A history full of change

Up until the 12th century, the area belonged to the Duchy of Limburg, and was conquered by Brabant after the battle of Worringen. In the 15th century, the Dukes of Burgundy gained possession through marriage, followed by the Spaniards, and then, in 1713 after the peace of Utrecht, the Austrian Habsburger. From 1794 to 1815, it belonged to the French Département Ourthe. After the Vienna Congress of 1815, it became part of the Prussian kingdom and German became the official language.  1920, after the contract of Versaille, it belonged to Belgium.

During World War II, the area was annexed for five years by Germany.  The legislature of 1963 determined that Belgium would be divided into three linguistic communities.  This was implemented in 1970 and therefore the RDK (counsel of the German language cultural community of Belgium), the direct forerunner of the German language community, and consisting of the cantons of Eupen and St. Vith, became active where today German is the official language for schools, offices and courts.

As opposed to, the Canton Malmedy, where currently the French language dominates, as part of the French community.

Source: Industrie und Handelskammer Eupen-Malmedy-St.Vith

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