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At the time of the Franco-Prussian war in 1870, despite allegations about French use of the Luxembourg railways for passing soldiers from Metz (then part of France) through the Duchy, and for forwarding provisions to Thionville, Luxembourg's neutrality was respected by Germany, and neither France nor Germany invaded the country.
But in 1871, as a result of Germany's victory over France, Luxembourg's boundary with Lorraine, containing Metz and Thionville, changed from being a frontier with a part of France to a frontier with territory annexed to the German Empire as Alsace-Lorraine under the Treaty of Frankfurt.
This allowed Germany to use the railway lines, while at the same time denying them to France.
Nevertheless, despite the German occupation, Luxembourg was allowed to maintain much of its independence and political mechanisms.
The City of Luxembourg with its old quarters and fortifications was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1994 due to the exceptional preservation of the vast fortifications and the old city.
The history of Luxembourg is considered to begin in 963, when count Siegfried acquired a rocky promontory and its Roman-era fortifications known as Lucilinburhuc, "little castle", and the surrounding area from the Imperial Abbey of St. In 1308, Henry VII, Count of Luxembourg became King of the Germans and later Holy Roman Emperor.
After the Luxembourg Crisis of 1866 nearly led to war between Prussia and France, the Grand Duchy's independence and neutrality were again affirmed by the 1867 Second Treaty of London, Prussia's troops were withdrawn from the Fortress of Luxembourg, and its Bock and surrounding fortifications were dismantled.
The Dutch king became, in personal union, the grand duke.
Although he was supposed to rule the grand duchy as an independent country with an administration of its own, in reality he treated it similarly to a Dutch province.
Luxembourg served on the United Nations Security Council for the years 20, which was a first in the country's history.
As of 2018, Luxembourgish citizens had visa-free or visa-on-arrival access to 186 countries and territories, ranking the Luxembourgish passport 5th in the world, tied with Austria, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, the United Kingdom and the United States.