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With its inscription on the UNESCO World Heritage list on 17 December 1994, “Luxembourg, its old quarters and fortifications” joined the prestigious list of cultural and natural sites of a universal value so exceptional they belong to the heritage of all humans. The 25th anniversary helps us to emphasize the wealth and diversity of this heritage, which we need to preserve and promote.

Simone Beck
President of the National Commission of Luxembourg for cooperation with UNESCO
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25

Years World Heritage

On 17 December 1994, the “old quarters and fortifications” of the City of Luxembourg were inscribed on UNESCO’s World Heritage List. Today, ours is one of 1,121 World Heritage sites worldwide. Let’s celebrate 25 years of world heritage together! Check our Agenda for the full list of events.

Open call for projects

The Luxembourg Commission for cooperation with UNESCO, the Ministry of Culture and the City of Luxembourg invite you to join the celebrations and submit projects to be featured in the official program of the anniversary year. Your enthusiasm, creativity and passion for cultural heritage will make the celebrations a success!

The call is open to the following:

  • Municipalities, non-profit associations, public interest foundations, groups, collectives, companies and organizations that work to raise awareness of cultural heritage and of UNESCO’s humanitarian values and scientific programs;
  • Individuals/natural persons;
  • Educational institutes;
  • Private or public cultural institutions such as museums, libraries, archives, etc.;
  • Legal persons under private law;
  • Commercial tourism companies as well as tourist actors in general.

For more details on the application process, visit Submitting a project.

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Since 1972

The Convention concerning the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage was adopted by the General Conference of UNESCO on 16 November 1972. It underlines the importance of belonging to an international community of appreciation and concern for universally significant properties that embody a world of outstanding examples of cultural diversity and natural wealth.

A year of celebrations

17 December 2019 – 17 December 2020

The Luxembourg Commission for cooperation with UNESCO, the Ministry of Culture and the City of Luxembourg see the 25th anniversary of the inscription of “Luxembourg, its old quarters and fortifications” as an opportunity to recall the vision that guides all the actions of UNESCO; to build a lasting peace among all people, the foundation of which is the respect of human rights and dignity, the intellectual and moral solidarity of mankind, and respect and enhancement of cultural, natural and intangible heritage.

Luxembourg’s outstanding universal value

As a UNESCO world heritage site, “Luxembourg, its old quarters and fortifications” is a place that has meaning for all humanity, but what is it that makes it so special? Noteworthy aspects of the site include:

  • Luxembourg’s narrow, labyrinthine streets and buildings which vividly show what life was like in a historical fortress town;
  • The fortress itself which was one of the strongest in the world, so much so that Luxembourg is often called the Gibraltar of the North;
  • Luxembourg’s truly European history at the intersection of different cultures, the city hosting Burgundian, Spanish, Austrian and Prussian settlers over the centuries;
  • The city’s stratigraphy, showing the different archaeological layers of Luxembourg’s history, from the 200-million-year-old cliffs through to the 19th-century garrison town;
  • Luxembourg’s particular topography of hills and valleys and its exceptional natural setting with the forest quite literally growing into the urban space of the old town.
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5 Themes

The 25th anniversary of the inscription of “Luxembourg, its old quarters and fortifications” on UNESCO’s World Heritage List is structured around five main themes, which are designed to help contributors develop their projects for the anniversary year.

A wide range of projects

Any project that demonstrates a sustainable investment can be submitted, be it a conference, rally, workshop, guided tour, exhibition, performing arts project, heritage site development product, tourist amenity, gastronomic product, study, publication, digital application, open data project, etc.

First and foremost, though, projects should have a direct link with UNESCO and the inscription of “Luxembourg, its old quarters and fortifications” as a world heritage site.

They should also correspond to at least one of the five themes of the year:

  • UNESCO world heritage & education;
  • UNESCO world heritage and artistic expression / diversity of cultural expressions;
  • UNESCO world heritage & sustainable development;
  • World heritage & new technologies;
  • World heritage & intangible heritage.