South Limburg is situated on the plateau bordering the Belgian Ardennes and the German Eifel mountain ranges.
The fertile "löss” soils of this softly rolling area are cut by the Valleys of the Maas and its tributaries, the Jeker, Geul and Geleenbeek. Near Vaals on the Eperheide (Eperh eath) and in Ubachsberg, the hills reach a height of approximately 300 meters above sea level.
The Province of Limburg can boast many historical recreational places. The two major towns in the most southern part of Limburg are Maastricht and Heerlen. Other places of interest in the area are Sittard, Geleen, Valkenburg, Kerkrade, Vijlen, Vaals and Stein. All are within easy reach of Brunssum, the hometown of JFC HQ Brunssum.
The people of Limburg differ in many ways from those of the northern and western parts of the Netherlands. They have their own very melodious dialect, which differs from the Dutch language spoken in the western part of the country. The "Limburger” likes parties and local festivities (Carnival in particular), has a great sense of humour, a ready tongue, an impulsive nature and is in general easy to get along with. He is gifted, versatile and tolerant. The Limburger is predominantly Roman Catholic.
Maastricht is the oldest city of the Netherlands and capital of Limburg. It has many interesting places, all connected with its rich history, which goes back to the first century. The city has museums, old walls, and underground fortifications. It is also home to the Romanesque churches of St. Servatius (with the richest cathedral treasury of the Netherlands) and Our Dear Lady, a number of beautiful Gothic churches (including St. John and St. Mathias Church), the monumental Town Hall, many 17th and 18th century patricians' houses, and the renovated "Stokstraat” area. You can explore tiny old streets and squares, such as the "Onze Lieve Vrouwe” square and the Vrijthof with its many open-air cafes. You can enjoy the Annual "Preuvenemint” (an outdoor eating festival) at the end of August. St. Pietersberg with its extensive underground labyrinth can be toured. www.vvvmaastricht.nl
Brunssum is an old town, which at the turn of this century developed from a quiet parish into an internationally oriented municipality. This was caused by the mining industry that attracted many foreigners who settled here in the period between 1918 and 1966 and from 1967 JFC HQ Brunssum's international community. The International Folklore festivities taking place every four years furthermore underline its international character. Brunssum is well known for its beautiful heath, a favourite place to go jogging. Its heather and woods stretch out over an area of 2,000 hectares. Also Brunssum offers many indoor and outdoor recreational and sports facilities. One of the most important one is the Brunssum public golf course. Find out more about Brunssum at www.brunssum.nl
General information of all types for sightseeing trips and holiday travel within the Netherlands, as well as outside the country, can be obtained from two major sources: The VVV and The ANWB.
Vereniging voor Vreemdelingen Verkeer (VVV) is a national tourist organisation, which maintains tourist information offices in most cities and villages in South Limburg. Most information is provided free of charge. VVV offices are located in Brunssum (inside the Town Hall) tel: 045-5256811, Heerlen 045-5716200, Maastricht 043-3252121 and Valkenburg 043-6013364. Find out more information from www.vvv.nl.
Algemene Nederlandse Wielrijders Bond (ANWB) is a national tourist information office specialised in advice, planning and arranging journeys by car, caravan, boat or bicycle in and outside the Netherlands. Membership is by subscription. For members, the ANWB also maintains road patrols for help on the spot. The organisation has a permanent office in Heerlen, tel. 045-5717833. More information is available at www.anwb.nl.
Economic impact of JFC HQ Brunssum in South Limburg
The JFC HQ Brunssum staff and family members are encouraged to participate in the numerous local activities. The aim is to further stimulate the integration of the JFC HQ Brunssum community in the Limburg community and therefore make your stay in Limburg even more pleasant.
JFC HQ Brunssum has over the years, established good relations with the local community at all levels. An important factor for Limburg is the economic value of this headquarters.
An independent study done by the Regional Survey Organisation Etil showed that the headquarters and its community had an economic impact of nearly 150 million Euros in 2006. Therefore, the Headquarters has always been a major economic factor, not only for Brunssum, but also for the entire South-Limburg region.
As a result of further European integration and by the formation of a European Political Union, the inner borders between those European countries that are members of the Schengen Accord have disappeared. Border control measures therefore have been disbanded in general. Limburg's specific geographical position has forced the province to stimulate regional border-crossing co-operation.