Episode 28: Borders & Belonging with guest Joes Minis (part one)

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This week we are back with special guest Joes Minis to talk about borders and belonging! How were the borders around Maastricht – and the Netherlands – decided? How have they changed over the years? What do they mean for local people? Find out this week on the Meet Maastricht podcast!

This is part one of our discussion, make sure to check out part one here!

Our special guest for this episode is local expert Joes Minis. Joes works at the Centre Céramique and on the online resource Zicht Op Maastricht. A huge thanks to Joes for his help on this episode!

We began our podcast discussion of borders and belonging in the Netherlands and the Limburg region after 1795; above are some images of Maastricht and the area prior to this date! Top left you can see an illustrated view of Wyck and Maastricht from the east with the figures of Minos (left) and Mecentius (right) in the foreground (c. 1767, (c) RHCL).

The second image above (top right) is a painting of the town of Limburg entitled ‘Limbourgh, ville des Païs-Bas’, by an unknown artist c. 1700 ( (c) RHCL). The third image (bottom left) is a painting of Maastricht in the 18th century by an unknown artist (mutualart.com). And the fourth image is an illustration showing the back of Maastricht houses and courtyards with the inscription ‘tot Maestricht geteeckent den 1 Mäeij Anno 1671’ – this is an 19th century reproduction ( (c) RHCL).

For a look into the daily life of local people in 1790 – particularly those from Oirsbeek in Limburg – this article contains some descriptions of life in the town from a local resident looking back in 1848. The text is in Dutch but Google does a good job as translating if you are interested in learning about food and drink, agriculture, clothing and other domestic details that are often overlooked!

Above (top) is an image depicting the 1793 Siege of Maastricht during the French Revolution, drawn in 1795 by Jacobus Buys in 1795 ( (c) Wikimedia Commons). Below it (bottom) is a map showing the invasion paths of the French during the revolution from 1794 -1795 ( (c) Hans Eren via Wikimedia Commons).

Above are four men who shaped the lives and local borders of those in Maastricht and surrounds during the late 18th and early 19th centuries. Top left is Napoleon Bonaparte painted by Jacques-Louis David in 1812 ( (c) Wikimedia Commons). Top right is his younger brother Louis (Lodewijk in Dutch) Napoléon Bonaparte, who ruled the Kingdom of Holland from 1806 – 1810 and is painted here in 1809 ( (c) Wikimedia Commons).

Bottom left is a portrait of Charles Roemer, a French lawyer who was elected to the French parliament and was later a municipal councillor in Maastricht (erfgoed.centreceramique.nl). He is pictured here on the cover of Lambert James’ 2018 dissertation ‘Limits shifted: Charles Roemers (1748–1838) a Maasland regent in turbulent times’ ( (c) erfgoed.centreceramique.nl).

Bottom right is a portrait of Willem I, Prince of Orange-Nassau and self proclaimed King of the Netherlands from 1815 – 1840, painted in c. 1819 ( (c) Wikimedia Commons).

The first map above (top) shows the Département de la Meuse Inférieure (the Department of the lower Maas region or Nedermaas) in c. 1805 – 1814 ( (c) RHCL). The second map (bottom) shows the same region with yellow shading indicating the Department of the Roer, the green shading indicating the Department of the Nedermaas, blue line indicating rivers and the red line indicating the province of limburg (1913, (c) RHCL). If you visit the high resolution image for this map here, you will be able to zoom and spot many familiar names recorded in the Maastricht region!

The first map above (top) shows the Kingdom of the Netherlands in it’s broader context, with the national boundaries set by the Congress of Vienna in 1814 – 1815 ( (c) Alexander Altenhof via Wikimedia Commons).

The second map (bottom) indicates loose cultural ‘boundaries’ including religion and language use in different in the Kingdom of the Netherlands 1815 – 1830, and later in the Netherlands and Belgium in 1839 (2000, (c) World History at KMLA via zum.de).

As industrialisation came to Maastricht, figures such as Petrus Regout (top left) played an important role (1868, (c) RHCL). Top right you can see the modern day Zuid-Willemsvaart near Bocholt, a canal built to aid in trade and transport in the 1800s (2013, Wikimedia Commons).

The third picture above is an illustration of an earthenware and glassware factory owned by Petrus Regout and company, drawn by Pieter Moors in 1887 ( (c) RHCL).

One of the most recent changes to the Maastricht / Belgium border was to ease legal proceedings on a peninsular near Eijsden. Above left are local officials posing with the new border marker, in effect from January 2018 ( (c) telegraph.co.uk). Above right is an illustration of how the border was changed with the red dotted line marking the new border ( (c) barrysborderpoints.com).

As always, if you have something you have always wanted to know about Maastricht or wanted to ask a local, please contact us through social media or our website and we will do our best to answer your questions in future episodes!