City center of Differdange
Map of Luxembourg with Differdange highlighted in orange, and the canton in dark red
|• Total||22.18 km2 (8.56 sq mi)|
|Area rank||45th of 102|
|Highest elevation||427 m (1,401 ft)|
|• Rank||30th of 102|
|Lowest elevation||277 m (909 ft)|
|• Rank||79th of 102|
|• Rank||3rd of 102|
|• Density||1,200/km2 (3,100/sq mi)|
|• Density rank||5th of 102|
|Time zone||UTC+1 (CET)|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC+2 (CEST)|
Differdange (Luxembourgish: Déifferdeng pronounced [ˈdəɪ̯fɐdeŋ], 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.
Towns of the commune
Differdange (commune seat)
- Émile Krieps (1920–1998) a resistance leader, soldier, and politician
- Jean Portante (born 1950) a writer of novels, stories, plays, journalistic articles and poetry; resides in Paris
- Josiane Kartheiser (born 1950) a journalist, novelist, and writer
- Nico Helminger (born 1953) an author of poetry, novels, plays and libretti for operas
- Georges Hausemer (1957–2018) a writer of short stories, novels, travelogues and non-fictional works
- Jean-Claude Hollerich S.J. (born 1958) the current Archbishop of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Luxembourg since 2011
- Étienne Bausch (1901–1970) a footballer, competed at the 1924 Summer Olympics
- Émile Kolb (1902–1967) a footballer, competed at the 1924 and 1928 Summer Olympics
- Bernard Fischer (1902–1971) a footballer, competed at the 1928 Summer Olympics
- Paul Feierstein (1903–1963) a footballer, competed at the 1924 and 1928 Summer Olympics
- Michael Maurer (1904-??) a boxer who competed in the 1924 Summer Olympics
- Arnold Kieffer (1910–1991) a footballer, competed in the 1936 Summer Olympics
- Fernand Ciatti (1912–1989) a boxer, competed at the 1936 Summer Olympics
- Julien Darui (1916–1987) a French football goalkeeper
- Gusty Kemp (1917–1948) a footballer, played 20 times for the national team and competed at the 1936 Summer Olympics
- Paul Anen (1918–1978) a fencer, competed at the 1948 and 1952 Summer Olympics
- Jean-Fernand Leischen (1919–2017) a fencer, competed in three Summer Olympics
- Nicolas May (1927–2006) a footballer, competed in the 1948 Summer Olympics
- Josy Stoffel (born 1928) a retired gymnast, competed in five consecutive Summer Olympics in 1948, 1952, 1956, 1960 & 1964
- Rudy Kugeler (born 1928) a fencer, competed in the team épée at the 1960 Summer Olympics
- Ferd Lahure (born 1929) a footballer, competed in 1952 Summer Olympics
- Fernand Backes (born 1930) a boxer, competed at the 1952 Summer Olympics
- François Konter (1934–2018) a footballer, played 77 games for the national side
- Roger Menghi (born 1935) a fencer, competed in the individual épée event at the 1976 Summer Olympics
- Roby Hentges (born 1940) a former cyclist, competed in the individual road race at the 1960 Summer Olympics
- Alain Anen (born 1950) a fencer, competed in the individual and team épée events at the 1972 Summer Olympics
- Nicholas Muller (1836–1917) a United States Representative from New York
- Yvonne Useldinger (1921–2009) a politician
- Marcelle Lentz-Cornette (1927–2008) a politician
- Fred Sunnen (1939–2014) a politician
- Johny Lahure (1942–2003) a politician.
- Félix Braz (born 1966) a politician, the current Minister of Justice
Twin towns and sister cities
Differdange is twinned with:
- 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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