Old centre of Limbourg
|• Mayor||Valérie Dejardin (PS)|
|• Governing party/ies||PS and MR-IC|
|• Total||24.63 km2 (9.51 sq mi)|
(1 January 2017)
|• Density||240/km2 (630/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 of Limbourg was formed in 1977 by the merger of the old municipalities of Limbourg, Bilstain, and Goé.
Etymology and historyEdit
Duchy of Lower Lorraine 1000–1065
Duchy of Limburg 1065–1795
Burgundian Netherlands 1430–1482
Habsburg Netherlands 1482–1556
Spanish Netherlands 1556–1714
Austrian Netherlands 1714–1794
French Republic 1795–1804
French Empire 1804–1815
Kingdom of the Netherlands 1815–1830
Kingdom of Belgium 1830–present
The second part of the name Limbourg is from burg meaning a fortified town, 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. Jean-Louis Kupper has proposed that the fort was named by its founder Frederick after Limburg Abbey in Germany, which in his lifetime had important connection to his imperial patrons and the Abbey of Stavelot, for which he was advowee.
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.
- Population per municipality as of 1 January 2017 (XLS; 397 KB)
- Occasionally formerly "Lambourg", as in the 1584 Treaty of Joinville.
- Berkel and Samplonius, "Het Plaatsnamenboek", 1989, Unieboek, Houten
- Jean-Louis Kupper (2007) Les origines du duché de Limbourg-sur-Vesdre", Revue belge de Philologie et d'Histoire Année 85-3-4 pp. 609-637