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Limbourg (Municipality, Province of Liège, Belgium)


Last modified: 2005-12-03 by ivan sache
Keywords: limbourg | limburg | lion (red) |
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[Flag of Limbourg]

Municipal flag of Limbourg - Image by Arnaud Leroy, 10 June 2005

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Presentation of Limbourg

The municipality and town (Ville) of Limbourg (in Dutch, Limburg; 5,356 inhabitants; 2,463 ha) is located 10 km east from Verviers and 20 km east from Liège. The city was the former capital city of the Duchy of Limburg but is no longer in the Province of Limburg, which should have another name. The municipality of Limbourg is made since 1976 of the former municipalities of Bilstain, Goé and Limbourg.
The city is in the French Community and must be called Limbourg, whereas the Province is in Flanders and must be called Limburg. Hereafter, I will use Duchy of Limburg when refering to the historical Duchy and Limbourg when referring to the city.

Conrad, Count of Arlon (985-1032) confered to his son Valéran I (Walram, 972-1052) the title of Count of Limburg. Valéran became united by marriage with the Wigerid dynasty of Upper-and Lower-Lorraine. He was succeeded by his son Valéran II (1052-1082). Valéran II's son, Henri IV (1082-1106) was Count of Limburg, Count of Arlon, Duke of Lower-Lorraine and Marquis of Antwerp. His son Valéran III (1106-1139) took the title of Duke of Limburg. His successors were Henri II (1139-1167), Henri III (1167-1221), Valéran IV (1221-1226), Henri IV (1226-1246) and Valéran V (1247-1279). The last duke was succeeded by his daughter Ermengard (1279-1283). When she died, her husband Renaud of Gelderland was allowed by Emperor Rudolf of Hapsburg to keep the Duchy. In 1288, Jean I of Brabant defeated Henri IV of Luxembourg and Renaud of Gelderland in Worringen, and incorporated Limburg to his Duchy. Afterwards, the Duke of Brabant was also Duke of Limburg.
The Duchy of Limburg included 43 villages and seven domains said to be "beyond the woods", which were enclaved in the Principality of Liège (Sprimont, Esneux, Tavier, Villers-aux-Tours, La Chapelle, La Rimière and Baugnée).

The Dukes of Limburg built a donjon on a promontory dominating in a meander of the river Vesdre; progressively, the donjon was transformed into a huge fortress, reputed to be impregnable; it was besieged by German Emperor Henri IV in 1101, the Princes of Orange in 1577, Alexander Farnese in 1578, Prince de Condé in 1676 and Duke of Marlborough in 1703. The fortress was delisted in the XVIIIth century; since then Limbourg has been a peaceful city surrounded with picturesque walls. The city was registered as "main Walloon heritage" in 1995.
Until 1703, the States of the Duchy, the High Court and the Feudal Court met in the former city hall (Arvo), which shows an old seal with the caption Sigillum Ville Limborgensis.

Dolhain is a former industrial village, famous for the production of wool. Cloth industry developed in the XIVth century along the river Vesdre. In 1888, Dolhain was the first Belgian municipality to use electricity for street lighting. Dolhain is today the main economical center in the municipality of Limbourg.

Goé, located close to the forests of Hertogenwald, lived in the past from wood industry.

Source: Municipal website

Ivan Sache, 10 June 2005

Municipal flag of Limbourg

The municipal flag of Limbourg, as confirmed by the municipal administration, is vertically divided red-white.

[Proposal of flag of Limbourg]

Proposed municipal flag of Limbourg - not used - Image by Arnaud Leroy, 10 June 2005

According to Armoiries communales en Belgique. Communes wallonnes, bruxelloises et germanophones, the Heraldry and Vexillology Council of the French Community proposed a flag showing the former arms of the Duchy of Limburg and a lower red creneled stripe recalling the fortress of Limbourg:

Blanc chargé au centre d'un lion rouge, avec les griffes, la langue et une couronne jaunes, le quart inférieur du tablier constitué par une laize longitudinale crênelée rouge.

Arnaud Leroy, Pascal Vagnat & Ivan Sache, 10 June 2005