Old centre of Limbourg
|• Mayor||Jean-Marie Reinertz (PS)|
|• Governing party/ies||PS and MR-IC|
|• Total||24.63 km2 (9.51 sq mi)|
|Population (1 January 2013)|
|• Density||230/km2 (610/sq mi)|
On 1 January 2008 Limbourg had a total population of 5,680. The total area is 24.63 km² which gives a population density of 231 inhabitants per km². The present municipality Limbourg was formed in 1977 by the merger of the old municipalities Limbourg, Bilstain and Goé.
The second part of the name Limbourg is from burg meaning a "fortress", which is common in many parts of Europe where Germanic languages are spoken or have been spoken historically (see Germanic placename etymology). Concerning the first part of the name there are various theories. One is lint meaning "dragon". Another is that it refers back to the Roman-era limes, situated at boundaries of the Empire. It may also have been related to the material lim or lime.
Limbourg is located on top of a hill which in its turn is surrounded by the river Vesdre. This was a strong military advantage in the Middle Ages and allowed the city to defend itself against foreign invaders. In the Middle Ages, the ruling family came to have the rank of duke and so the town was the seat of the Duchy of Limburg, which was a part of the Lower Lorraine region of the Holy Roman Empire.
The town featured in the War of the Spanish Succession, falling in 1703 to British and Dutch Republican forces led by the Duke of Marlborough. The lower part of the town, along the Vesdre, is called Dolhain.
Media related to Limbourg at Wikimedia Commons
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