Diekirch (Luxembourgish: ; from Diet-Kirch, i.e. "peoples church") is a commune with city status in north-eastern Luxembourg, capital city of the canton Diekirch and the district of Diekirch. The city is situated on the banks of the Sauer river. The name comes from DIDOEKIRCH (Didos Temple). This is a Dido of the Germanic pantheon of Gods, not the Greek or Roman. Originally, there was a Germanic/Celtic temple here. The area is full of Germanic/Celtic remains and place names.
The citys heraldic shield, showing a crowned lion on a castle, was granted in1988. It is based on the citys 14th century seal and arms.
As of 2001, the town of Diekirch, which lies in the south of the commune, has a population of 6,068.
Diekirch was the first city in Luxembourg to have a pedestrian zone, in 1977.
There is a brewery with the same name. There are 3 secondary schools in Diekirch: Lycée classique de Diekirch, Lycée technique hotelier Alexis Heck and Nordstadlycée.
The town is home to the National Museum of Military History, reflecting Diekirchs pivotal role in the Battle of the Bulge, a major battle of World War II. It was here that the river Sauer was crossed on the night of January 18, 1945, by the US 5th Infantry division.
The town is the site of one of the six regional headquarters of the Grand Ducal Police.
The town has an annual cross country running competition — the Eurocross — which is an IAAF permit meeting and attracts world-class runners, with Gabriela Szabo and Irina Mikitenko among its past winners.
The town received its name, according to old sources, when Charlemagne in the late 8th century resettled Saxons, in order to bring them under his control. One of the centre of these settlements was in the area of Diekirch. In order to convert the pagan Saxons to Christianity, a church was built, which gave the settlement its name: "Diet-Kirch" ("peoples church"). In Old Franconian, thiuda (Old High German: "diot" - the people). Þeud? is a reconstructed word from Germanic, which plays a role in the etymology of the term "Deutsch". In the course of extensive excavation in the 1960s, it was shown that the St. Laurence church is a Roman building. In the early 20th century, wall ruins and mosaics were being found north of the town centre. Archaeological investigations in 1992-1993, 1999 and 2008 enabled the reconstruction of a large Roman villa, which extended over all the land of the medieval town and was abandoned in the early 5th century.
Luxembourg has many delicacies. In addition to French pâtisseries, cake and fruit pies, local pastries include the Bretzel, a Lent speciality; Quetscheflued, a zwetschge tart; verwurelt Gedanken or Verwurelter, small sugar-coated doughnuts; and Äppelklatzen, apples en croûte. Luxembourgs cheese speciality is Kachkéis or Cancoillotte, a soft cheese spread.
Fish from the local rivers such as trout, pike, and crayfish are the basis for dishes such as Frell am Rèisleck (trout in Riesling sauce), Hiecht mat Kraiderzooss (pike in green sauce) and Kriibsen (crayfish), usually prepared in a Riesling sauce. Another favourite is Fritür or Friture de la Moselle, small fried fish from the River Moselle, accompanied by a local Moselle white wine.
Meat dishes include cold Éisleker Ham, literally Oesling ham, from the mountainous north of the country, first marinated for a couple of weeks and then smoked for several days. It is usually served thinly sliced with chipped potatoes and salad. Perhaps the most traditional of all Luxembourg meat dishes is Judd mat Gaardebounen, smoked collar of pork with broad beans. The pork is soaked overnight, then boiled with vegetables and spices. Served in copious slices together with the beans and boiled potatoes, it is considered to be the national dish of Luxembourg. Hong am Rèisleck, similar to the French Coq au Riesling, consists of browned chicken pieces simmered in white wine with vegetables, spices and mushrooms. Huesenziwwi or Civet de lièvre is a jugged hare dish served during the hunting season.
Other dishes include liver dumplings (quenelle) with sauerkraut and boiled potatoes, Träipen (black pudding) with apple sauce, sausages with mashed potatoes and horseradish, and green bean soup (Bouneschlupp). French cuisine is featured prominently on many menus, as well as certain dishes from Germany and Belgium.