In Maastricht the sights are found literally at every step and belong to different eras, from ancient Rome to modern buildings of original architecture.
Top 5 attractions in Maastricht
The city’s history is generous with monuments, there are more than 1,500 of them. Of course, in one day to see everything you can not, but it is worth paying attention to the most popular tourist sites Maastricht.
St. Servas Basilica
The oldest church in Holland above the tomb of the first bishop was built in 1039. Before that, a wooden chapel had been erected in the same place, then it was replaced by a stone one, and the increased flow of pilgrims forced the room to be enlarged even more. After 300 years it was destroyed by the Vikings, after which the latest version was designed, which survived to this day. Many miracles are attributed to the saint, ranging from his age of 375 to inexplicable healings at his grave.
The pride of the basilica is the largest bell in the country, inside the temple there are relics of a saint in a golden casket, and the building is included in the list of the best monuments. Sandstone was chosen to build the Romanesque temple. Over the years, the building has been restored and rebuilt several times, acquiring Neo-Gothic elements. The arch of the main entrance is decorated with statues of the holy apostles and prophets. The original figures have been lost in the depths of the centuries, but they have been replaced by new ones made from ancient engravings and sketches.
Liberal views on many aspects of life have affected one of the city’s oldest buildings, transforming it from a religious site into a venue for unexpected events.
The temple was built in the 13th century, and the ceiling and wall frescoes by Thomas of Aquinas were a particular source of pride. The majestic vaults are decorated with amazingly bright and detailed paintings on biblical subjects. The fate of the building itself was bizarre and unpredictable. It has had time to be a warehouse, a hall for celebrations, and a terrarium. It has now become a huge bookstore, with shelves arranged in an interesting trajectory that does not interfere with the view of ancient frescoes, but uses every inch of usable space.
It is figuratively called the pulsating heart of the city. Here, as in Rome, all the central streets lead, from here begin the routes of public transport and hiking trails.
Instead of a bus for a sightseeing tour of Maastricht, the only streetcar in the city is running. It is equipped with heating, there are 35 seats in the cabin, and the trip lasts 45 minutes. Returning to the square, one must be sure:
- stop by a cafe or a cozy restaurant for a cup of coffee and a delicious dessert;
- admire the constantly moving stream of people;
- see theater playbills and choose a play for the evening;
- Take a deep breath and feel the unhurried movement of history around you.
The shape of the building is very symbolic, as if it consists of different parts, a classical rectangle and an observatory-like tower attached to it. Many see this as a reference to the diversity of expositions. Under one roof are halls with masterpieces of Dutch and Flemish painters, on the other floor – the works of modern authors.
The most famous paintings are those by Pieter Bruegel the Younger, Jacob Jordaens, Pieter Rubens, and Marinus van Rijmerswalen. The striking contrast between the paintings of the Middle Ages and the 20th century leaves a lasting impression.
Monument to D’Artagnan
Thanks to the immortal work of A. Dumas, the whole world learned about the adventures of the gallant Gascon. His life full of bright events ended, according to some claims, at Maastricht, where he died in an unequal battle. The Russian Dutchman A. Taratynov became the author of the sculpture, capturing the moment when the proud musketeer was preparing to draw his sword.
The smallest details of the costume are worked out, the facial expression and the fluttering feather on his hat are masterfully conveyed. The second monument is located in Osh, and its residents are seriously disputing the right to be called countrymen of the famous musketeer.
Walking in Maastricht
In addition to the large and famous attractions in the city there are many picturesque places suitable for walks. Locals enjoy spending time in the outdoor zoo, which is located on the banks of the Maas River. A magnificent view opens up from the oldest bridge, where there is a sculpture of St. Servas, the patron saint of the city, who blesses the ships that pass by.
The Church of St. Jansa beckons from afar with its bright red tower, which reaches 70 meters high and is topped by a sharp spire.
The city is full of students, freshmen coming out of the open doors of the university, the youngest in the Netherlands, in colorful flocks. Behind them, the graduates and faculty move more sedately.
The small and bright city will long be remembered for its sense of freedom and the amazing monuments of past centuries.
Video overview of the sights of Maastricht
Between Belgium and Germany, almost at the very border is a small town of Maastricht, whose population is barely 122,000 people. But the number of cultural and architectural monuments confidently takes it to 2nd place in the Netherlands, after Amsterdam.