Separation of Limburg

Throughout the two thousand years of the history of Limburg it is a constant coming and going of rulers: Romans, Franks, the Holy Roman Empire, dynasties of lords, counts and dukes, Brabant, Gelre and Gulik, and a large number of more or less independent Heerlijkheden (Low Countries term for estate and judicial and administrative system comparable to a Duchy – later municipality) France, Belgium and The Netherlands, just to name a few. Some rulers or governors were in command for hundred of years, others only lasted for just over a decade.

In this trial project we have focused on the French period between 1789 and 1850 under the title; the Division of Limburg. The maps and description of the different government structures were based upon the publication “De staatkundige geschiedenis der provincie Limburg vanaf haar ontstaan tot aan haar uiteenvallen in 1839’ written by Dr. E.M.Th.W. Nuyens (publication LGOG, Maastricht 1956) The author has based situational descriptions upon the department of Nedermaas (and mostly focuses on the south of Limburg).

The information shown is an independent interpretation (derived from the atlas accompanying the publication) in the means of a graphic illustration with interactive maps. The borders of each area and the corresponding era are simplifications. 

A similar time lapse map from the Holy Roman Empire to the present with the different governing bodies and corresponding rulers is in preparation. By indicating per town and/or city which rulers or governing authorities were in power via a colour code and coupling this information to a specified area, a graphic, visual timeline is created, providing a chronological overview of the different administrative and judicial governing bodies which were active within our region. 

Operating Instructions

By pressing the arrows in the top corner of the designated era can be changed, in other words it is possible to travel backwards and forwards through time.

The map can be moved by pressing the left mouse button. Zooming in and out can be done by scrolling with the mouse or by using the + / - symbols in the top left corner.  


By using the search window it is possible to seek for or zoom in on a specific town or city.


The colour intensity or translucency can be adjusted by using the on screen button in ‘Opacity’ slider’. This function makes the background layers more or less visible. 

The standard setting for ‘Background layer’ is the topographic map. By selecting the drop down menu this can be changed to, for example: a current satellite image, relief map or satellite imagery of the drought period in 2018.

By using the on screen slider in ‘Opacity slider’ the background layers can be made more or less visible.

By using the slider ‘Timeline’ it is possible to scroll forwards and backwards through the years.


By clicking on the name of a municipality a new window will open titled ‘properties’ listing the details of the selected area. The term ‘Ruler’ will be adapted to ‘Territory’ .

No object selected
Background layer
Default layers
Show popup with properties
  • * and ? can be used as wildcards (Starts with: search term*, Ends with: *search term, Contains:*search term*)