Differdange (Luxembourgish: Déifferdeng [ˈdəɪfɐdeŋ] or (locally) Déifferdang; German: Differdingen) is a commune with town status in south-western Luxembourg, 17 miles (27 km) west from the country's capital. It lies near the borders with Belgium and France and it is located in the canton of Esch-sur-Alzette. With a population of around 26,000, Differdange is the country's third largest city.[1] It is also the main town of the commune, and other towns within the commune include Lasauvage, Niederkorn, and Oberkorn.

Déifferdeng, Déifferdang
City center of Differdange
City center of Differdange
Coat of arms of Differdange
Map of Luxembourg with Differdange highlighted in orange, and the canton in dark red
Map of Luxembourg with Differdange highlighted in orange, and the canton in dark red
Coordinates: 49°31′20″N 5°53′30″E / 49.5222°N 5.8917°E / 49.5222; 5.8917Coordinates: 49°31′20″N 5°53′30″E / 49.5222°N 5.8917°E / 49.5222; 5.8917
Country Luxembourg
 • Total22.18 km2 (8.56 sq mi)
 • Rank45th of 102
Highest elevation
427 m (1,401 ft)
 • Rank30th of 102
Lowest elevation
277 m (909 ft)
 • Rank79th of 102
 • Total26,193
 • Rank3rd of 102
 • Density1,200/km2 (3,100/sq mi)
  • Rank5th of 102
Time zoneUTC+1 (CET)
 • Summer (DST)UTC+2 (CEST)
LAU 2LU0000202

Differdange is an industrial town that was home to much of Luxembourg's steel production, much of its development occurred during its heyday. Today, Differdange still remains an important industrial center, with ArcelorMittal, the world's largest steel producer, retaining an important steel factory in the town.[2]

Notable landmarks in Differdange include the Maison de Soins de Differdange, an ancient Cistercian abbey dating back to 1235 and the Differdange Castle, located on a hill in the centre of the town, which dates from 1577 and is now used by Miami University.[3] As such, Differdange is home to Miami University's Dolibois European Center, the University's European campus branch where students study abroad.

Differdange is also home to football team FC Differdange 03.

Populated placesEdit


The Cistercian Era[4]Edit

The Abbey of Differdange, an example of Cistercian Architecture.

The era of the Cistercian cathedrals and abbeys was in full swing during the thirteenth century and Differdange did not deviate from this pattern. In 1235, Alexandre de Soleuvre founded the abbey of Differdange, which he donated to the order of Cîteaux.[5] Initially, the Cistercian abbey welcomed only sisters from the nobility of Luxembourg. Subsequently, women from the Lorraine region of France and the present province of Luxembourg in Wallonia also made their vows at Differdange.

In 1552, the abbey was plundered and sacked by French soldiers. However, it was during the French invasion of Luxembourg that the abbey and the town experienced real raids and innumerable rampages.[6]

The last abbess to direct the convent was Marie-Madeleine de Gourcy, who held office until 1796. After her mandate, the Order was then formally dissolved. The Abbey of Differdange was auctioned off in 1797 and subsequently be bought by the commune of Differdange in 1929. In 1981 following its purchase by government of Luxembourg, the Differdange Abbey was transformed into a hospital and health center.

The Renaissance EraEdit

The Differdange Castle currently serves as the European campus for Miami University

The Differdange Castle is one of the only remaining landmarks from the Renaissance period in the area. Although it has no known origin since all traced manuscripts have disappeared, squire listed was Wilhelm de Differdange, named in documents dating from 1310. The castle is probably the earliest example in Luxembourg of a château built entirely in the Renaissance style. It was intended as a residence and a fortification. Differdange'e descendants were extinguished in 1400 with the death of his last grandson.

In 1552, the castle underwent a disastrous fire, It was eventually restored and occupied by Anna of Isenburg. In 1794, the French Revolutionary Army committed atrocities in Differdange and slaughtered many unarmed civilians before pillaging and burning the city.[7]

The Iron CityEdit

Differdange steel mill, operated by Luxembourg company ArcelorMittal

Beginning in 1830, Luxembourg's steel industry evolved from and artisan stage to an industrial stage. In 1896, two blast furnaces were erected in Differdange with the name of "Société Anonyme des Hauts-Fourneaux de Differdange". Subsequently, eight other blast furnaces were built, allowing the production of steel beams known at the time as "Differdinger". [8]

On August 4, 1907, Differdange received its town status by William IV of Luxembourg.

During the 20th century, the industrial boom was at its peak, and the population of Differdange rose from less than 4,000 in 1890 to almost 18,000 by 1930.

In 1967, the "Société des Hauts-Fourneaux and Aciererie de Differdange" merged with several steel companies in Belgium and France to form ARBED, Luxembourg's largest steel company, which had numerous factories in Differdange.


The Chiers river

The town is located in the valley of the river Chiers, a tributary of the river Meuse which takes its source in the section of Oberkorn.

Differdange has an altitude of 293 meters, the highest point of the municipality being at 427,1m at Koufeld.

The commune spreads over 2,215 hectares.

Its territory borders France, through the department of Meurthe-et-Moselle in the basin of Longwy.



Notable peopleEdit

Josiane Kartheiser, 2007
Mgr JCL Hollerich, 2011
Julien Darui, 1947
Félix-Braz, 2007

Twin towns — sister citiesEdit

Differdange is twinned with:[10][11]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Gouvernement du Grand-Duché de Luxembourg. "Le portail des statistiques". statistiques.public.lu (in French). Retrieved 10 June 2017.
  2. ^ "Belval and Differdange". ArcelorMittal. Archived from the original on 10 September 2015. Retrieved 10 June 2017.
  3. ^ "Schloss Differdingen", Restena. (in German) Retrieved 17 March 2011.
  4. ^ "Histoire Differdange". Newcom.lu (in French). Retrieved 10 June 2017.
  5. ^ "Abbaye Cistercienne Fontaine Marie". petitfute.co.uk. Retrieved 10 June 2017.
  6. ^ L'Abbaye de Differdange et l'histoire de cette bâtisse depuis ses origines jusqu'à nos jours. Noppeney-Oberkorn, Luxembourg: Government of Luxembourg. 1982.
  7. ^ "Dark Luxembourg: The French massacre of Differdange".
  8. ^ Histoire Differdange: Une ville au fil des temps", Magazine Echo. (in French) Retrieved 17 March 2011.
  9. ^ "Population par canton et commune". statistiques.public.lu. Archived from the original on 2016-09-12. Retrieved 11 January 2022.
  10. ^ "Ahlen: entdecken & erleben" (PDF). ahlen.de (in German). Stadt Ahlen. p. 20. Retrieved 2019-09-03.
  11. ^ "Oxford names Differdange as Sister City". miamistudent.net. The Miami Student. Retrieved 2019-09-03.

External linksEdit

  •   Media related to Differdange at Wikimedia Commons
  • Commune of Differdange official website