My City in a nutshell



Bilzen is one of the 598 cities / towns of Belgium.

Bilzen is situatied about 100km from Brussels, 10kms form Maastricht in Holland and about 40 kms form Achen Germany.

Region: Flemish Region

Province: Limbourg.

Population : +/- 31.358

Size: 75,9 km².

Languages: Dutch / Flemish.

Coördinates: 50°52'N, 5°31'E

The Municipality of Bilzen concists out of 13 boroughs:

bilzen map


A bit of history

Bilzen is a city and municipality in Belgian Limbourg located about halfway between Hasselt and Maastricht .
The city is the capital of the electoral district and the judicial district Bilzen and has over 30,000 residents in 13 boroughs.
About one third live in the city Bilzen. Easy access because of its location along the E313 motorway, the Albert Canal and the railway line between Hasselt and Liège .
Bilzen is bordered to the west by Hoeselt , in the northwest of Diepenbeek , to the north and Genk Zutendaal , to the east and to the south Lanaken Riemst .
Bilzen is located just on the border of the Kempen Haspengouw . The city center , Beverst and some parts of Rijkhoven are located in the Demer valley .
To the southeast of the Demer, you can see the typical Haspengouws sloping landscape.
Besides Bilzen city, the boroughs Beverst , Eigenbilzen , Big - Spouwen , Hoelbeek , Voorhees, Small - Spouwen , Martenslinde , Mopertingen , Munsterbilzen ,
Rosmeer , Rijkhoven and Waltwilder make the municipality complete .

On the territory of Beverst were loose prehistoric discoveries , no Gallo -Roman . The early medieval feudal Beverst was divided in two.
Some belonged to the lords of Hideous , another part to the Lonse count . In 1683 the manor was sold to Edmond Godfrey von Huyn Bocholtz , Grand Commander of Alden Biesen .
Beverst would remain the property of the Teutonic Order until the French Revolution. Holt and Laar belong to Beverst since since 1878 .
Alden Biesen owned large farms in the territory of Beverst - Hoeselt.

Schoonbeek , already mentioned in the oldest property register of Alden Biesen 1280 .

Archaeological finds in Bilzen itself are rare . Some Roman remains in the city center point to limited occupancy .
From the early Middle Ages , the steep Borreberg was the location of Germanic settlers .
Bilzen has had its share of war horrors . In 1483 the city was in the Liege succession struggle between William and Jan van der Marck of Hornes completely destroyed and dismantled.
It would take centuries before Bilzen recovered from this battle.
The proximity of the fortress Maastricht brought in the 16th and 17th centuries looting and vandalism along.
Countless billeting of foreign troops blokked the economic revival. During the French Revolution Bilzen was the capital of the canton.

In Eigenbilzen the discovery of a Neolithic flint ax on prehistoric occupation .
Indicates Eigenbilzen is known for frost grave from the Iron Age , in the 4th - 5th century BC .
The tomb was found in 1871 near the Cannes Mountain . Found items , including a bronze Etruscan wine jug and a gold purl, point to trade relations with the Mediterranean world .
The Hommelberg and in Noterbos were Roman tomb and found traces of the Stone Berger Field tile fragments of a villa .
In Noterbos Merovingian funerary objects were found . From the early Middle Ages Eigenbilzen belonged to the extensive grounds of the Abbey of Munsterbilzen .
The construction of the railway led to a strong population growth in the first half of the 20th century.

Grote - Spouwen, numerous finds of the Iron Age and Gallo - Roman period.
Grote - Spouwen possessed one of the oldest courts in the region .
Hence the extraordinary fact that here the Liege law followed and that the aldermen of Spouwen could pronounce the death penalty .
The gallows on Man Mountain served for the execution of the sentence . There also was the prison .

The tiny Voorhees is located near the band ceramic deposits of Rosmeer and Staberg .
At the Tombs and the Great Steenstraat were found traces of Roman presence .
In the Middle Ages Voorhees was a free imperial glory , traditionally owned by the St. Servaas Chapter of Maastricht .
With ten other villages Voorhees was the ' eleven banks ' of Saint Servatius .
Due to its location near Maastricht Voorhees in the 16th , 17th and especially the 18th century had its share of the misery of war .
In 1821 a fire destroyed most of the village in ashes . In 1971 Hees merged with Mopertingen . Since 1977 it belongs to Great Bilzen.

Hoelbeek , the Boiler Field to Maastrichterstraat , a Roman tumulus was discovered in 1974 by accident .
The Loon glory Hoelbeek was part of a vast glory , the castle belonged Jonckholt center . The glory Loon was recorded by the county.
Later feudal lords were the families of Jonckholt , first mentioned in 1280 . The glory covered the village , cijnshoven , windmills and castle Jonckholt .
From the 16th century the castle fell into disrepair and the French Revolution stayed the lords of Jonckholt elsewhere.

In Small - Spouwen , while winning clay for brickworks a cemetery and a villa from the Roman period was found .
The ridge on which the church now stands , has already attracted early residents. Probably formed Small and Large - Spouwen originally one glory .
Also nearby Alden Biesen had extensive possessions in Small - Spouwen .
In 1971, Small -Spouwen included in the amalgamated municipality Spouwen and in 1977 in Great Bilzen.

Martenslinde can provide no evidence of prehistoric or Roman occupation .
Unlike the surrounding villages In the early Middle Ages the village was part of the domain Belisia , Abbey Munsterbilzen .
Later the village was occupied by the Loon graves , which were followed by the Liege prince - bishops later.
Until the French Revolution , the prince - bishops wonderful exercise power in Martenslinde.
Legally answerable Martenslinde under the outer bank Bilzen. The village did have their own mayors .
Presumably filled Martenslinde in the Middle Ages an important legal function , such as a court with extensive regional powers , traditionally held sitting under a lime tree .
Only in 1803 was Martenslinde a separate parish .

Mopertingen, around the turn of the century was on the border of Mopertingen and Eigenbilzen a Roman tumulus found .
Mopertingen was already inhabited in the beginning of our era . Church was a Mopertingen Kapelanie of nearby Eigenbilzen .
Only in 1835 was Mopertingen an independent parish . In 1971 Mopertingen gave his name to a merger municipality Hees and Rosmeer .

In 1096 Ida Bolen of land donated in Rijkhoven to the abbey of Munsterbilzen . In the following centuries pops the name of the drop as a hamlet of the town Bilzen
In 1209 built the abbess of Munsterbilzenstraat in a damp place a small church , which soon became a place of pilgrimage .
Count Arnold III of Wage and Abbess Matilda of Are donated this church along with the surrounding land in 1220 to the Teutonic Order .
Thanks to donations and privileges could later build these military knighthood here Commandery , a Commandery Alden Biesen.
It was the headquarters of the order in the Rhine - Meuse region , with twelve subordinate commanderies .
In the 15th century the order' degenerated ' . In the 17th century it was a noble knighthood with high income. The " sober houses of the order were noble residences .
In 1809 Napoleon abolished the order. In 1797 Alden Biesen sold by the French public . The Claes family and her descendants stayed until 1971 in the castle .
However, the castle was too big for a family and fell into disrepair . In 1942 Alden Biesen became protected , but it took until 1971 for the last owner wanted to sell the domain to the Belgian State.
A fire destroyed the castle completely to ashes . The sale went ahead and after more than 20 years, Alden Biesen resurrected in all its grandeur from its ashes .
It is the cultural center of the Flemish Community , with European aspirations and it plays a central role in the European regional cultural contacts .
Only in 1870 was Rijkhoven an independent parish , and in 1900 an independent municipality.

Rosmeer is the main site of the band ceramic culture, from the sixth millennium to 4500 before Jesus Christ in South Limbourg .
In the years 1950-1960 at Vlijtingenberg, Staberg en De Bosin band ceramic villages were excavated : floor plans of large residential estates ,
flint artifacts and pottery with typical band patterns were found . In several places there are traces from the Iron Age .
On the Diepestraat archaeologists discovered the foundations and a full basement of a Roman villa . At the Boelhof Hinnedoäk they found a leveled tumulus .
On the Diepestraat was also discovered a great 7th -century Merovingian cemetery .
There were weapons and jewelry found , and a gold disc with a cross symbol , the earliest Christian jewelery in Haspengouw .
Rosmeer had its own court , that the death penalty could pronounce . The gallows stood in the pants , the pillory in the Old Street Vlijt Inge
Waltwilder , numerous three leveled burial tumuli in the vicinity of Molenstraat and tile fragments to the Wilder Street , prove the Roman presence between the 1st and 3rd centuries .
Waltwilder had the low court . Appeal could only at the outer bank. , Waltwilder had her on the gallows Galgenberg .
Waltwilder was only taken in pledge in 1771 by the provost of the Liège Saint Martin's Church and has never been a separate glory .
The northern Groenendaal or Croonendaal was until the beginning of the 15th century a one with the glory Jonckholt .
Groenendaal was completely independent of Waltwilder and was only added in the 19th century with the municipality.
It is privately owned by the Baron Rosen Borgharen today.

There is always something todo in Bilzen.

Find Out!

Some pictures!

stadhuis bilzen bilzen3 bilzen4 beverst eigenbilzen treasure grote spouwen hees hoelbeek kleine spouwen martenslinde mopertingen1 mopertingen2 munsterbilzen rijkhoven rosmeer waltwilder