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gemeente (municipality), southeastern Netherlands. It lies along the Maas (Meuse) River, near the German border. Chartered in 1343, it joined the Hanseatic League in 1364 and was a medieval fortress and trade centre. Venlo is now the centre of "greenhouse" market gardening; vegetables are exported to the Rhineland. The municipality is also home to logistics and transport companies, metallurgical, electronics, and pharmaceuticals manufacturers, and food processors. Heavily damaged in World War II, its buildings have since been restored. Notable medieval buildings include St. Martin's Church and the town hall. Tegelen, formerly a municipality in its own right but now part of Venlo, is known for the Passion play performed there every few years (May to September). Pop. (2007 est.) 92,091.