Limburg (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 ·

Limburg (ɡ/, Dutch pronunciation: [ˈlɪmbʏrx] (About this soundlisten); Dutch and Limburgish: (Nederlands-)Limburg; French: Limbourg, French pronunciation: ​[lɛ̃buʁ]) 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.


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."[3] 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.

The Duchy of Limburg and its dependencies first came under Brabantian control in 1288, as a result of the Battle of Worringen, then in the 15th century under the Duchy of Burgundy. By 1473, the Lands of Overmaas and the Duchy of Limburg formed one unified delegation to the States General of the Burgundian Netherlands. Both the terms Overmaas and Limburg came to be used loosely to refer to this sparsely populated province of the so-called Seventeen Provinces. Maastricht was never part of this polity; as a condominium souvereignty over this city was held jointly by the prince-bishops of Liège and the dukes of Brabant. Also, the central and northern part of present-day Limburg belonged to different political entities, notably the Duchy of Jülich and the Duchy of Guelders.

After 1794, the French unified the region, along with Belgian Limburg, and removed all ties to the old feudal society (the ancien regime). The new name, as with all the names of the départements, was based on natural features, in this case Meuse-Inférieure or Neder-Maas ("Lower Meuse"). After the defeat of Napoleon the newly-created United Kingdom of the Netherlands desired a new name for this province. It was decided that the historic connection to the town and duchy of Limburg was to be restored, albeit only in name.

View of the river Meuse and the Medieval Sint Servaasbrug in Maastricht, Limburg's capital
View of a typical street in a hilly South-Limburgian hamlet; here in Walem
Huis Bloemendaal in Vaals, an 18th-century stately home, also used as a monastery, now a hotel
Other Languages
беларуская (тарашкевіца)‎: Лімбург (Нідэрлянды)
emiliàn e rumagnòl: Limbûrg
Bahasa Indonesia: Limburg (Belanda)
Lingua Franca Nova: Limburg
مصرى: ليمبورج
Bahasa Melayu: Limburg, Belanda
Baso Minangkabau: Limburg (Balando)
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