Limburg (Belgium)

Limburg (Belgium)

Infobox Belgian Province
EnglishName = Limburg
LocalNameInLanguage1 = ( _nl. Limburg)
LocalNameInLanguage2 =
LocalNameInLanguage3 =

region = BE-VLG
capital = Hasselt
governor = Steve Stevaert
area = 2,414
population_as_of = (2004)
population = 805786
populationdensity = 333

officialsite =

:"This article deals with a province in Belgium. For other uses of Limburg, see: Limburg. For the town of Limbourg or Limburg in Belgium, see: Limbourg"

Limburg is the easternmost province of Flanders (which is one of the three regions of Belgium), and is located west of the Maas river. It borders on (clockwise from the North) the Netherlands and the Belgian provinces of Liège, Flemish Brabant and Antwerp. Its capital is Hasselt. It has an area of 2,414 km² which is divided into three Arrondissements ("arrondissementen" in Dutch) containing 44 municipalities. Among them is Genk, one of the economical centres of the province. An educational centre, as a result of the presence of a university, is Diepenbeek near Hasselt.


As in all Flemish provinces, the official language is Dutch, but two municipalities: Herstappe and Voeren are to a certain extent allowed to use French to communicate with their citizens; these are called the municipalities with language facilities. Other such special municipalities can be found along the border between Flanders and Wallonia, and between Wallonia and the German-speaking area of Belgium.


Belgian Limburg is crossed by the Albert Canal, and has historically been a major coal-mining area.North of the Albert Canal and the river Demer, is the Campine region, with sandy soils, bush, forests and the coal-mining area.South of the Albert Canal and the river Demer, is the Hesbaye region, with fertile soils, farming and fruit. In the southeast also more low hills.


Limburg's name derives from the fortified castle town known as Limbourg, situated on the river Vesdre in the Ardennes, now in the Walloon province of Liège. It was the seat of the medieval Duchy of Limburg which extended into the Meuse region north of the city of Liège. However, most the area of the current Dutch Limburg was not part of this polity but was divided among several states including the Duchy of Brabant, the Duchy of Jülich, and the Bishopric of Liège, as well as the Duchy of Limburg. A result of this division is still evident in the plethora of distinct varieties of the Limburgish language spoken in Limburg municipalities.

Following the Napoleonic Era, the great powers (United Kingdom, Prussia, Austrian Empire, Russian Empire, and France) united the region with the new United Kingdom of the Netherlands in 1815. A new province was formed and was to receive the name "Maastricht," after its capital. The first king, William I, who did not want the name Limburg to be lost, insisted that the name be changed to "Limburg." As such, the name of the new province derived from the old Duchy of Limburg that had existed until 1648 within the triangle of Maastricht, Liège, and Aachen.

When the Catholic South, both the Dutch and French speaking regions, split away from the mainly Calvinist, Dutch North in the Belgian Revolution of 1830, the province of Limburg was at first almost entirely under Belgian rule. In 1839 Limburg was split into so-called "Dutch" Limburg and "Belgian" Limburg, though it became Flemish when all provinces in Belgium came under control of institutional regions.

Limburg mijn Vaderland is the official anthem of both Belgian and Dutch Limburg.


*Ford Automobile Factory in Genk

*Philips Research

*Belgium's fruit producing region Haspengouw (Hesbaye) is predominantly situated in Limburg.

*Chemical industry


Administrative divisions

Arrondissement Hasselt:
2. As
3. Beringen
8. Diepenbeek
10. Genk
11. Gingelom
12. Halen
13. Ham
15. Hasselt
18. Herk-de-Stad
20. Heusden-Zolder
26. Leopoldsburg
28. Lummen
33. Nieuwerkerken
34. Opglabbeek
38. Sint-Truiden
39. Tessenderlo
43. Zonhoven
44. Zutendaal

Arrondissement Maaseik:
5. Bocholt
7. Bree
9. Dilsen-Stokkem
14. Hamont-Achel
16. Hechtel-Eksel
22. Houthalen-Helchteren
23. Kinrooi
27. Lommel
29. Maaseik
31. Meeuwen-Gruitrode
32. Neerpelt
35. Overpelt
36. Peer

Arrondissement Tongeren:
1. Alken
4. Bilzen
6. Borgloon
17. Heers
19. Herstappe
21. Hoeselt
24. Kortessem
25. Lanaken
30. Maasmechelen
37. Riemst
40. Tongeren
41. Voeren
42. Wellen

Not to be confused with, though related to, the Dutch province of Limburg.

Famous Limburgians

*Willy Claes (1938) - Politician; former Secretary General of NATO.

*Robert Cailliau, (1947) - Co-inventor of the World Wide Web, together with Tim Berners-Lee.

*Adrien de Gerlache - former Antarctica explorer

*Barthélémy de Theux de Meylandt (1794-1874) - Politician; former Prime Minister

*Neel Doff (1858-1942) - Writer

*Hendrik van Veldeke (1858-1942) - First writer from the Low Countries known by name (c. 1140-c. 1190)

*Ambiorix (1st century B.C.) - Gallic leader; leader of the Eburons.

*Stijn Helsen (1973) - Fashion designer.

Sports & Entertainment

*Ingrid Berghmans (1961) - Former judoka world champion

*Kim Clijsters - Former tennis player

*Harry Everts - Former motocross world champion

*Stefan Everts - Former motocross world champion

*Eric Geboers - Former motocross world champion

*Eric Gerets - Former soccer player

*Karel Lismont - Former athlete

*Jacky Martens - Former motocross world champion

*Axelle Red - Singer

*Eric Vanderaerden (1962) - Former cyclist

*Ingrid Vandebosch- model and married to NASCAR driver Jeff Gordon


*Casimir (furniture designer)

*Jan van Eyck (ca.1390-1441) - Flemish painter


An internationally well known Limburgian place is Zolder, where racing circuit Terlamen is located, on which in the past among others two Worldchampionships in roadcycling were held, as well as several Formula one car races.

See also

*Limburgish language
*List of Governors of Limburg, Belgium
*Limburg (Netherlands), a province in southeastern Netherlands.
*Limburg Science Park

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