Coat of arms
(1 January 2020)
|Major roads||A76, A2, N276, N294|
Geleen (Dutch pronunciation: [ɣəˈleːn]; Limburgish: Gelaen [ɣəˈlɛːn]) is a city in the southern part of the province of Limburg in the Netherlands. With 31,670 inhabitants (2020), it is part of the municipality of Sittard-Geleen. Geleen is situated along the river Geleenbeek, a right tributary to the river Meuse. The Latin name for Geleenbeek is Glana, meaning "clear river". The town centre is situated at about 60 m above sea level.
Until the end of the 19th century, Geleen was a very small village. Its population was 2,545 in 1899. The remains of one of the oldest prehistoric farms in the Netherlands were found here. In the 20th century the exploitation of coal mines in this area (the state-owned coal mine "Maurits", the biggest in Europe, was located in Geleen) brought a fast population increase. During the 1960s and 1970s the Dutch coal mines, which were all located in this part of the province, were closed. The state mining company DSM (privatised in 1989) remained active in Geleen, however, now purely as a chemicals producer. In July 2002, part of DSM's petrochemicals business, located on the manufacturing locations in Geleen and Gelsenkirchen (Germany) were acquired by SABIC Europe.
Geleen is served by two railway stations: Geleen-Lutterade, on the line Sittard-Maastricht, and Geleen Oost, on the line Sittard-Heerlen.
Geleen is also served by two motorways: A2 Amsterdam-Maastricht, exit Urmond, and A76 Antwerp-Aachen, exit Geleen.