free-entry privileges to all American personnel assigned to the Embassy. A written request is required for each shipment when the baggage arrives in Luxembourg.

Personnel receive conditional free-entry privileges and may import automobiles without payment of tax. An employee who has owned an automobile for more than 6 months should import it as part of the household effects (formalities are completed by the Embassy on arrival) to avoid having the buyer pay taxes if deciding to sell the car during his/her stay in Luxembourg. Automobiles not imported as part of your household effects are subject to an 11% import duty upon resale in Luxembourg. This is assessed on the automobile value at the time of resale, plus 15% value-added tax. A vehicle purchased and constructed in any of the EU countries is exempt from import duty, but is subject to the 15% value-added tax when resold. Due to the complexity of sales taxes on an automobile, Embassy personnel should first discuss applicable laws with the Administrative Section.

All official furniture and supplies addressed to the Embassy are admitted duty free.

The import and export of U.S. dollars or travelers checks payable in any currency is unrestricted at all times.

Shipments from the U.S. (other than residence-to-residence movements) are normally handled by the U.S. Despatch Agent. Inform the agent promptly of contemplated shipment. Suppliers and those with packing concerns should contact the U.S. Despatch Agent at the port of exit indicated in 6 FAH H-165.3-3. All shipments, both air and surface, will be authorized and handled through the State Department’s Division of Supply and Transportation. Do not make any arrangements with commercial firms for exporting, packing, storing, or transporting effects until you have obtained appropriate details from the Division of Supply and Transportation.

Address all shipments as follows, with traveler’s initials in parentheses:

American Embassy (JHD) Luxembourg, Luxembourg

The Embassy should know in advance of all shipments scheduled to arrive before the employee.

Pilferage and breakage are rare if goods are properly packed, but consider taking out adequate insurance.

Customs and Duties Last Updated: 12/5/2005 11:17 AM

Employees traveling on a diplomatic passport are entitled to duty-free import of personal goods (via HHE, UAB) and one vehicle. Items may not be cleared through Customs until the employee's diplomatic ID is issued (usually during the first two weeks at post), so employees are advised to have items timed to arrive two-to-three weeks after the employee.

Passage Last Updated: 12/5/2005 11:17 AM

No visas are required for official travelers to Luxembourg or any of the surrounding countries, except France, if traveling with a diplomatic passport. Other visas are sometimes required if you intend to travel with your diplomatic passport, e.g., to Spain.

Pets Last Updated: 12/5/2005 11:18 AM

No special formalities are observed in connection with the importation of pets, nor do any special rules or limits affecting clearance of particular items apply. Pets should be inoculated against rabies and should have had the parvo vaccine. Pet owners should obtain a Certificate of Good Health from their veterinarian before coming to Luxembourg. Upon arrival, dogs should be licensed in Luxembourg.

Contact the Embassy's GSO for additional information on importing pets and on obtaining housing suitable for pets.

Firearms and Ammunition Last Updated: 12/5/2005 11:33 AM

Employees planning to bring firearms, vehicles over four years old, or any item destined for commercial resale, should contact the GSO for additional information.

The following quantities and types of nonautomatic firearms and ammunition may be brought to Luxembourg:

Items Quantity

Pistols and revolvers 2 Rifles 4 Shotguns 4 Ammunition 1,000 rounds

The Chief of Mission’s prior approval is required to import firearms and regulations concerning firearms are “interpreted” by Luxembourg authorities for Embassy staff members on an ad hoc basis and are subject to wide variations. As a result, anyone wishing to import firearms must send a description of weapons, ammunition, and their intended use to the GSO and receive written approval prior to shipping.

Currency, Banking, and Weights and Measures Last Updated: 12/5/2005 11:20 AM

The currency of the Grand Duchy is the Euro. Eleven other countries (Belgium, The Netherlands, France, Germany, Finland, Spain, Portugal, Italy, Ireland, Austria and Greece) also use the Euro currency. Dollar/Euro exchange rates vary significantly month-to-month and the current rate is available from the Department of State's intranet home page.

The metric system is used for weights and measures.

Taxes, Exchange, and Sale of Property Last Updated: 12/5/2005 11:20 AM

American Embassy personnel are exempt from personal taxes, income taxes, and road taxes in the Grand Duchy. Almost all items are charged a sales tax (VAT) of 15%. This tax is refunded on most purchases in excess of 220 Euros (see B&F for further details upon arrival).

Personal property may be sold in Luxembourg duty free. The Ambassador's approval is required before selling any item whose initial purchase price was in excess of $100.

Recommended Reading Last Updated: 12/5/2005 11:24 AM

Book titles are provided as a general indication of the material published in this country. The Department of State does not endorse unofficial publications.

A great deal of bibliographical material on Luxembourg is available in English. In addition to Fodor and Blue Guides on Belgium and Luxembourg, many tourist pamphlets in English can be obtained from the Luxembourg Embassy in Washington or the Luxembourg Consulate General in New York.

The good general books are “Living in Luxembourg” available from the American Women’s Club, and “Luxembourg Yesterday and Today” by Joseph Petit, director of the Luxembourg Government Informa-tion Service.

The latest edition of the “Political Handbook of the World,” published by the Council of Foreign Relations, contains a brief résumé of useful information on political affairs, party program and leaders, and the press of Luxembourg.

Attic in Luxembourg, written in 1956 by Beryl Miles and published by John Murray, gives a great deal of historical and background information about the Grand Duchy and its customs and ceremonies.

In French, a brief but excellent general study of Luxembourg is “Le Benelux,” published by the Editions Ode of Paris.

Two books by Pierre Majerus of the Luxembourg Ministry of Foreign Affairs, “Manuel de Droit Constitutionnel et de Droit Administratif Luxembourgeois” and “Le Luxembourg Indépendant: Essai d’Histoire Politique Contemporaine et de Droit International Public,” are highly recommended for their scholarly excellence and useful historical information.

“All the Best in Belgium and Luxembourg” by Sydney Clark (Dodd, 1956) is also recommended reading. “Le Luxembourg” edited by Charles Dessart, and “Nature et Tourisme au Luxembourg,” published by the Touring Club Luxembourgeois, present pictorial evidence of the Grand Duchy’s scenic and historical attractions.

“Le Luxembourg: Livre du Centenaire,” originally published in 1939 under the auspices of the Luxembourg Government and subsequently updated, is an exhaustive analysis of every aspect of life in Luxembourg, past and present.

Local Holidays Last Updated: 12/5/2005 11:24 AM

Official (legal) national holidays observed in Luxembourg are:

New Year’s Day January 1 Shrove Monday Moveable Easter Monday Moveable Luxembourg Labor Day May 1 Ascension Day Moveable Pentecost (Whit) Monday Moveable Grand Duke’s Birthday June 23 Assumption Day August 15 All Saints’ Day November 1 All Souls’Day November 2 Christmas Day December 25 Second Day of Christmas December 26

Avoid travel on Christmas, the Second day of Christmas, and New Year’s Day, when airline and rail services are greatly reduced.

Additionally, the day of the “Braderie” falls on either the last Monday in August or the first Monday in September. An open market is held in the streets of the city. Although it is not an official holiday, most government and private offices and banks are closed.

Adapted from material published by the U.S. Department of State. While some of the information is specific to U.S. missions abroad, the post report provides a good overview of general living conditions in the host country for diplomats from all nations.
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