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Maasmechelen

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Maasmechelen is a municipality located on the Meuse river in the Belgian province of Limburg.It comprises the former municipalities of Mechelen-aan-de-Maas, Vucht, Leut, Meeswijk, Uikhoven, Eisden, Opgrimbie, Boorsem, and Kotem.As a result of both Maasmechelen’s location near the border and its coalmining history quite a few of its current inhabitants are from Dutch, German, Eastern European (e.g., Polish) or Mediterranean (mainly Italian) origin.HistoryPrehistoric and Roman timesThe plateau of Campine was built up during the ice age with deposits of sand and other material that the Meuse river had eroded in the upstream Ardennes region. The higher elevation and the proximity of fertile river clay made this location an attractive one for the prehistoric tribes who established themselves here in the 2nd millennium BC and for the Celtic peoples who moved in the area in the 1st millennium BC.In Roman times, this region was at the border between the provinces of Gallia Belgica and Germania Inferior. The main Roman road crossed the river near Maastricht, to the south. Settlements were built where Maasmechelen lies today to service the garrison that was maintained to protect the bridge in Maastricht.
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