Nijmegen’s new square has the wrong name


The city of Nijmegen, Gelderland has named a square downtown after three figures from the city’s history, but has managed to spell their last name incorrectly.

Name after Medieval painters and brothers Herman, Paul and Johan, the square is called ‘Gebroeders Van Limburgplein’ (‘Brothers Van Limburg square’). Thanks to recent research done by an employee of Amsterdam’s Rijksmuseum, the proper spelling appears to be ‘Van Lymborch’, something the museum is calling an important milestone in the lives and work of the brothers.

Famous Dutch historian Johan Huizinga wrote their last names as ‘Van Limburg’ at some point and everybody just followed suit. In English, they were known as the ‘Limbourg brothers’. However, in Nijmegen documents from the fifteenth century, the spelling Van Lymborch was used. Lymborch was a dutchy located between the city of Achen in Germany and the city of Liège in Belgium. Now a city, it is called Limbourg, and has nothing to do with the Dutch province of Limburg as people thought.

Nijmegen’s Gebroeders van Limburg festival will be held in August and also get a name change to the Gebroeders Van Lymborch festival. The name change will not affect any addresses on the square as they are new houses with nobody living in them yet. That’s obviously way better than in Soesterberg where the street changed name overnight (possibly by mistake) and nobody told the residents.

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