Nijmegen

The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.

Nijmegen

Nijmegen (nī´mā´gən), city (1994 pop. 147,018), Gelderland prov., E Netherlands, on the Waal River, near the German border. It is a rail and water transportation point and an industrial center. Its manufactures include metal products, paper, clothing, and soap. One of the oldest cities in the Netherlands, Nijmegen was founded in Roman times and flourished under Charlemagne (8th–early 9th cent.). It was chartered in 1184, became a free imperial city, and later joined the Hanseatic League. It subscribed (1579) to the Union of Utrecht, formed as a defensive measure against Philip II of Spain. The treaties of Nijmegen (1678–79), which ended the Dutch War (1672–78) of Louis XIV of France, were signed there (see Dutch Wars). In World War II, Allied airborne troops wrested (Sept., 1944) Nijmegen from the Germans but failed to rescue the troops caught at Arnhem. Nijmegen has a 13th-century church (the Groote Kerk), a 16th-century town hall, a 17th-century weighhouse, and the remains of a palace built (c.777) by Charlemagne and rebuilt by Frederick Barbarossa in 1165. It is the seat of the Catholic Univ. of Nijmegen (founded 1923). The city is known in French as Nimègue and in German as Nimwegen.

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