Luxembourg City is a place of striking contrasts, from its old fortifications to classic 18th- and 19th-century buildings and modern architectural gems. Its old quarters and fortifications were added to the UNESCO World Heritage list on 17 December 1994.

UNESCO promotes the identification, protection and conservation of cultural and natural heritage sites all over the world that are deemed to be of outstanding value for humanity.

To celebrate this, the City of Luxembourg and the National Commission for Cooperation with UNESCO have produced a video, showing the Old Town and the fortress walls in a new light.

Outstanding universal value

Due to its strategic position, Luxembourg was one of the most important fortified sites in Europe from the 16th century until 1867, when its walls were dismantled. It was reinforced many times as it passed from one great European power to the next: the Emperors of the Holy Royal Empire, the House of Burgundy, the Habsburgs, the Kings of Spain and France, and lastly the Prussians. Its fortifications offer a snapshot of military architecture over several centuries.

  • Criteria: (iv) to be an outstanding example of a type of building, architectural or technological ensemble or landscape which illustrates (a) significant stage(s) in human history
  • Listed property: 29.94 hectares
  • Buffer zone: 108.73 hectares

The total area of the UNESCO protected site is 138.13 ha, which is 2.7% of the city. This area is subdivided into a central zone and a buffer zone. The central zone benefits from a high level of protection and is surrounded by the buffer zone, which must be used and developed in a way that provides additional protection to the heritage site.

UNESCO Visitor Centre

The UNESCO Visitor Centre provides information about UNESCO’s goals, the origins and importance of the World Heritage Sites, details on the Luxembourg site, the conservation measures and urban development integration measures. It is free to visit.

Educational material

To help children learn about the capital’s historic urban landscape, you can download the colouring pages below which were designed by the architects Isabelle Van Driessche, Arnaud de Meyer and André Haagen. The various colours represent different chapters in Luxembourg City's history, teaching children about the city's past through a fun and entertaining activity. Before you know it, they'll be experts on the Old Town and fortifications.

World Heritage Cities

Organisation of World Heritage Cities


LUCA: Luxembourg Center for Architecture – Architecture Foundation

Order of Architects and Consulting Engineers (OAI)

The third edition of the guide to contemporary architecture has four tours to explore the city’s architecture, engineering and urban design.