Maastricht, Limburgish and city dialect: Mestreech) is a municipality, and capital of the Dutch province of Limburg. The city is situated on both sides of the Meuse river (Maas in Dutch) in the south-eastern part of the Netherlands between Belgium and Germany. The place-name is derived from its Latin name Trajectum Ad Mosam or Mosae Trajectum (Mosa-crossing), referring to the bridge built by the Romans during the reign of Augustus Caesar.
For years, the city has been arguing with Nijmegen as to which of them is the oldest city in the Netherlands. Nijmegen was the first city with Roman city rights in what is now the Netherlands. Maastricht was the first with Medieval city rights, a system which evolved to the current system and, thanks to the Romans, the first settlement with city allure. However, Maastricht was undoubtedly the first settlement in the Netherlands. Roman sources mention a Celtic settlement (probably inhabited by the Eburones) at the location they used for the bridge. Other sources mention a Celtic settlement at a river crossing near where Wyck, a city district located on the eastern side of the Meuse river, is now located.