Capital of the province of Limburg. Maastricht probably originated as a Roman settlement and castle on the River Meuse (Maas). In the fourth century, it became the seat of a bishop (Servatius). During the Middle Ages, the city remained an important center of tradeat the intersection of main roads. Maastricht remained an often disputed strategic fortressin the 16th and later centuries. As of 1632, it was part of the Republic of the Seven United Provinces. The revolutionary government of Belgium’s claim on the city in 1830 was successfully resisted by King William I. In 1834, Petrus Regout (1801–1878) founded a famous earthenware industry in the city. Since the 1970s, Maastricht has housed a university. The city, with about 120,000 inhabitants, has many other cultural (e.g., the Bonnefantenmuseum for fine arts and archaeology) and economic functions. It houses graphic and paper industries but also factories of chemical products, textiles, and leatherware. Because of its strategic location, it is on the intersection of highways. The town also pos sesses an airport. The Treaty of Maastricht in 1992 brought a further step in the process of European integration from European Commu nity to European Union (EU).

Historical Dictionary of the Netherlands. . 2012.

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