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Local Limbourg militia plans large gathering in 2018

Tags: Excerpts from the Windmill

NEER The tradition-civic militias continue to flourish in the Netherlands but are now mostly found in towns and villages south of the great rivers. The schutterijen are most commonly found in the province of Limbourg where the Oud Limburgse Schuttersfederatie (the Old Limbourg Militia Federation) has a membership of 180 such local groups. As far back as 1888, there were efforts to federate these groups, which continue to play their tradition-rich symbolic role with fervour. In 2009, a tri-annual event near the city of Weert attracted a crowd of 40,000. The civic militia of the Limburg village of Neer hopes to host a similar event in 2018. The best-known Dutch militia was led by Frans Nanning Cock. His civic militia has been memorialized by famed Dutch master Rembrandt van Rijn with his priceless Night Watch painting, a must-see when visiting Amsterdam.