City center of Differdange
Map of Luxembourg with Differdange highlighted in orange, and the canton in dark red
|• Mayor||Claude Meisch|
|• Total||22.18 km2 (8.56 sq mi)|
|Area rank||44 of 105|
|Highest elevation||427 m (1,401 ft)|
|• Rank||30th of 105|
|Lowest elevation||277 m (909 ft)|
|• Rank||82nd of 105|
|• Rank||3rd of 105|
|• Density||1,100/km2 (2,800/sq mi)|
|• Density rank||6th of 105|
|Time zone||CET (UTC+1)|
|• Summer (DST)||CEST (UTC+2)|
Differdange (Luxembourgish: Déifferdeng pronounced [ˈdɜɪ̯fɐdeŋ], 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. It is also the main town of the commune, and other towns within the commune include Lasauvage, Niederkorn, and Oberkorn.
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.
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. 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.
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. 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.
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 Era
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.
The Iron City
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". 
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.
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.
Tows of the commune
Differdange (commune seat)
Twin towns and sister cities
Differdange is twinned with:
- Ahlen, Germany
- Chaves, Portugal
- Fiuminata, Italy
- Longwy, France
- Oxford, Ohio, United States
- Waterloo, Belgium
- Gouvernement du Grand-Duché de Luxembourg. "Le portail des statistiques". statistiques.public.lu (in French). Retrieved 10 June 2017.
- "Belval and Differdange". ArcelorMittal. Retrieved 10 June 2017.
- "Schloss Differdingen", Restena. (in German) Retrieved 17 March 2011.
- "Histoire Differdange". Newcom.lu (in French). Retrieved 10 June 2017.
- "Abbaye Cistercienne Fontaine Marie". petitfute.co.uk. Retrieved 10 June 2017.
- L'Abbaye de Differdange et l'histoire de cette bâtisse depuis ses origines jusqu'à nos jours. Noppeney-Oberkorn, Luxembourg: Government of Luxembourg. 1982.
- Histoire Differdange: Une ville au fil des temps", Magazine Echo. (in French) Retrieved 17 March 2011.
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