Even though Maastricht is a relatively small town (its population is approximately 122,000 and its area is almost 60 square kilometers), the city is distinguished by the atmosphere of a capital and a large international center. Dutch, French and German, along with the local dialect are the leading languages here. The city is rich in culture, history, monuments, folklore and traditions.
Start your observation of the city from visiting Vrijthof Square, which is the location of two bright architectural constructions - Basilica of Sint Servaas and Yanskerk Church. These beautiful...
Every year Maastricht is visited by over 2.6 million tourists. Both Maastricht locals and the Dutch usually describe the city as Burgundy, foreign, international city, cozy, typically southern and sunny. What makes Maastricht such a unique place? Why do thousands of tourists come here to enjoy shopping, make a walk, go to a restaurant or just relax on an outdoor terrace of a cafe? Not only the Dutch, but also their neighbors, the Belgians and the Germans, are in love with the special atmosphere of the city. Maybe, the reason for this is in a great location on the Maas River, in its ancient history or a historical center with its nearly 1,500 monuments? Is it in large squares, in 400 cafes, chic restaurants and boutiques? Or maybe (and, most likely, this is the most obvious explanation), the reason is a combination of all these factors?
Maastricht has no shortage of epithets - the oldest city of the Netherlands, the city of monuments (Maastricht is the second city after Amsterdam in terms of the number of monuments), the city of the first bishop, the oldest industrial city, a city of shopping, a student city and the most comfortable city of the Netherlands. Life is very fast in Maastricht. New shopping centers , fancy hotels (map of hotels
) and chic restaurants (map of restaurants
), some of which are awarded with Michelin stars - all these factors attract to Maastricht numerous visitors who want to enjoy shopping or have a good weekend. Do not forget to visit Vrijthof and discover other notable sights of Maastricht. Feel the city as Maastricht residents feel it.
The Basilica of Saint Servatius.
1. Tips in local restaurants and bars are included into the amount of the bill and estimate approximately 10 - 15%. If you want to, you can leave an additional amount for a waiter. Tips are also...
Do not forget to visit the basilica itself, (show on map
), as well as its treasury. This is the place where the history of Maastricht is kept, embodied in jewelry. The Shrine of St. Servatius, the first bishop of the Netherlands, as well as the golden tomb that keeps the remains of this patron saint of the city. All the items here are directly or indirectly connected to this historically important figure. The basilica is the place where you can see the holy cup of Saint Servatius, his belt, crosier and key. Besides this, the basilica stores a unique collection of silk and lots of wonderful paintings and drawings. The basilica and the treasure vault are open at the same time. However, during the divine service the entrance to the treasury is closed. Visitors are welcome to visit the basilica throughout a year. From May to October here are organized guided excursions to the church, and tourists don’t have to pay extra for an opportunity to hear interesting stories about this place.
In Dutch Vrijthof means "enclosure" or "a courtyard outside a church". In Maastricht Vrijthof Square
has the second meaning. It is located in front of the Basilica of Saint Servatius
and is often called the heart of the city. This is the place where you can get acquainted with the province of Limburg just like it is, and, probably, like it always will be. There are nice restaurants and cafes around the square, where you can taste the most delicious local food and drinks. The route of the city tram also starts from Vrijthof Square. Here visitors can make a 45-minute tour to the historical center of the city and see many wonderful places of interest. The tram is fully closed, equipped with heating and it has 35 seats. By the way, this is the only tram that can be seen on the streets of Maastricht. Besides the tram, the square is the location of Vrijthof Theatre. Almost every day the theatre hosts performances of the highest quality - opera, cabaret, musicals and dance shows - the stage of the theatre has seen all kinds of performances.
The Church of Saint Jan.
Of course, the southernmost city of Holland is distinguished by special national features. Its residents cherish the traditions and customs of their ancestors. You will understand this if you visit...
This church has appeared on the site of the baptismal chapel of XIV century in front of the Basilica of St. Servatius. Over the years the church has grown and expanded. In 1632, the church
became the property of Dutch Reformed Community. The 70 meter tall tower painted in red color is the most striking element of the church. Do not forget to go inside the church to see the pulpit created by Conrad Perkins and a wonderful organ.
was built in the end of the XIII century. The church is built in gothic architectural style, but there are also elements of romance. The northern part of the church is the place where you can see wonderful arches decorated with frescoes of the XIV century. You will be certainly amazed by frescoes made by Thomas Aquinas. These are the oldest murals in the Netherlands and oldest works by Thomas Aquinas. During last 200 years, the church was used for a variety of purposes, and some of them were really unexpected – the church was a banquet hall, and even a terrarium... Nowadays, the church has been restored and now it houses the Selexyz bookshop.
Market Square (Markt van Maastricht).
In addition to traditional coffee shops, nightclubs and discos, Maastricht offers to its guests really many interesting ways of spending time. Thus, on the territory of the city are located countless...
Markt van Maastricht, which is located alongside Vrijthof,
is one of the most important squares in the city. The beautiful Maastricht Town Hall is located here. The square appeared at the time when the town hall was built - in the XVII century. Nowadays, Market Square is the location of a great number of restaurants and cafes. Every week a market is open here on Wednesday and Friday. On Fridays, the market is especially great.
Maastricht guide pages:
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