Where can you find a similar city like Maastricht in the Netherlands today? Historic buildings and modern design shops lay in the ancient streets of the city of Maastricht. Exclusive churches and carved caves describe the historical city of Maastricht. There are few cities where you can walk for hours through the attractive lanes without having to be bored for a moment. Are you tired after a long walk? No problem, everywhere there are cosy terraces where you can enjoy a delicious drink or meal. Also, the squares of Maastricht are mainly famous. How about a visit to the very cosy Vrijthof or the market? This is dominated by the magnificent 17th century Town Hall. There is always something special going on, but especially when the market is held. Maastricht is also an excellent city to go shopping. The centre of Maastricht is located at a distance of only 22 kilometres from the Mechelerhof.
In the past, Maastricht was a Roman settlement. The romans took advantage of this worthy place as it is located by the river the ‘”Maas’’, a so called tricht, in the past also called a fortress or furt in the past (think of Amersfoort and Frankfurt). This tricht or fort joined the Roman Gentlemen Jobs (roads). No wonder people started calling this settlement Maastricht either ‘’fort the river Maas’’. Later the Romans built the first bridge over the river Maas.
Tourist attractions Maastricht
Today there are many sites in the city of Maastricht that can be traced to the ancient history of the city. The centre of the city is the Vrijthof, a large square with terraces flanked by the Basilica of St ‘Servaas’ and the long St ‘Jan’s’ Church, which you can also climb. The famous Maastricht conductor Andre Rieu often uses the Vrijthof to give an outdoor concert. You probably know these outdoor concerts of André Rieu from the television. The beautiful Basilica of St ‘Servaas’ was built above the grave of St ‘Servaas’ and is definitely worth visiting. The beautiful stained-glass windows bear the images of the bishops of Maastricht and also attract visitors from Germany and Belgium. The organ is played by the organ guild of the city during special occasions. On the Market square of Maastricht, one can find the stately town hall, designed by Pieter Post, which is also famous with the Mauritshuis in The Hague and the Royal Palace on the Dam square in Amsterdam. Furthermore, you can visit the Helpoort, the oldest city gate in the Netherlands, dating from the year 1229. In tense times, people would stack the gunpowder of the city in the hope that the thick walls would protect the citizens against any explosions. At the top of the St ‘Pietersberg’ one can find the Fort St Pieter, which was built in 1701. From here one has a beautiful view over the city of Maastricht. Under the strategically located fortress you will find the cases, a labyrinth of quarried limestone corridors where once Napoleon has passed through. Almost as old as the Bisschopsmolen. Still people bake the bread and ground the corn in the mill. Do you prefer cosines, than you can visit the many bars and restaurants that have settled around the old inner harbour of Maastricht. In the centre of the town at the intersection, Munstraat, Jodenstraat, Grote Straat en de Kleine Straat one can find the Dinghuis, a stately building from the 15th century. The façade of the building is very special. In the past, the law was practiced here. If you were unlucky, you would immediately disappear into one of the cells that were in the cellars of the Dinghuis. Today, you will find no prisoners, but you can get information on Maastricht, the Bonnefantenmuseum with voluptuous paintings by Rubens and work rom Brueghel and Van Dyck. Noteworthy, is the fine play of light on the many artworks. There are also many contemporary artists that represent their work in the Bonnefantenmuseum. The castle ruin ‘Lichtenberg’ is also located at the St Pietersberg in the vicinity of the St Pieter museum. There is a stunning view over the river Maas. All in all, Maastricht is an ancient city with many attractions you definitely should visit!