"Maastricht: Where life is Good!" Top 5 Page for this destination Maastricht by ger4444

Maastricht Travel Guide: 1,269 reviews and 3,261 photos

a lovely town in the South

Maastricht: what more do you want? The town is known as the most bourgondian in the country. Its life, its people, its drinks and food are standing for a unique experience. Its official that Maastricht is next to Amsterdam the most popular spot amongst tourists. The town has a rich history (its together with Nijmegen the oldest town in the country) and is full of traditions. One tradition the town is known for all over the country is its Carnaval (vasteloavend). This catholic event is celebrated at the streets and in the pubs and takes 3 (for real partypeople 5) days. Another tradition is the “Preuvenemint” where you can taste delicacies from all over the town, enjoying the live music at the Vrijthof, the town’s main square. In Maastricht some event becomes a “tradition” after two times. So there are many “new” traditions such as the “parcour” where you can see street performance. You see: there is always something to celebrate in this lively city. While enjoying the fun you can taste many of Maastrichts products where the town is famous for: Wyckse witte (white beer), vlaai (cake) and all sorts of local dishes (soar meat, beersoupe, rabbit in Maastricht style). Since the European Union Treaty, Maastricht got the international fame. Situated in the heart of Europe and one of the 5 cities of the Euregion, Maastricht is attracting many (international) companies. The Mecc, (Maastricht Expositie and Congress Centrum) serves as an ideal location where lots of activites find place. Among them you have the Tefaf, the world’s leading art-fair, where art is not only exposed but also on sale. Maastricht has also it’s own language. It’s a dialect that sounds like a mix of French and german sounds. “twie dröpkes en u sjötelke sjtinkkies” will give you two Geneva and a small dish of Rommedoe.

a brief history of Maastricht

The eldest inhabitants of the region of Maasticht lived in the area of Maastricht in 250.000 BC. It were hunters and in the Bèlvedere cave there are still traces to be found such as arms, bones and tools. Around 5300 BC we have the first farmers coming to live in the area. A lot of flintstone tools are found from this period. In 57 BC Julius Ceasar conquested Northern Gallia, he destroyed the Eburones. In this period, Maastricht was founded, called by the romans “ Mosae Trajectum' which means the spot where the Meuse can be crossed. Maastricht nowadays has plenty of traces left from the Roman Period, such as thermae (bath-houses) and temples. Around 300 Christianity came to Maasricht which brought also Servatius, the bishop of Atuatucca Tungrorum (Tongeren), to Maastricht. Servatius was the first Bishop of the Netherlands. The early middelages are dominated by the rule of Charlemagne over the region. The region around Aachen became the headcenter of the government, as is said, because Charlemgane liked the warm water baths of that town. From the 16 th till the 19 th century Maastricht has been suffering the violence of war for many times. First there was the Eighty year War, then the occupations by the French in 1673,1784 and 1794. In the so called “French time” law and government got modernisized and we see the appearance of streetnames with numbers. In 1851 the province of Limburg got formed, belonging to the Dutch Kingdom, Maastricht became its capital. Limburg was the first place and the only place where the industrial revolution took place in that century. The infamous Petrus Regout took a leading role in the estabilishment of a factory in Maastricht. The working conditions were very bad ate this potteryfactory, yet Regout found it “normal.” Untill the thiries of the 20 th century Maastricht and Limburg had a provincial character, the life of a village you can say. As from the 1930’s Maastricht got artists, companies, and in the 80’s the town got their university, the youngest one in the Netherlands. Since the nineties Maastricht is becoming more and more an internationals town. It’s Euregio (founded in 1976) is a leader in trans-border cooperation, working together in issueas of culture, economy and safety, and is increasing its activities. The already mentioned Maastricht Treaty as well as the Tefaf are making Maastricht internationally famous. For the future Maastricht is looking forward to become Europes Culture Capital. (the mayor is already dreaming of it).

What to do in Maastricht

Maastricht is in everything completely different from the rest of the country. The houses, the Sint Servaasbridge, the many cobblestone streets are not to be found elsewere in the Netherlands. Traditions, stemming from the bourgondian lifestyle are influenced by the old occupiers such as the French. The fct that Maastricht is so different, comes also through its geographical situation, which is: 10 kilometres from Belgium, 30 kilometres from Germany and only 3 hours from Paris. And of course, Maastricht is situated in the Heuvelland (land of the hills), a region full of what they call “mountains” typical for the Southern part of the country and where you can find great examples of timberframe houses. I spend some extra attention on the region of Maastricht in my pages. Well, what to do in Maastricht? Absolute musts are: the Sint-Servaas kerk, Sint Servaas-bridge, the Townhall, Onze Lieve Vrouwen Basiliek, the old City-walls and fortifiation. And there are of course the caves "Mergelgrotten," to visit by a guided tour. This can all be done in one day. A guided tour along the top sights is also available by the tourist office. The walk gives you a good insight in the history of the city. When you have longer time to spend in Maastricht, visit some of the museums. The Bonnefanten-museum has a large collection of old and modern art and is located in a striking styled building. Or take a cruise on the river Maas. The most interesting thing to do is hiring a bike and explore the surrouding area: have a ride across the St. Pieters hill, - eventually taste some whine at some of the wine farmers who are located over there – or head into the land of hills, seeing some picturesque villages. Its all up to you! Enjoy!

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:MAASTRICHT: the most popular CITY of the Netherlands (according to a poll)
  • Cons:Maastricht people are a bit chauvenistic
  • In a nutshell:is it chauvenism or is Maastricht indeed the place to be?
  • Intro Updated Feb 23, 2011
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