The grand ducal Palace, official seat of the head of state, is interesting in more than one way:
- for Luxembourg, it symbolises the feeling of national independence;
- for historians, it represents an element of continuity in the exercise of administrative powers of a city or even a country through centuries of foreign domination or dependence;
- for art lovers, its façade reflects the influence of Hispano-Moorish style in our regions;
- for tourists, it is an attractive monument where the Grand Duke resides.
But this venerable building, which today hosts a large part of the official activities of the head of state, has changed its appearance and assignments over the centuries.
The building was constructed between 1572 and 1574 to serve as the town hall. Thereafter, it became the prefecture and seat of government. In 1890, the former town hall was transformed by state architect Charles Arendt and the architect Gédéon Bordiau from Brussels. Since 1890, when Grand Duke Adolphe succeeded on the throne, the palace has been the residence of the sovereign. Restored in 1995, the Grand Ducal Palace is one of the main attractions of the capital.
Since 1977, the grand ducal Palace has opened its doors between July and September for guided tours organised by the Luxembourg City Tourist Office. The income from these tours is donated to the Grand Duke Henri and Grand Duchess Maria Teresa Foundation. The sovereigns' residence attracts some 10,000 visitors every season.
The facade of the sovereigns' residence is one of the buildings most photographed by tourists during their stay in Luxembourg.
The solemn changing of the guard in front of the grand ducal Palace takes place once a month during the months of June to September.