Maastricht is a city and a municipality in the southeast of the Netherlands. It is the capital and largest city of the province of Limburg, as well as the largest city in the historical duchy of Limburg, that today spans the Netherlands and Belgium.
Maastricht is located on both sides of the Meuse river (Dutch: Maas), at the point where the Jeker River (French: Geer) joins it.
Maastricht developed from a Roman settlement to a Medieval religious centre, a garrison town and an early industrial city. Today, Maastricht is well-regarded as an affluent cultural center. Maastricht has 1677 national heritage sites (Rijksmonumenten), which is the second highest number in a Dutch town, after Amsterdam. It has become known, by way of the Maastricht Treaty, as the birthplace of the European Union, European citizenship, and the single European currency, the euro. The town is popular with tourists for shopping and recreation, and has a large growing international student population. Maastricht is a member of the Most Ancient European Towns Network and is part of the Meuse-Rhine Euroregion, which includes nearby cities Aachen, Eupen, Hasselt, Liège and Tongeren. The Meuse-Rhine Euroregion is a metropolis with a population of about 3.900.000 and counts various international universities.