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Visiting the Village of Limbourg, Belgium: Disambiguation and Quaint, Cobbled Roadways
'Sermons in stones' (Shakespeare)
The first thing to do when writing about Limbourg is to make it clear what one is writing about.
Put simply, there are various places called Limbourg.
There is the Dutch province of that name. There is the Belgian province of that name. (Both of these are usually spelt 'Limburg', reflecting Dutch usage, although 'Limbourg' is the French spelling.)
There is even a German town called Limburg, with an ancient castle; usually given as Limburg-an-der-Lahn for the sake of disambiguation.
There is also the Belgian village of that name — part of the municipality of Dolhain-Limbourg, which, however, is not in the province of Limburg, but in Liège province.
The second, practical matter to mention for potential visitors to the village of Limbourg is that it is place where high heeled shoes must be dispensed with! the reason being that its ancient, main street is cobbled and partly on an incline also.
While centuries back, cobbled streets were not so unusual in Europe especially, yet today visitors unaccustomed to this variety of stone paving will do well to tread carefully, as the forebears of contemporary Europeans would do instinctively.
Not only is the main street at Limbourg cobbled in stone, many of the houses are also stone buillt, some of which are some hundreds of years old. I have supplied a number of photos by way of illustration.
Historically, the village was the seat of an ancient Duchy, dating from 1101. A castle was built in about the year 1000.
The stone church of Saint-Georges dates from 1172 in its original form; subsequent centuries variously saw the addition of intricate Gothic stonework but also also repeated severe damage and repairs. In the 16th century a preacher named François du Jon taught a Protestant understanding of Scripture, but this was severely repressed by Spanish troops: what is now Belgium then being part of the Spanish Netherlands.
The Vesdre River runs through the municipality of Dolhain-Limbourg.
Limbourg is situated near the eastern Belgian town of Verviers.
As Shakespeare said in 'As You Like It', Act II, Scene I: 'Sermons in stones...'
Plenty of history here, then (but remember: Limbourg is a place where history buffs don't wear high heeled shoes!)
May 26, 2017
Also worth seeing
In Verviers (distance: 8.2 kilometres), noted structures include the law courts, the Ortmans fountain, the central railroad station and the city hall.
Jalhay (distance: 6.4 kilometres), situated close to the reservoir of Gileppe.
Liège, (distance: 33.4 kilometres); its visitor attractions include the 'Perron' in the Market Square, the former Palace of the Prince-Bishops and a number of noted, ancient churches.
Eupen, Belgium (distance: 6.9 kilometres) is the capital of Belgium's German-speaking community; noted buildings include the Sankt-Nikolaus-Kirche, with its striking twin towers.
Vaals, The Netherlands (distance: 23.2 kilometres) is located near an international tripoint (The Netherlands, Belgium, and Germany) at the wooded Vaalserberg, which is a visitor attraction.
Aachen, Germany (distance: 23.5 kilometres), with historic memories of Charlemagne, its noted structures include the city hall and cathedral.
How to get there: Brussels Airlines flies from New York (JFK) to Brussels Airport, where car hire is available (distance from Brussels Airport to Dolhain-Limbourg: 125.9 kilometres). The Belgian railroad company SNCB maintains a service from Brussels to Dolhain-Gileppe station, near Limbourg village. Please check with the airline or your travel agent for up to date information. You are advised to refer to appropriate consular sources for any special border crossing arrangements which may apply to citizens of certain nationalities.
MJFenn is an independent travel writer based in Ontario, Canada.
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