The province Limburg, The Netherlands

Province of Utrecht - Map of the NetherlandsLimburg is a southeast mainland province of the Netherlands, bordering Germany and Belgium. The capital of Limburg is a city of Maastricht.

The name Limburg comes from a castle presently in Belgium with the same name. In the Middle ages it was a capital of the small princedom of Limburg. When the last heiress of Limburg, princess Irmgard died in 1283, a war of succession broke out between her husband Count Reinoud I of Gelre and Duke Jan I of Brabant. Jan I won the war, took Reinoud I prisoner and incorporated Limburg in the Duchy of Brabant. That is how Limburg disappeared from the political maps of the region until 1815.

It is only after the fall of Napoleon and the creation of the Kingdom of The Netherlands, supported by the occupying powers of Russia, England, Austria, and Prussia; Brabant became one of its provinces. The first King of the modern Netherlands, Willem I gave the name of the Duchy Limburg for the new province created in the region of Maastricht.

The name of the Duchy after has been dropped after 1906. Limburg is just one of the Dutch provinces with one small difference: the Commissioner of the Queen is being called in Limburg a Governor. Still it has to be said the Limburg is one of the most interesting regions to visit. It has a varied landscape, with woods, big river – Maas, beautiful natural parks, very special in the Netherlands region of hills – Heuvelland, and it has interesting towns, castles, good museums not to mention wineries.

The province’s capital Maastricht is a big nice city known recently for the European Treaty signed there. Founded by the Romans already in the Middle Ages became an important trade center. In 1673, French King Louis XIV took the city after a long siege. Among the fallen French side was d'Artagnan, an officer of musketeers. Several interesting old buildings document the history of the city. Good museum in an original building built by Italian architect Aldo Rossi – Het Bonnefantenmuseum has a mixture of the old paintings (including Pieter Breughel the Younger and Giovanni del Biondo) as well as a modern art collection.

Other interesting towns of Limburg are Arcen (with its castle – Kasteel Arcen), Thorn, Honsbroek (with another interesting castle), Sittard, Heerlen, Valkenburg, Gulpen (known for its beer and the nearby castle - Kasteel Neubourg), Elsloo (with a museum and a castle – Kasteel Elsloo), Eijsden (again known for its castle – the renaissance Kasteel Eijsden), Meersen (with its cathedral), Roermond, Venlo (with its beautiful 16 century Town Hall).

Bordering Belgium and Germany province of Limburg is an attractive place for a several days visit on a longer trip to Amsterdam and the Netherlands.