Limburg (Netherlands)

Province of the Netherlands
Flag of Limburg
Coat of arms of Limburg
Coat of arms
Anthem: " Limburg mijn Vaderland"
"Limburg My Fatherland"
Location of Limburg in the Netherlands
Location of Limburg in the Netherlands
Coordinates: 51°13′N 5°56′E / 51°13′N 5°56′E / 51.217; 5.933
Country Netherlands
Inclusion 1839
Capital and largest city Maastricht
 •  Governor [1] Theo Bovens ( CDA)
 • Land 2,153 km2 (831 sq mi)
 • Water 56 km2 (22 sq mi)
Area rank 9th nationally
Population (2006)
 • Land 1,131,938
 • Rank 6th nationally
 • Density 530/km2 (1,400/sq mi)
 • Density rank 4th nationally
ISO 3166 code NL-LI
Religion (2003) Roman Catholic 78%
Protestant 2%
Others 5%
Non-religious 15%

Limburg (Dutch pronunciation: [ˈlɪmbɵrx] ( About this sound  listen); Dutch and Limburgish: (Nederlands-)Limburg; French: Limbourg, French pronunciation: ​ [lɛ̃.buʁ]) is the southernmost of the 12 provinces of the Netherlands. It is in the southeastern part of the country, stretched out from the north, where it touches the province of Gelderland, to the south, where it internationally borders Belgium. Its northern part has the North Brabant province to its west. Its long eastern boundary is the international border with the German state of North Rhine-Westphalia. Much of the west border runs along the River Maas, bordering the Flemish province of Limburg, and a small part of the Walloon province of Liège. On the south end, it has borders with the Flemish exclave of Voeren and its surrounding part of Liège, Wallonia. The Vaalserberg is on the extreme south-eastern point, marking the tripoint of Netherlands, Germany and Belgium.

Limburg's major cities are the provincial capital Maastricht, as well as Heerlen, and Sittard-Geleen in the south, Venlo in the north and Roermond and Weert in the middle. More than half of the population, approximately 620,000 people, live in the south of Limburg, which corresponds to roughly one-third of the province's area proper. In South Limburg, most people live in the urban agglomerations of Maastricht, Parkstad and Sittard-Geleen.

Limburg has a highly distinctive character. The social and economic trends that affected the province in recent decades generated a process of change and renewal which has enabled Limburg to transform its peripheral location into a highly globalized regional nexus, linking the Netherlands to the Ruhr metro area and the southern part of the Benelux region. A less appreciated consequence of this international gateway location is rising international crime, often drug-related, especially in the southernmost part of the province.


City view of Limburg's capital, Maastricht with its ancient Roman Bridge on the Meuse river.
View of a typical street in a hilly South-Limburgian village or hamlet; here at Walem in the municipality of Valkenburg aan de Geul
Huis Bloemendaal (18th century building), nowadays an hotel in Vaals.

Limburg's name derives from the fortified town of the same name, situated on the river Vesdre near the High Fens, now in the nearby Belgian province of Liège. Its name is derived from the Germanic elements *lindo, " lime tree," and burg, "fortification." [2] Limburg town was the seat of the medieval Duchy of Limburg. None of present-day Limburg was part of this duchy, which had its northern border along what is the modern southern border of South Limburg. South Limburg in the Middle Ages was mainly made up of the lands of Valkenburg, Dalhem, and Herzogenrath, which under the rule of the Duchy of Brabant came to be known collectively as the lands of "Overmaas." (In northern Limburg were other polities, most notably the Duchy of Jülich, and the Duchy of Guelders.)

The Duchy of Limburg also came under Brabantine control in 1288 after the Battle of Worringen, and the holdings of Brabant evolved into the Burgundian Netherlands. By 1473, the lands of Overmaas and the Duchy of Limburg formed one unified delegation to the States General of this polity, and are considered from that point on to be one loosely defined province. Hence both the terms "Overmaas" and "Limburg" came to be used loosely to refer to this one political province of the so-called Seventeen Provinces. The connection to Limburg was recalled in the 19th century when the new United Kingdom of the Netherlands desired a new name for the province after the defeat of Napoleon. The French empire had reformed the region, along with Belgian Limburg. (As with many regions, the French chose a name based upon natural features, in this case Meuse-Inférieure (the lower Maas river), trying to remove all links to the old medieval based aristocracy, or " ancien regime", from the names of its " départements".)

Other Languages
беларуская (тарашкевіца)‎: Лімбург
emiliàn e rumagnòl: Limbûrg
Bahasa Indonesia: Limburg (Belanda)
עברית: לימבורג
مصرى: ليمبورج
Bahasa Melayu: Limburg
Nedersaksies: Limburg (Nederlaand)
Nordfriisk: Prowins Limburg
norsk nynorsk: Limburg i Nederland
پنجابی: لمبرگ
Simple English: Limburg (Netherlands)
Soomaaliga: Limburg
srpskohrvatski / српскохрватски: Limburg (Nizozemska)
Tiếng Việt: Limburg (Hà Lan)
West-Vlams: Hollands Limburg