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Founded in 963, a small fort was built in the area by the count who ruled it. The area was destroyed, conquered and rebuilt over 20 times in its life. Over the centuries of conquest the fort was made larger and became known as the "Gibraltar of the North." In 1815 Luxembourg was declared an independent state under the Netherland's control. In 1839 it gained much of its independence, but Belgium had previously taken a large portion of the land. In 1867 Luxembourg gains full independence and writes its constitution in 1868. Luxembourg then became a neutral nation. However, after being taken over by Germany in both World Wars, Luxembourg joined NATO and the United Nations, ending its neutrality. Later, it was one of the founders of the European Economic Community.