Maastricht, a city in the south of the Netherlands, gets its name from the river Maas.
- History of Maastricht
- Tourist information in Maastricht
- Popular Sightseeing Tours
- Stay in Maastricht
- Event information
History of Maastricht
Maastricht is the oldest city in the Netherlands.
Paleolithic remains have been discovered in the western part of Maastricht, and it is said that Neanderthals lived in this area about 250,000 years ago.
The area had a small village around 10 BC and developed into a prosperous city around 500-1500.
In the 17th century, it came under the rule of the French Empire. It was not until the 19th century that Maastricht became part of the Netherlands.
Due to this historical background and its proximity to neighboring countries Belgium and Germany, Maastricht has been greatly influenced by cultures outside the Netherlands, and its cityscape is a little different from that of the Netherlands.
Maastricht has a history unlike any other city. And the food culture of this city is also different from other cities.
Maastricht is strongly influenced by the various food cultures of European countries, and is famous city for its delicious food in the Netherlands. It is said that “Maastricht is a city of gastronomy!“. Restaurants in the city are crowded from lunch time even on weekdays.
Tourist information in Maastricht
Here are 7 popular sightseeing information in Maastricht.
It is believed that a small wooden chapel was built on the site where Saint Serfaas, the first high priest of Maastricht, was buried in 384.
Between the 11th and 15th centuries the Romanesque St. Serfaas Church (Basiliek van Sint Servaas) was built. The cathedral is still visited by many pilgrims today.
Address：Keizer Karelplein 3, 6211 TC Maastricht
Belfry tower dyed red with cow’s blood
The red tower next to St. Serfaas Church is the Bell Tower of the Sint-Janskerk Church. The 70m high red tower is said to have been dyed red with the blood of cows.
Late Gothic Protestant church, entrance to the church is free.
Hours：Mon to Sat, 11-16
Price for tower：€2.50
Address：Vrijthof 24, 6211 LD Maastricht
Statue of the Virgin Mary who mediates disputes
The Church of Our Lady (Basiliek van Onze Lieve Vrouwe) is a Roman Catholic church built in the Romanesque style in the 11th century.
The statue of the Virgin Mary, who is also the guardian deity of the sea, is famous, and there is a legend that if you worship this statue, the Virgin Mary will mediate disputes.
*The Treasure Museum will be closed from the fall of 2022. The reopening is scheduled for spring 2023.
Address：Onze Lieve Vrouweplein 7, 6211 HD Maastricht
The Oldest Hell Gate
Maastricht still has a city wall built between the 13th and 16th centuries, and to the east of the city wall is the oldest gate in the Netherlands called the “Gates of Hell“.
It is said to have been called the “Gates of Hell (Helpoort)” because plague patients were driven out of this gate to prevent the spread of the plague during the Middle Ages. (Patients were treated in a facility built outside the gate.)
Today, outside the Gates of Hell, a park has been developed along the castle walls. Objects are displayed in the park, and it looks like an outdoor art museum.
Address：St. Bernardusstraat 24b, 6211 HL Maastricht
Town hall with 49 bells
The Town Hall (Stadhuis van Maastricht) on the square is a historic building built in 1664.
The tower has a carillon of 49 bells that ring beautifully throughout the city.
Address：Markt 78, 6211 CL Maastricht
Wheat ground by water wheel
At De Bisschopsmolen, a bakery with a water wheel that is familiar in guidebooks, you can buy specialty fruit pies made with flour ground by a water wheel and freshly baked bread.
They provide freshly baked bread with freshly ground wheat that is powered by a water wheel.
You can also eat inside the store. Freshly baked bread for breakfast or lunch. Definitely delicious.
Freshly baked fruit pies are the most popular. It is a recommended bakery when you visit Maastricht.
Hours：8:30-17、Sun 9-17（ Monday Closed）
Address：Stenenbrug 3, 6211 HP Maastricht
Boekhandel Dominicanen, a bookstore opened in 2006 in a renovated Gothic Dominican church built in the 13th century, is called “the most beautiful bookstore in the world” and “heavenly bookstore“.
Merkx + Girod in Amsterdam designed this bookstore. The historic ceiling frescoes and stained glass have been preserved, making it a bookstore where the gods seem to descend.
The facade and entrance retain the appearance of a church, so I didn’t realize it is a bookstore.
You can read books while drinking coffee at the cafe in the bookstore. It’s like a cafe in heaven.
Hours：9-18, Sun 12-18, Mon 10-18, Thu 9-21
Address：Dominicanerkerkstraat 1, 6211 CZ Maastricht
Popular Sightseeing Tours
Stay in Maastricht
Housed in a converted Gothic monastery, the 5-star Kruisheren Hotel is a medieval building with luxurious designer furnishings.
Dinner in the church-turned-restaurant is like a banquet in heaven. This is the hotel want to stay on special days.
The journey from Amsterdam to Maastricht by train NS takes about 2 hours and 20 minutes.
For planning a low-budget trip, take the FLIX BUS. It takes about 3 hours, but the transportation expenses is about half the price of the train.
Maastricht has famous festivals such as Spring carnivals, Summer food festivals, and Winter Christmas markets, so it is recommended to visit during the events.
The neighboring town of Valkenburg, a 15-minute train ride, has SPA and Caves. The Cave Christmas Market has been awarded the Best Christmas Market in Europe.
Belgian chocolate and waffle eating tours are also popular sightseeing in Brussels, about 2 hours by train from Maastricht.