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Luxembourg is one of the ten provinces which comprise the country of Belgium. The province is found in the southeastern part of the country in the Wallonia region, a primarily French-speaking region of Belgium. Belgian Luxembourg neighbors the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg to the east, the French departments of Ardennes, Meuse, and Meurthe-et-Moselle to the south and southwest, and the Walloon provinces of Namur and Liège to the north. The capital city, Arlon, can be found in the southeastern corner of the province, in close proximity to the state borders with the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg. Concerning the geographical conditions, Luxembourg province has the highest average altitude among the Belgian provinces. It is also known as the greenest province, as forests cover 207,000 hectares of its territory. Luxembourg stretches across two geographical regions of Wallonia, the Ardennes, which mainly cover the northern parts of the territory. In contrast, the Gaume region contributes to the southern parts of the Belgian Luxembourg. Arlon, the province's capital city, is a destination of considerable cultural and historical significance. The city is among the oldest in Belgium, providing insight into life and customs during ancient Roman eras through the local archeological museum.
The Belgian province of Luxembourg is the greenest among the country's provinces. Thus, nature and the outdoors are one of the primary reasons that people visit the region. One of the local nature areas is The Nature Park of the Two Ourthes, located in the northeastern part of the Luxembourg province, bordering the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg. Situated within the schistose massif of the Rhine basin, the nature park encompasses an area of 76,000 hectares. Notably, The Nature Park of the Two Ourthes is positioned on some of Belgium’s oldest rocks. The park is characterized by the steep slopes of the Ourthe Valley, with the Eastern Ourthe originating in Gouvy. In the northern and western areas of the park, the land consists of plateaus at an altitude of approximately 600 meters. The local plateaus are remnants of the last ice age—covered in heath and moorland—and contribute to the region's Nordic character. Moreover, the park also features vast grassy areas, dense deciduous and coniferous forests, and historical villages nestled along ridges and valleys, showcasing regional architectural heritage. Visitors can enjoy the park's nature; try local products; and explore trails through woods, watercourses, and hills, the latter offering panoramic views of Luxebourg's landscapes.
In terms of historical and cultural heritage, Arlon—the capital city of Luxembourg—is one of the oldest cities in Belgium. Arlon is home to an archeological museum that offers an insight into the daily lives of ancient Romans who once lived in the region. This museum's collection showcases various aspects of Roman life, including clothing, weapons, jewelry, and even their eating habits. In addition to the Roman exhibits, the museum features a section dedicated to the city's Frankish period, highlighting weapons and jewelry from that era. While visitors can explore the museum independently, a guided tour may provide a more enriching experience. Apart from the museum, remnants of Roman life can be seen in various parts of the city. One such place is the Roman Baths of Arlon, showcasing the oldest thermal basilica ruins in Belgium. Adjacent to the historical basilica, remnants of hot water baths from the first century can still be observed, although much of it was destroyed in 1906. Visitors can view the steam bath chamber and some parts of the water facilities. Other historical destinations in the city include the Museum Gaspar, Clairfontaine Abbey, and Abbey of Orval, to name a few.
Luxembourg is a province in Belgium that holds the distinction of being both the largest—spanning an area of 4,440 square kilometers—and the least densely populated. The province also has the highest average altitude among the provinces, with elevations reaching up to 650 meters at Barraque de Fraiture. Belgian Luxembourg's topography is varied, with the area benefiting from a considerable hydrographic network. The region is drained by two tributaries of the Meuse River: the Ourthe in the north and the Semois in the south.
Additionally, the province of Luxembourg is renowned for its greenery and is often referred to as the greenest province in Belgium, with local forest coverage encompassing 207,000 hectares of land, covering nearly half of the province's area. Approximately 55% of these forests consist of deciduous trees, primarily beech, while the remaining 45% are coniferous forests dominated by spruce. About 80% of the total province area belongs to the natural landscape of Ardennes, while the southernmost parts of the territory are called Gaume or Belgian Lorraine.
One of the local nature areas is Gaume, a region characterized by its forests and agricultural lands, with forests covering 47% of the territory and agriculture occupying 31%. The region features beech forests known for their biodiversity. Hedgerows, orchards, and hills constitute the local landscape, providing habitats for various bird species. The region's rivers, including the Semois, Vire, and Ton, harbor diverse fauna and flora, including beavers. Gaume also exhibits geological anomalies, such as ponds with the only population of crested newts in Belgium. Additionally, some of the local quarries, particularly those in Torgny, are home to the rare lizard of the strains found exclusively in Gaume.
The climate in Luxembourg is categorized as semi-continental and rainy. However, there are microclimates found in sheltered valleys and on the southern slopes of the Ardennes in the Gaume district. Those areas hold national records for maximum temperatures and sunshine hours. Regarding the average temperatures in Luxembourg's capital, Arlon, the warmest month is July, with an average daily temperature of 25°C. Reportedly, January is the coldest month, as temperatures typically rest around 5°C on average. April tends to be the driest month in Arlon because it generally receives 45 mm of rainfall on average. The most precipitation falls during December, as it receives an average of about 84 mm.
The province of Luxembourg, which presently belongs to the country of Belgium, was for most of its history part of the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg. As a result of the Belgian Revolution in 1830, in the Third Partition of Luxembourg, the province of Luxembourg was separated from the neighboring state and became part of Belgium. However, the separation in actuality took place nine years later, when the province was given to the newly created Kingdom of Belgium.
Concerning the region's ancient history, before the Romans conquered Gaul, the Treveri (a Celtic tribe) settled in the Arlon region and areas further to the southeast. The local population assimilated to Roman culture, and the vicus of Orolaunum became a hub for Roman civilization, as evidenced by the numerous sculpted stones and monuments discovered in the area. However, Germanic invasions in the 3rd century destroyed most of those advances despite the construction of defensive walls on Knipchen Hill. During the Middle Ages, the population utilized earlier buildings such as the thermae. In the 11th century, Waleran I of Limburg built a castle on Knipchen Hill. Arlon later became part of the county of Luxembourg, and in the 13th century, the only known women's Cistercian abbey was built in Clairefontaine.
After inheriting the Netherlands in 1555, Philip II of Spain's rule was met with unrest as wars took place between France, Spain, and the Protestant community of the Netherlands, who rebelled against their Catholic rulers. In 1588, French troops led by Francis, Duke of Guise, destroyed almost half of the city of Arlon, including the local castle. During the 17th century, Capuchin monks built a convent on the castle ruins, and the French fortified the city walls, designed by Vauban. A fire in 1785 caused significant damage to the city of Arlon once again.
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