Nimeguen, Nimwegen, Or Nymegen
NIMEGUEN, NIMWEGEN, or NYMEGEN (Dutch, Nijmegen), probably the oldest of all the cities of the Netherlands, is situated in the province of Guelderland, on the south bank of. the Waal, 80 miles from the sea and 17 miles north-west of Cleves. Built partly on a row of five hillsHessenberg or Hezelberg, Marienberg, Gruitberg, Klokkenberg, and Hunnenberg or Hoenderberg - so that stairs are necessary to lead to the higher portions, Nimeguen stands out with a boldness quite unusual in a Dutch town. Till past the middle of the present century it was strongly fortified, its old walls, erected in 1447, having been strengthened from time to time with extensive bastions and outworks. The beautiful park - the Valkhof - at the east end of the town is the site of Charlemagne's palace, which was still habitable in 1787, but, being greatly damaged during the French bombardment of 1794, was in 1796 sold for what it would bring. Two portions were fortunately preserved, - the vault of a chapel (" Pagan's Chapel"), with two white marble Corinthian pillars, and an octagonal baptistery (" Roman Chapel "). Near the Valkhof stands a lofty tower, the Belvidere, erected by the duke of Alva. The great church (St Stephen's), which forms one of the most striking features in the general view of the town, was originally built between 1254 and 1273, but in its present condition dates mainly from the 15th and 16th centuries. The immense nave is roofed with circular vaulting and supported by thirty-five slender pillars. In the choir is the monument of Catherine of Bourbon (1469), wife of Adolphus, duke of Guelderland. The town-house, built in 1554, is adorned with medallions representing the kings and emperors who had been benefactors of Nimeguen, and contains the great hall in which the treaty of 1678 was concluded. On the ground-floor is a cumbrous and strong safe in which the town's charters from that of Henry IV. in 1230 were preserved with the most jealous care, the garrison being called out and the gates closed when it was necessary to consult any of them. Other buildings of note are the theatre (1838-39), the old burghers' almshouse, the Protestant hospital (1849), and the Roman Catholic or Canisius hospital (1866). Between 1656 and 1679 Nimegueu was the seat of a university ; it has now nothing higher than a gymnasium. Tools, gold and silver work, leather, furniture, tobacco, &c., are the chief products of the local industry ; and a good deal of traffic is carried on both by means of the river and (since 1865) the railway. The population of the town in 1870 was 19,196; that of the commune increased from 22,929 (15,984 Roman Catholics, 5806 Dutch Reformed, 408 Jews) in 1875 to 24,984 in 1879.
and 1674 the town was held by the French; they attacked it again in 1703 without success, got easy possession of it in 1794, and remained till 1814.