Kerkrade is a town and a municipality in the southeastern Netherlands. It is the western half of the divided region and de facto city, taken together with the eastern half, the German town of Herzogenrath, which was the original name of the municipality under the Holy Roman Empire. The two towns, taken together and including outlying suburban "villages", the divided municipality (the border was drawn right through the town centre) have a combined population approaching 100,000.
It was called 's-Hertogenrode or 's-Hertogenrade (Dutch: the Duke's Rode) after the duchy of Brabant took control over the region; in French it was called Rolduc (Rode-le-duc). As is the case for many parts of the Southern Netherlands, the place changed hands several times in the last few centuries. It was under Spanish control from 1661, Austrian between 1713 and 1785 and French between 1795 and 1813. In 1815, when the kingdom of the Netherlands was formed (see Vienna Congress), the border was drawn through Herzogenrath, the western part being Kerkrade.
In the 18th century the monks of Rolduc began small-scale coal mines. More modern exploitation by others started in 1860, causing Kerkrade to grow significantly, especially as a consequence of the permanent settlement of mainly Southern-European miners in this Northern-European place. When the Willem Sophia mine was opened around 1900, the town grew even more rapidly, absorbing old villages like Chèvremont. In the decades following 1960, all the mines in Limburg were closed.
One of the oldest buildings in the municipality is Oud Ehrenstein, a castle the origins of which lie in the 14th century.
The province of Limburg has awarded a 10-year, 1.2 billion [euro] contract to Veolia to run commuter trains on the Maastricht-Kerkrade, and Roermond-Nijmegen routes.(Netherlands)
Jul 01, 2006; The province of Limburg has awarded a 10-year, 1.2 billion [euro] contract to Veolia to run commuter trains on the...