the old bridge
Favorite thing: The “aw brök” is the eldest bridge in the country. In 1933 the mediavel bridge got broken up and reconstraucted in concrete. After this, it got embellished nature stone. During 2005 reconstraction works, the bow of the 13 th century got visible, underwich a foot-path runs nowadays. This bow is the only part of the 13 th century constaruction that has been saved. At the side of Wyck the bridge is steel and can be lift up for letting ships pass trough. The river is to be crossed at the low water place where Jeker and Maas meet. A little bit further than the actual mediavel bridge a Roman wooden bridge on stone pillars was build. The bridge was the only place to cross the Maas in the whole region, so it was important for soldiers and trade. In the medieavels, there was also a bridge. One cracked down as a procession was paasing by. A new bridge got build in stone, 100 metres in the north. During the 80 years War, the bridge gor ruined again and thus got rebuild between 1683 and 1716. The result was a long, small bridge. In the age of the Industrail revolution, the bridge did not meet the demands of modernity and Industrials and middle-class traders wanted a change. But many were against that, thus, as a compromise a second bridge got build: Wilhelmina bridge, also called ‘ nuij brök” The old bridge got restaurated and became the name “ Servaasbrug” After WW 2, the bridge became wider. Since the new millennium the bridge again got some changes in its outlook: decoarive lamps got on the bridge, a new pavement on both sides. This makes the bridge harmonise with the whole new look of the old centre: paved in the same pattern.
pope in Maastricht
Favorite thing: in 1985, the song ‘ popi jopie’ by a dutch group called ‘ pisa’ was a hitsingle. What was it about? It was about the pope coming to the Netherlands. Of course, Maastricht being the dutch capital of Catholicism, the pope had to visit Maastricht. He did it in the pope –mobile, a glass car that moved the holy man through the city, he visited the Sint Servaas, which he gave the status of a Basilica. It was for us a great event, either if you were catholic, atheist, or protestant: you had to be there. I was 11 then and not interested in seeing the pope, now I feel pity, because wouldn’t it be nice to see him LIVE either being religious or non-religiuos? The pope got a good impression of the town, and he declared the grave of Sint Servaas as a holy place. Still, inside the crypte – very rarely accessible to public- there is a note of pope Johannus Paulus, in the ‘ guest-book’ at the crypte. Also the treasure room of the balsilica has now the treaces of the Pope Johannes. A unique artifact has been signed by the pope. Johannes was a good pope, in my opinion now, afterward looking back in retro-spective. He gave Maastricht ‘ cachette’ by his visit, being informed how much Maastricht is a bastion of Catholicism. That a good thing, even if it were only as a cultural interesting fact. We will have to see in how much the new pope Benedictus sees the Netherlands as a land of a ‘ mission.’ I think he will probably focus in the new area and will acknowledge that even Maastricht and south of Limburg is a ‘ missionairy’ goal, us being sceptic, agnost or anti-church. How to win Maastricht back as a bastion of catolicism? In theory and in written word, Maastricht is indeed more catholic than the rest of the country, but how long will that last?
Favorite thing: in 1438 the flag of Maastricht was described as a white six pointed star on a red field.
Philips de Gooje designed the flag. In 1649, at the ‘ Peace of Munster’ the flag got its definitive form. In 1938 the college of ‘ wethouders en burgemeester’ decides the colours of the flag will be red and white, just like the flag of Poland. In 1993 the hoege raod vaan Aodel decides that the flag again can be the white five point star with the star being 3/5 of the red background. Its indeed a good choice. Its strange that an institution as the hoge raad van adel (the aristocratic council) decides for the colour red as a feature of the Maastricht flag, but its fair. Maastricht is and will be always a working-class city, dued to the past and presence of factories. PVDA (socialist party) has many voters here. So, red is only fair. Probably the councel saw that as well and decided not to abonadant ‘ red’ and imposing ‘ blue’.
post and money
Favorite thing: post offices are open from 9-17. In weekdays and some are open on saterday till 1 pm. You can also change money and cheques there. You can fax, copy and and call at the post offices. Small villages have a small offer in services. For sending letters, the red box outside is for post: on one hand you see the postal codes within a certain region, on the other hand there is the reat of the codes (international and outside the region). Letters get picked up at 5, 6 and 7 pm. If you put a ‘ priority’ sticker at the envelope, the letters get faster at their destination. When sendinga package, don’t hesitate to use the signed post offer. In case the package is lost in the mail, you get your money back and it sonly a few euro’s extra to pay. As for banks, they are opend till 5 pm. The ATM’s are everywhere. You can find them for example at Paralelweg (net to the railwaystation) around the corner at the wycker brugstraat (halfway, near the stationstraat, on the right when your back is at the railwaystation), inside the Albert hein at Plein 1992, Helmstraat, market, boschstraat, brede straat, Vrijthof, Annadaal (at the end of the Annalaan at the left side)As for creditcards: many shops, especially the large shops such as warehouses, accept American express, mastercard or visa. Also the outdated trvellerchack is accepted, don’t forget your passport, because you need to identify.
Favorite thing: at the Vrijthof, market and railroadstation there are telephones. These are KPN network. The blue-orange telephones are from Telfort and can be find within the railroad station halls. They both work on telephone catds (but them at the post office) telfort telefoons work also on coins. KPN telephone cards cost 4.55 euro, 11, 35 euro or 22,70 euro. Telephonecards can also be bought at tabac shops, malls, internetcafes. In KPN no telfort cards can be used and vica versa. At the kiosk at the railroadstation you can buy cards that work on both telephones. For dialing for information for phone numbers, dial 0900-8008 (dutch numbers) or 0900-8418 (for international numbers). The international acces code for Maastricht is 003143.
Favorite thing: Public places such as musea , cinema or theatres are well designed for Wheel chair visitors. Only adresses on high levelled locations as well as old building will be problem. Also churches can form difficulties. Its usefull to call in advance there, sometimes special mesures can be done. At the hotelguide you of course find what hotels have facilities for guests and for rairoadstations you can see what special facilitis are to be find at the booklet “gehandicapten,” these facilities can be: seeing if there are elevators, parking places for disabled, where help is offred with getting in and out a train. If you do need attention, you might want to contact the national office for assistance disabled. (030-2305566).
Favorite thing: Pickpockets of course parasite on crowded places such as bus stations, bars, markets. You might jus need to carru your wallet in a moneybelt underneath your clothes and the problem is solved. If you are in a train and go to the toilet, take your bag with you. No value stuff in the car, close your hoteldoor etc. but you know this of course. Good to know is, that Maastricht railroad station has lockers. Put your luggage there if you are on a daytrip. Maastricht is not dangerous. Though, at saterdays at night, the market square can have drunken or stonded party people who can act violently for no reasons. Also, vanadalism can appear. At the area north of the Grote gracht, in the quarter Staten, cars are parked in streets such as the bogaardenstraat, uitbelderstraat and Breulingstraat, cars from drugs tourists, who are normally ok, but you never know how they act at midnight. If you are a victem of theft or just lost belongings, immediately report this to the police. (located at Prins bishopssingel 53, on the other side of the big traffic road near the city park) If you lost belongings in the train, ask at the Maastricht trainstation. After a few days, belongings get send to Centraal bureau gevonden voorwerpen in Utrecht. The most hotels have a save, and you can let your belongings at the reception. If you loose belongings in the bus, ask at the office of SBM (parallelweg 59 near the station).
Favorite thing: useful alarm number is 112. Only dial this number in an emergency. For less severe cases, call the number of the specific hospital (043-3876543), police station (043-4001000). For real non-urgent cases you can call the national number 0900-884. When encountering the police, make sure you always have your passport with you, because there is a penalty on not being able to identify. Normally you wont have to deal with police. But, in 2 cases police can be strict and get you a severe penalty (paying money). This is parking: watch carefully the blue rectangular traffic sighn with a P – other wise you may pay a hughe bill. The other is control on bikers. Make sure light is working on your bike. Its also allowed to wear battery driven small lights on your clothes. The other is, bycicling in the ‘ wrong direction’ that is, entering a one-way street. Maastricht old town is a labyrnth with a lot of one –way streets, so, look clearfully at the red traffic sighn when you want to enter a steet.
Favorite thing: for small medical concerns such as pain relieve, head ach tablets, plasters and so on, you can go to the drogist. The Kruidvat at the Grote Staat is one of them. For other medical products, either on a prescription or not – you can go to the apotheker. Sjroep at the Grote Gracht is such one. Near the trainsation you can also find Apotheek Wyck. Other places are also possible, just look for the sign with a green cross. Apothekes are opened from 9 till 6. But some also open later and on holidays: in emergency cases its needed. You can read at the sign at the window at the apotheke which is closed, where you can find one which is open that moment. At the hotel you stay they can also give you this info. For medical problems, in the area of Randwyck the AZM hospital is located. First Help is opened 24 hours a day. You can also go to ORBIS in Sittard.
Favorite thing: for news on the region, the Limburgs dagblad and the Limburger are the best. They have a wide orientation on local news, added with news from the Heuvelland. As for television, L1 and TV Maastricht are about the Limburg respectively Maastricht. L 1 was not so interesting as the TV station fisrt started in the nineties. Viewers only got to see a news broadcast and for the rest of the time it was repeating over and again, interrupted by a camera installed in a car running across Limburg streets. Now L 1 has some nice moderators, some discussion programms on Limburg news and a more interesting news show. TV Maastricht has developed as well with charming moderaters and shows. L1 is also on radio. Free newspapers are the Maaspost and the Trompetter, both contain news on events and background stories and both are good for a large offer on small advertisements, such as topics on housing, work and sales.
Favorite thing: at the VVV (tpurist info) you can get guides, cards and books on Maastricht. You can order them also online (email@example.com for Maastricht and vvvzuidlimburg.nl for the region). Guide with good info is the VVV Gids Limburg and the Wegwijzer Zuid-Limburg. At the ANWB (near the oranjeplein) hiking maps, biking maps and camping guides can be bought. The uitbalie at the theatre at the Vrijthof provides you with information about nightlife. At the VVV free brochures are available about celebrations and festivals. Each 3 months there is also the courant which gives an overview on seasonal occasions, cizitins soldiers festivals, fun fairs, and so on. The best book on Maastricht is called ‘ kijk op maastricht’ and can be bought at the Kiekoet.
Favorite thing: during the whole year there is a lot to do in Maastricht. Festavals of course, and in the bigger towns, there are enough theatres where national and reginal productions are being performed. In the open air, there are also activities, such as spectacles at the Vrijthof or the WMC in the region. Maastricht has a conservatorium and the theatre academy, so there is enough local talent. At the VVV (tourst info) you can make reservations and buy tickets for all the activities. The LSO (limburg symfony orchestra) plays in the teather aan ut Vrijthof and in the teater of Heerlen. The LSO is the eldest professional orhestra in the country. Maatricht has many brass bands, harmonies and bands, who play brass winds. It is said that the remarkable high quality of the music of the trumpetist, clarinettists etc are caused by the mouth, which is in shape formed by the use of limburgian dialect. In the backstage now and then live bands play, as well as in the Awwe Stiene (kesselskade 43).
Restaurant and café
Favorite thing: No where in the Netherland you find so many pubs and restaurant so close located to eachother as in Maastricht. It is the typical bourgondial style: joye de vivre. Thus, variation is wide. In summer you can eat outside at the pavement terraces, in the court gardens and in winder you sit in a cozy old brown style restaurant with a fireplace. In the Surroudings of Maastricht you can have dinner at one of the many castles that have become hotels an – or restaurants. Of course it would be nice if you will order a typical local dish. French kitchens are the most common in Maastricht. Often mixed with local products such as aspergus or rommedoe. Some restaurants have complete local dishes, encouraged by the prize for local top cuisine: the Flavours cup. Since the last 20 years alos other sorts of kitchens have found their way in town, such as Thai, Greek, Spanish and Chinees. The most restaurants can be found at Vrijthof, Onze Lieve Vrouwenplein and at along the river Maas. Outside Maastricht you can go to Valkenburg, which is overcrowded by restaurants. For those who can afford and want luxury, South Limburg has a high concentation on top quality restaurants, such as Chateau Neercanne, Toine Hermsen . So called ‘ eetcafe’s’ are pubs where they have a small minue and a dish of the day. They are cozy and not expensive. Good for a snack during daytime. Den Oude Vogelstruys has a menu of typical Maastrcht ‘ hepkes’ (snacks) and is a nice ambiance. At some bakeries or ‘ patisseries’ you can sit down with a coffee and some pastery, and at the watermill (at the end of the koestraat) there is a great bakery where you can try the typical ‘ vlaai’ Valkenburg is known for its ‘ lunchrooms’ such as Botterweck (krenetbrood) dating from 1875 with paintings from the painter Eyck. Restaurants are open from 5 pm on. The kitchen will be open until 10 pm. Pubs are open until 2 pm and 3 pm in the weekend, whereas nightpubs stay open until 5 pm. Nightpubs like ‘ De allabonheur.’ Reservations for the more fancy restaurance are obligatory, eating pubs of course don’t require reservations. As for costs: eat-pubs charge about 10 euro for a maindish, top quality restaurants charge around the 80 euro for a three course dinner. As for vegatarian food: most restaurants have at least a vegitarian dish at the card, or you can just deal that certain ingredients will be left out at the dish.
Favorite thing: half a billion guests find accomadation each year in Maasricht. Visitors to Maastrcht also stay at hotels in the surroundings of Maastricht, because the tourice office has good connections with the hotels in the region, comforting guests in Maastrcht. There are farms, family-hotels, modern hotels and castles where you can stay. You can also do camping at a farm of a local peasant. In the historical centre of Maatsricht many hotels are located in renovated old houses, dating back to the middle-ages. All sorts of prize categories are available and many hotels have a – mainly – French cuisine. There are big hotles form the internationally or nationally operating hotels scuh as Golden tulip. Valkenberg has many hotels with a garden and in the other villages of the Heuvelland you will find family run hotels. For a stay at a farm-hotel, a beautiful renovated atmospheric farm, contact ‘ Hoevelogies Nederland..’ Prizes: its inclusief tourist tax and breakfast, Single travellers pay 20 percent less than couples, childrene under 12 are allowed to say at the room of the parants on discount. In summer, reservations are obligatory. Contact the hotel or the VVV. Camping: contact RCN Hommelheide, which has 850 locations for tents and campers. Its also has tennis court, a bath and ralxing room. I case you want something extraordinairy, check in at one of the mant ‘ castle hotel’ All modern facilties are available and they are located in beautiful surroundins. Castle hotels of interests are: Kasteel Elsloo, Chateau St Gerlach, Castle Vaalsbroek, Castle Ter Worm, Castle Wittem.
Favorite thing: In the Maasdal you can start your trip at born, where you find a well-known caste-farm and a animalpark. Born has the only car factory in the country, that is, Nedcar. At the Bunderbos, by Geulle, you will enjoy the beautiful nature. Hills, tracjks, special animals and flowers can be seen in this wood. The flowers are unique in Netherlands. In the South of Maastricht you fin Gronsveld that is famous for the ‘ torenmolen’ of which in the country only a few examples still excists. It is a mill. De walls are 1.80 cm thinck and the building style is typical for the region. In the old days Grondsveld, which still has 600 ha in fruit trees, was a centre of grape trade. Together with Eijsden the village produced ten thousandts of grapes to Brittish factories. The torenmolen;s number is: 043-3614721. In Grondsveld you can also see the Martinus church, dating from the 13 th century. The tower is not straight. Nearby the chuch you can see the Grondsveld castle. Near Gronsveld you enter Rijckhold, which has a pre-historical flintstone-mine. (dating from 3800 BC). Its located in the middle of a forts, called the ‘ Savelsbos.’ Its one of the most appealing nature landscapes in Limburg. In Mesh, a town you can visit easy from Rijckhold you can visit the Meschermolesn, a mill, and the Pancratius church. In Stein you can see archeological foundings from the Roman Empire and artecacts from the Iron age.
It's great to see and witness that the hotel has a heated outdoor swimming pool, which you can use...more
I was very impressed with this hotel and doubly so by the very reasonable rate I got through...more
This is a wonderfull hotel, located in an elegant 1912 house in Wyck. The room is decored in early...more
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