Geleen

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Geleen
Flag of Geleen
Flag
Coat of arms of Geleen
Coat of arms
Location of Geleen
Country Netherlands
Province Limburg
Municipality Sittard-Geleen
Population (1 January 2006) 32.790
Major roads A76, A2, N276, N294
Topographic map of Geleen, March 2014

Geleen (Dutch pronunciation: [ɣəˈleːn]; Limburgish: Gelaen) is a city in the southern part of the province of Limburg in the Netherlands. With 33,960 inhabitants, it is part of the municipality of Sittard-Geleen. Geleen is situated along the river Geleenbeek, a right tributary to the river Meuse. The town centre is situated at about 60 m above sea level.

History[edit]

Until the end of the 19th century, Geleen was a small village. The remains of one of the oldest prehistoric farms in the Netherlands were found here. In the 20th century the exploitation of coal mines in this area (the State-owned coal mine "Maurits", the biggest in Europe, was located in Geleen) brought a fast population increase. During the 1960s and 1970s all Dutch coalmines, that were all located in this part of this province, were closed. The State mining company DSM (privatised in 1989) however remained active in Geleen, now purely as a chemicals producer. In July 2002, DSM's petrochemicals business, located on the manufacturing locations in Geleen and Gelsenkirchen (Germany) were acquired by SABIC Europe.

Sports and events[edit]

  • The soccer club Fortuna '54, was the former soccer club of Geleen.
  • Also the Rock festival Pinkpop has its roots in Geleen. This festival was held in a park, including well known sports centre Glanerbrook. The nearby swimming pool was popular with some of the artists, that enjoyed themselves backstage.
  • In Geleen there's a yearly town fair (one week after Whitsun).

Transportation[edit]

Geleen is served by two railway stations: Geleen-Lutterade, on the line Sittard-Maastricht, and Geleen Oost, on the line Sittard-Heerlen.

Geleen is also served by two motorways: A2 Amsterdam-Maastricht, exit Urmond, and A76 Antwerp-Aachen, exit Geleen.

Coordinates: 50°58′N 5°50′E / 50.967°N 5.833°E / 50.967; 5.833