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Roermond

gemeente (municipality), southeastern Netherlands, at the confluence of the Maas (Meuse) and Roer rivers. Chartered in 1232, it was the historic capital of the Upper Quarter of Gelderland (until the duchy was ceded to Charles V in 1543) and was a prosperous centre of the cloth trade in the 14th and 15th centuries. Predominantly Roman Catholic (the seat of a bishopric since 1559), it remained under Habsburg rule when the Netherlands became independent. It was occupied by the French during the Revolutionary and Napoleonic wars and by the Belgians from 1830 to 1839. It was heavily damaged in World War II. Historic landmarks are the late Romanesque minster (consecrated 1224; restored) and the Cathedral of St. Christoffel (1410). A Redemptorist chapel with the shrine of Our Lady of the Sand is nearby. An agricultural market and services centre, Roermond also produces chemicals, electrical equipment, paper, and dairy products. Pop. (2007 est.) 45,458.

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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