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Geleen

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Geleen is a city in the southern part of the province of Limburg in the Netherlands. With 33,960 inhabitants, it is part of the municipality of Sittard-Geleen. Geleen is situated along the river Geleenbeek, a right tributary to the river Meuse. The Latin name for Geleenbeek is Glana, meaning "clear river". The town centre is situated at about 60 m above sea level.HistoryUntil the end of the 19th century, Geleen was a small village. The remains of one of the oldest prehistoric farms in the Netherlands were found here. In the 20th century the exploitation of coal mines in this area (the State-owned coal mine "Maurits", the biggest in Europe, was located in Geleen) brought a fast population increase. During the 1960s and 1970s all Dutch coalmines, that were all located in this part of this province, were closed. The State mining company DSM (privatised in 1989) however remained active in Geleen, now purely as a chemicals producer. In July 2002, DSM's petrochemicals business, located on the manufacturing locations in Geleen and Gelsenkirchen (Germany) were acquired by SABIC Europe.Sports and events The soccer club Fortuna '54, was the former soccer club of Geleen. Geleen has a professional ice hockey team called the Geleen Eaters The pop and rock festival Pinkpop also has its roots in Geleen. It was held there from 1970 until 1986. This festival was held in a park, including well known sports centre Glanerbrook. The nearby swimming pool was popular with the artists, who enjoyed themselves backstage. In Geleen there's a yearly town fair (one week after Whitsun). Stage 5 of Eneco Tour of Benelux a road bicycle racing and part of the UCI ProTour finished in Geleen on August 16, 2013.
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