Last modified on May 8, 2008, at 14:16


Nijmegen is a city in the Dutch province of Gelderland, lying in the east of the country close to the German border. It is a port on the River Waal, the main lower branch of the River Rhine, which divides a few miles upstream of the city. Nijmegen is the oldest city in the Netherlands, originating as a Roman settlement named Noviomagus. It was important in medieval times, and the Emperor Charlemagne had a palace here, remains of which survive. On 22 February 1944 the city was attacked in error by bombers of the US Eighth Air Force, killing around 800 civilians, and in September of that year it became a battleground during Operation Market Garden, when it was liberated by American, British and Canadian forces and its strategic bridges captured. The city celebrates 17 September as Liberation Day. For the next six months Nijmegen was a front line city, and was heavily shelled by German forces in the vicinity.

The city has a population of 161,000.