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Maastricht Welcomes EuroSTAR in November 2015-->
Maastricht is the oldest town in The Netherlands and is the capital of the province of Limburg. It is located on the river Meuse and in the hilly countryside in the southern-most part of The Netherlands, directly to the Belgian border and only a short distance from Germany.
Their town with its old, stylish buildings, churches, squares, town walls and gates, narrow streets, parks, and medieval bridge over the river Meuse is the most beautiful. Wijck is the part of the city centre on the east side of the river Meuse, with the beautiful Hoogbrugstraat, the cosy Rechtstraat, small shops, hotels and restaurants, antiques and curiosity market on Saturday, and where the railway station is located. On the west side of the river Meuse the most important shopping streets are to be found, the exquisite Stokstraat Quarter and Our Lady’s Square, the Vrijthof square, town hall building, the magnificent Bookstore Dominicanen in a former medieval church, and the Jeker Quarter. The Jeker Quarter, with many restaurants and pubs, University buildings, the splendid Grote Looierstraat, town walls, narrow streets, where the tributary Jeker runs through and flows into the Meuse. Maastricht has a compact city centre with all these topics on walking distance.
The influence of French sieges in the past and being located close to the Belgian border gives Maastricht a Burgundian atmosphere and lifestyle, different from typical Dutch. The locals speak their own specific dialect and they grab every opportunity to celebrate. Carnival in February and Preuvenemint in August are the highlights of the year, but also a very big religious event every 7 years (Roman Catholic).
With >17,000 students, of which 48% from abroad, Maastricht is also a lively students city. In fact it is a very nice and lively town, where people live, work, study, shop and come as tourists, and last but not least enjoy!
Things to do in Maastricht
- Museum at the Vrijthof
- Treasury Room of the Saint Servaas basilica at the Vrijthof square
- Theatre performances at the Theatre at the Vrijthof
- Shopping in the city
- Guided city tour, via Tourists Information Centre
- Arts & Heritage tour in the city centre. Read more >
- Northern Caves of St. Pietersberg hill. Read more >
- Zonneberg Caves of St. Pieterberg hill. Read more >
- Wine tasting at Vineyard Apostelhoeve
- Fortress works
- Medieval city walls and city gates
- Guided tour in Fortress St. Pieter, with views of the city from Saint Pieter’s hill top
- Guided tour in Casemates (underground corridors to protect fortified Maastricht from enemy forces)
- Alternative cultural centre Landbouwbelang
- Pop music stage Muziekgieterij
- Beluga (2 stars Michelin)
- Chateau Neercanne (1 star Michelin) < where the EuroSTAR Community Dinner will be taking place
- Tout à Fait (1 star Michelin)
- Toine Hermsen Cuisinier
- Bouchon d’en Face
- Mediterraneo (Italian restaurant)
- Many restaurants at and in the neighbourhood of Our Lady’s Square (Onze Lieve Vrouweplein)
- Many restaurants in and in the neighbourhood of the Rechtstraat (in city part Wijck)
- Many restaurants at the north side of the Market Square
- In den Ouden Vogelstruys
- De Gouverneur (Belgian special beers; 16 beers on tap!)
- In de Karkol
- Wienkontor R55 (wine bar)
- Peter’s Irish Pub
Accommodation in Maastricht
- NH Hotel – beside the MECC Convention Centre
- Designhotel Hampshire Eden
- Kaboom Hotel (brand new budget hotel across the central train station)
- Many small, nice hotels in the city centre
There’s discounts on accommodation here.
History of Maastricht
- 1st century BC: Founded in the by the Romans as “Trajectum ad Mosam”, a ford in the river Meuse à Start of the Roman period.
- 1st century AC: The first bridge over the river Meuse was built in the 1st century AC.
- 4th C.: Wooden fortified camps were built on both ends of the bridge.
- 5th C: Bishop St. Servaas moves bishop’s seat from Tongeren in Belgium to Maastricht à Start of Religious period (churches, monasteries, nunneries, pilgrim tourism).
- 13th C: First stone town walls were built. Maastricht became a fortified town.
- 15th C: Second new town walls ring was built, on both side of the river Maas.
- 16th C: Maastricht becomes a garrison town, leaded by a military governor à Start of Garrison period.
- 16-18th C: Spanish, Dutch, and French sieges.
- 1664: New town hall opened on the Market Square. This classic baroque building has a symmetric left and right side, due to Maastricht’s governmental position in that period, namely double-leadership of the Belgian Prince-Bishop of Liège and the Dutch Duke of Brabant.
- 1673 d’Artagnan, one of the four musketeers, died during a French siege at the outskirts of Maastricht.
- 19th C: Start of Early-industrialization period (factories, storehouses (sadly also for factory workers), modified infrastructure like roads and canals, etc.).
- 1902: Foundation of MVV, Maastricht football club, nowadays active at 2nd level professional football league.
- 1976: Foundation of Maastricht University, famous for its “problem-based learning” education model.
Start of (medical) sciences, services, tourism period
- 1982: 1st Preuvenemint at the Vrijthof square. This yearly eat&drink-tasting festival in the last weekend of August attracts >100,000 visitors.
- 1986: Academic Hospital Maastricht opens the doors.
- 1992: Maastricht Treaty, which a.o. changed the official denomination of the EEC. Henceforth, it will be known as European Union.
- 2002: 1st Euro banknotes from ATM machine in Maastricht (1st in Europe; one of the results of Maastricht Treaty)
- 2011: André Rieu starts with his yearly hometown concerts at the Vrijthof square.
- 2015: Ironman triathlon in August