Ettelbruck (Luxembourgish: Ettelbréck [ˈætəlbʀek], German: Ettelbrück) is a commune with town status in central Luxembourg, with a population of approximately 7,500. As of 2005, the town of Ettelbruck itself, which lies in the east of the commune, has a population of 6,191. The towns of Warken and Grentzingen are also within the commune.
Until 1850, both Erpeldange and Schieren were part of the Ettelbruck commune as well, but both towns were detached from Ettelbruck by law on 1 July 1850.
Germany occupied Ettelbruck on 10 May 1940.
US forces first liberated the town on 11 September 1944 but Germany retook the town on 16 December 1944 during the Battle of the Bulge. US General George S. Patton on Christmas Day, 25 December 1944, led US troops in the final liberation of Ettelbruck from Nazi occupation. One of Ettelbruck's main squares is named Patton Square, and is located at the exact spot where the German offensive into Luxembourg's Alzette Valley was stopped, ending its attempt to reoccupy the country as a whole. Since 1954, the town has held a Remembrance Day celebration each July honoring General Patton and the US, British, French, Belgian and Luxembourgish troops who fought with him there.
Ettelbruck is one of the 12 communes of the canton of Diekirch, which is part of the district of Diekirch. Governmentally, the Ettelbruck communal council (French: Conseil communal de Ettelbruck) serves as the commune's local council. The council consists of thirteen members, elected every six years.
Ettelbruck lies at the exact spot where three rivers meet: the Sauer, the Wark and the Alzette. This location has historically made Ettelbruck a major transportation hub for the country second only to the city of Luxembourg.
Ettelbruck serves as a junction, where the line to Diekirch branches off the main line Luxembourg – Liège. state-owned railway company. The station is on Line 10, which connects Luxembourg City to central and northern Luxembourg towards Gouvy and Wiltz, with a branch line connecting to Diekirch.
The A7 motorway, known as the Motorway of the North, runs through Ettelbruck.
The General George S. Patton Memorial Museum in Ettelbruck honors the general who liberated the town. The museum exhibits photographs, uniforms (both military and prison camp), weapons and documents from the period of German occupation of Luxembourg (May 1940 to September 1944). The museum was opened on 7 July 1995 and represents a main tourist attraction in the town.
The Ettelbruck parish church—D' Kierch Ettelbréck—is a decagonal structure. Restored in 1849, the church contains tombstones dating as far back to the 15th century.
Ettelbruck since 1917 has been the home of the football team FC Etzella Ettelbruck. The team plays in Ettelbruck's football stadium Stade Am Deich which has capacity of about 2,000.
Ettelbruck is a medical center for northern Luxembourg, as it is home to the Central Hospice (founded in 1855) which is now the location of the Ettelbruck Neuro-Psychiatric Hospital (in French, CHNP = Centre Hospitalier Neuro-Psychiatrique) with approximately 500 beds. Lucien Wercollier's marble sculpture La Vague ("The Wave") is located in Ettelbruck on the grounds of the CHNP.
The New Saint Louis Hospital (French: Nouvel Hôpital St Louis) was renovated and reopened as a state of the art medical facility in 2003 on the site of the earlier Charles Marx Clinic and Saint Louis Clinic. The original clinic was founded by Dr. Charles Marx in 1936. The Saint Louis Clinic became a point of resistance preceding the Nazi occupation, when its founder Charles Marx treated downed French airmen (including the future general Marcel-Pierre Faure) in April, 1940. Following the occupation of Luxembourg, Marx fled to France. Following the Nazi occupation, Marx was arrested and jailed for treating the airmen. In 1946, following liberation and Marx's accidental death in that year, the clinic was renamed as the Charles Marx Clinic to honor him. In 1963, the clinic was renamed the New Saint Louis Clinic when it was revamped and modernized, becoming the New Saint Louis Hospital in 2003.
Ettelbruck is an educational center for the north of the country. It is home to the St. Anne Girls' Boarding School (founded in 1852) and the State Agricultural School (founded in 1883). Ettelbruck is also the location of the vocational school of Lycée Technique Ettelbruck.
Ons Heemecht ("Our Homeland"), the national anthem of Luxembourg, was first sung publicly in Ettelbruck on 5 June 1864. Both the Alzette and Sauer rivers are named in the song, and since Ettelbruck is located at the point where they both meet, the location was appropriate for its public introduction.François Diederich, chemist
Charles Goerens former Luxembourg cabinet member and member of the European Parliament from 1982 to 1984, and again from 1994 to 1999.
Pierre Joris (born in Strasbourg, France, raised in Ettelbruck), poet and translator
Charles Marx, physician and World War II resistance leader
Monique Melsen, singer
Bady Minck, filmmaker
Ernest Mühlen, politician and representative to the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (1991–1996).
Marco Schank, politician and author
Lucien Weiler, politician
Ni Xialian, table tennis player
Luc Holtz, Luxembourg football Team's coach