Eijsden

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{area, part, region}
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{country, population, people}
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{village, small, smallsup}

Eijsden (About this sound pronunciation ) (Limburgish: Èèsjde) is a village and a municipality in the southern part of the Dutch province of Limburg. It is also one of the most southerly places in the Netherlands. For in her south the municipality is extending up to the border between the Netherlands and Belgium. On her westside the river Meuse forms the frontier between both mentioned countries.

Contents

History

Eijsden is one of the oldest communities in the country. Its name may come from the Germanic word for aspen forest. Excavations have revealed a Roman settlement. In the Middle Ages, this settlement developed to a village. After the (feudal) Middle Ages, in the seventeenth century Eijsden gained in economic strength because of its position near the Dutch-Belgian frontier on the Meuse river. Its function as a trading and shipping centre attracted settlement of well-to-do merchants from Holland. This period of prosperity ended in the Napoleonic era when, for a time, the area ceased to be a frontier.

Economy

Apart from trading and shipping, the Eijsden economy has had an agricultural character, with a focus on fruit growing. At one time, in Eijsden the Netherland's largest local fruittree area was situated. In 1870, a zinc white factory brought industrial activity to the municipality, along with jobs and air pollution. The number of jobs originally was about 700; by now some 300 are left. In the second half of the 20th century, many orchards were replaced by housing, dairy farming, industry and water (as a result of extended gravel extraction). Nowadays Eijsden is largely residential.

Village or town?

The Eijsden municipality is composed of several population centres, of which the one named Eijsden is the largest, with 7000 inhabitants. Most of the other population centers are still separated from the main one, and are rather small, so it seems more correct to describe the municipality as a village, or collection of villages than as a town.

Population centres

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