Terrain shapes and bedrock
COUNTRYAAH, Luxembourg is often divided into a northern area, Ösling,
which covers one third of the country, and Gutland, which
comprises the southern two-thirds. The eastern border of the
country is marked by the rivers Our, Sūre and Moselle.
Ösling is a plateau landscape between the Ardennes in
Belgium and Eifel in Germany. The highest point, Kneiff, is
located at the far north and reaches 560 m above sea level.
The dominant rocks are devonian shales.
The landscape of Gutland is a cuesta landscape with
stored rocks such as sandstones and mussel lime from Trias
Due to Luxembourg's small size and topographical
homogeneity, the climate shows only marginal variations
across the country. Its inland location and the
wind-protective effect of the Ardennes in the north provide
a continental-like climate, just like in southern Belgium.
The northern part of Luxembourg has slightly more
maritime features than the south, which is drier, sunny and
somewhat warmer. Some winters can be quite grim with snow
cover for several weeks. The average annual rainfall is
800–900 mm, the lowest in the Moselle Valley. The average
temperature in January is 0 °C and in July 16 °C.
Plant-and animal life
Luxembourg is one of Europe's smallest countries with an
area big like Blekinge. The northern part of the country
includes the southeastern parts of the Ardennes, with
forests, mountains, river valleys and pastures with a lot of
natural values. South of the river Sūre is spreading a more
fertile lowland area, where the city of Luxembourg is also
located along the Alzette River, and which is largely
heavily cultivated or industrialized. In the southeastern
part of the Moselle Valley there are some valuable wetlands.
Luxembourg's most important natural area is Our Nature
Park in the northeast. Together with the German nature park
Südeifel created this Europe's first cross-border sanctuary
in 1964. Along the Our River - which also forms the border
between the two countries - propagating in the hillside
forests of beech, maple, elm and linden, while the
vegetation in the river valley dominated by ash and alder.
Where the terrain allows, there are also meadows and
pastures. The river pearl mussel is a specialty and
restoration measures have been initiated to improve living
conditions for brook trout, which is an important host in
the mussel's complex life cycle. Among the birds are black
stork, happy, bivouac, pilgrim falcon, jerk, teal (see
streamers) and kingfishers. Wildcats belong to the rare
mammals. Among the more notable plants are Sankt Pers keys,
Virgin Marie keys, genuine storm hat and yellow storm hat (Aconitum
vulparia), tibast, large sand lily and small thistle
flower (Digitalis lutea) - the latter related to
the Mediterranean region. The region is also famous for its
In the upper parts of the river Sūre an important water
reservoir has been built and in order to guard a high water
quality, the Haute-Sūre nature park has been established. In
addition to creating good opportunities for outdoor life and
thus the development of the local business community,
species such as black stork, jerky and medium spotted have
benefited. Downstream of the nature park you will often find
white stork flooding.
In the Moselle Valley in south-east Luxembourg lies Haff
Remich, the country's most important wetland area.
Particularly famous is the bird life, with nesting dwarf
rhythms, kingfishers and gray- tailed sparrows. During the
winter months you will find pipe drum, saddle rake and
There are two smaller nature reserves (2012) in
Luxembourg. In addition, about 20% of the country consists
of so-called nature parks, which in practice, however, have