Maastricht is a city in the Netherlands. It is located on both sides of the Meuse river in the southern part of the Dutch province of Limburg, of which it is the capital. Maastricht developed from a Roman settlement to a religious centre, a garrison city and an early industrial city. Nowadays, it is known as a city of history, culture, local folklore and education, and has the second highest amount (numbering 1677) of national heritage sites in the Netherlands. Furthermore, it has become known, by way of the Maastricht Treaty, as the birthplace of the European Union, European citizenship, and the single European currency, the euro. The town is popular with tourists for shopping and recreation, and has a large growing international student population. Maastricht is a member of the Most Ancient European Towns Network and is part of the Meuse-Rhine Euroregion, which includes nearby cities Aachen, Eupen, Hasselt, Liège and Tongeren.