For centuries, the strategic location of the current province made it a much-coveted region among Europe's major powers. Romans, Habsburg Spaniards, Prussians, Habsburg Austrians and French have all ruled Limburg. In 1673, Louis XIV personally commanded the siege of Maastricht by French troops. During the siege, one of his brigadiers, Charles de Batz-Castelmore d'Artagnan, perished. He subsequently became known as a major character in The Three Musketeers by Alexandre Dumas, père (1802–1870).