Maastricht is located in the southeast of the Netherlands and is the perfect base for excursions to Belgium, France, and Germany. One of the oldest cities in the region, it attracts over 3 million tourists a year who come to admire and explore the wonderful buildings and squares that go to make up the streets of this fascinating city.
Maastricht has undergone some tremendous changes throughout the years but many of its historical landmarks have remained. Extensive work has been done to regenerate many of its districts and it now successfully combines a mixture of past and present. As no cars are allowed in much of Maastricht’s centre, bicycles are widely used to get around and can be easily hired.
Maastricht is known as the oldest town in Holland and its history stretches back to 50 BC when the Romans set up camp on the banks of the Maas river. Fortification walls still partly surround the city and are part of a magnificent city walk. One monumental hallmark of its wealthy history is the Basilica of Saint Servatius, a medieval cruciform basilica, the core of which dates from 1000 BC! Crypts from the 11th and 12th century have graves of Saint Servatius, the first bishop of Holland. The cathedral was considerably enlarged in the 14th and 15th century and currently hosts an important collection of religious art objects.
The Maastricht City Fortifications are made of several stunning landmarks made of metres thick stone walls. Among the fortifications are 13th century city gates, 17th century bastions and the city walls.
The underground tunnels run for several miles underneath the city and were used as sheltered emplacements for guns and cannons over the centuries. They were part of the impressive fortification of the city.
Basilica of Saint Servatius
With impressive architecture on the façade and towers and beautiful carvings in the interior, the Basilica is considered one of the most interesting structures of the 12th century.
The interesting building is the foremost museum for fine art in the region. It contains works by old masters, such as Rubens, as well as contemporary art by Mangold and the likes.