Maastricht - one of the oldest cities in Holland

in #walkwithme2 years ago

Maastricht is one of those places that I've always wanted to visit and last week I had a chance to see it twice! One day we went there for dinner and next day I went there alone to explore the city. In my mind I thought it would be a city full of coffee shops (Dutch style) and students but the reality was different. It is a charming and interesting place that is much smaller than I thought.

The capital city of the province of Limburg which it is situated on both sides of the river Meuse is one of the oldest and historically most important cities in the region. Its name actually comes from the word 'Maas' which is the Dutch name for the river Meuse. It literally means 'crossing at the Meuse'. It's linked to the bridge that was built here by Romans in the 1st century AD. The bridge still connects both sides of the city.

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Het Vrijthof is the most famous square in Maastricht. Today, this square is well known for its cafes and events, but it was an important meeting point for pilgrims who came here to visit the grave of Saint Servatius.

There are two important religious building standing on this square. The one on the right is the Basilica of Saint Servatius and the one on the left is the Saint John church.

The legend says that Saint Servatius was the first bishop of Maastricht and a small chapel was built where he was buried. Over the centuries, this small chapel grew into the basilica.

The Saint John church was originally built as a baptistery for Saint Servatius basilica but then it started its new function as the autonomous parish church. In 1633, this church came into possession of protestants and it serves as their church ever since.

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Het Stadhuis or the Town hall of Maastricht dates back to the 17th century. It is located on the market square and there are several markets held in front of it each week. I came a little bit later and missed it but I've seen many Dutch markets before, so I can imagine how it looks like anyway.

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The market square is normally buzzing with life but when I was there, I only saw a few people walking or riding a bike.

In the back of the photo you can see the Eternal Burning Flame statue. The statue depicts Jan Pieter Minckelers, an 18th-century professor, holding an eternal burning flame in his hands. The statue was created by Bart van Hove.

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Now we will go from the market square back in the direction of the Vrijthof.

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On the way, I admired the tourist office building. This is your point of information when you visit Maastricht. You can get your city map here, or book a guided tour, or you can even get some local souvenirs inside.

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From the tourist office we will visit a very interesting place..

Have you ever seen a bookstore like this? It is built inside of an old church. It is a spectacular place and definitely worth a visit even when you don't want to buy a book. I've heard about this place before and was very excited to finally visit it. Inside you can find book in various languages and topics, and you can also get some refreshment from their own small cafe.

The Dominican church is a Gothic monastery that was built in the 13th century but lost its sacred function 200 years ago. Since then, it served various purposes until the bookstore establishment in 2006. Some of the sacral elements, such as the stained-glass windows, fresco’s, vaults and the incidence of light have been saved.




The ceramic industry used to play an important role in development of the city. The first modern pottery factory in Maastricht was founded in 1836. In 1913, this booming business employed almost 7000 people. I have come across some murals showing how this pottery looked like in different periods.

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And now we can go to the water... The river Meuse plays an important role in The Netherlands. Some even claim that it is the oldest river in the world.

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This river caused many floods in the past and therefore it was separated from the river Rhine at the end of the 19th and the beginning of the 20th century. This was one of the biggest achievements of Dutch hydraulic engineering.

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There are several bridges across the river in Maastricht and in the back of this photo you can see the St. Servaasbrug. It was built in the 13th century and it is named after Saint Servatius.

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There were so many birds flying around. I was just trying to protect my head in case any accident would happen 😊

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Here we have a better view of the St. Servaasbrug.

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There were also many boats along the city. These look like tourist boats but there are also many boats transporting goods on the river.

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And here we have another, newer bridge. This will lead us directly to the Vrijthof.

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And last photo before leaving this beautiful town.

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I have enjoyed Maastricht a lot and I hope that you have enjoyed the tour with me.

Thank you for visiting!

Cheers!

Martina

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