Unique Places in Maastricht

  • Knooppunt 5
    Knooppunt 5
    by Nemorino
  • Knooppunt 5
    Knooppunt 5
    by Nemorino
  • Gronsveld town border
    Gronsveld town border
    by Nemorino

Most Viewed Off The Beaten Path in Maastricht

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    War Graves

    by rolphbronkhorst Updated Nov 20, 2013

    The main cemetary in Maastricht, locates a number of wargraves from Dutch, Belgian soldiers, allied pilots and Jewish residents who lost their lives during WWII. Several honour fields and memorials are located at the cemetary.

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    Prins Bernhard Monument

    by rolphbronkhorst Written Nov 20, 2013

    From this location Prins Bermhard, prince of the Netherlands, joined the Maastricht residents on 18 September 1944 to celebrate the liberation of Maastricht.
    The bird symbolizes the succesfull landing of the prince.

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    War Memorial Tree "Old Hickory" Division

    by rolphbronkhorst Updated Nov 20, 2013

    From Old Hickory, to New Hickory, or from an old memorial tree to a new one.
    The original tree at the Old Hickoryplein which was lost during a storm, remembered the American soldiers of the 30th Old Hickory infantery division, which on 13 September 1944 liberated Wyck and one day later the rest of Maastricht.

    A group of local residents decided to place a new tree in rememberance of the soldiers after the old nut tree was lost.

    The new nut tree, has a new sign with the following text "laten we de vrijheid koesteren en met anderen delen., which replaced the old concrete sign.

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    The Gronsveld Tower Windmill

    by Nemorino Updated Sep 19, 2012

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    This historic windmill is at Knooppunt 5, the fifth node of the South Limburg cycling network.

    Though it is known as the Gronsveld Windmill, it is actually within the city limits of Maastricht, near the road (and cycle paths!) that lead south to the nearby town of Gronsveld.

    Construction of this windmill was ordered by the local ruler, Count Joest Maximillian of Gronsveld, in 1618, but it was not completed until 1623. The base around the bottom of the windmill was not built until 1766.

    At first I didn’t understand why this is called a Tower Windmill, but after flipping through some Dutch windmill photos on the internet I came to realize that it really is shaped like a tower and looks quite different from a typical Dutch windmill which is shaped more like an inverted cone.

    Apparently there are only four or five tower windmills left in the Netherlands, so this one has the status of a protected monument.

    Despite its advanced age, the Gronsveld Windmill still grinds grain for the local farmers and for people who like to bake their own bread.

    The windmill was not moving when I was there (on a Tuesday), but they say it is open to visitors who wish to see it in operation every first and third Saturday of the month if the wind is strong enough, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

    In the Second World War the windmill suffered fire damage after a grenade explosion. Restoration work was carried out in 1959 and again in 1972.

    http://www.molendatabase.nl/nederland/molen.php?nummer=416

    Address: Rijksweg 90, 6228 XZ, Maastricht
    Location on Google maps

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    Knooppunt 4

    by Nemorino Written Sep 19, 2012

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    For some reason I neglected to take a photo of the sign at Knooppunt 4 (node 4 of the South Limburg cycling network), but this is where it is, at the corner of Köbbesweg and Hoge Weerd near a wide place in the river at the south end of Maastricht, just west of Gronsveld.

    Across the river is a large cement factory called ENCI (Eerste Nederlandse Cement Industrie) (second, third and fourth photos), which turns out to be the largest cement factory in the Netherlands. ENCI has been producing cement in Maastricht since 1926, and directly employs 212 people.

    I have since learned that this is an integrated cement plant, meaning that the full cement production process is carried out here. Limestone is mined from a 135-hectare open-air quarry directly behind the plant (clearly visible on aerial photographs as a huge white hole in the ground). In the plant, the limestone is burned in a kiln to make “clinker”, which is then ground into cement.

    According to a European Union report, this is a very energy-intensive process. This plant alone, ENCI Maastricht, consumes nearly 1% of the total primary energy demand of the Netherlands. To reduce emissions of carbon dioxide, the plant is increasingly using biomass waste as fuel.

    Recently the ENCI company, the City of Maastricht and the Province of Limburg have agreed on a “Plan of Transformation” which stipulates that limestone quarrying will end in 2018. The quarry will be transformed into different zones for the countryside and recreation, including 60 hectares of natural biotopes.

    GPS 50°48'47.91"N, 5°42'28.36"E
    Location of Knooppunt 4 on Google maps

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    Knooppunt 5

    by Nemorino Written Sep 19, 2012

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    The main attraction of Knooppunt 5 (the fifth node in the South Limburg cycle route network) is the Gronsveld Windmill, which is on the boundary between Gronsveld and Maastricht.

    It would have been just a short ride to the town of Gronsveld (1.9 km to Knooppunt 73), and from there another short ride to Rijckholt (2.3 km to Knooppunt 74) or to Sint Geertruid (3.1 km to Knooppunt 72), but since I was there on a very hot day – the 95 % chocolate bar was melting in my backpack, as I later discovered – I decided to be sensible for a change and not over-do it, so from here I just went on to Knooppunt 4 and from there back into Maastricht.

    Address: Rijksweg 90, Maastricht
    Directions: 50°49'27"N 5°43'46"E
    Location of Knooppunt 5 on Google maps

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    Militaire Hoofdwacht

    by Imaniac Updated Apr 4, 2011

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    On the Vrijthof square, in front of the St Servaas Church, you can see this building. It was the head office of the army. It was built in 1738 to replace a previous building. From there all major militairy operations were plotted. It was head office for the southern legions even up to as late as 1995. Outside the building there is a small guard house with lots of pictures of Maastricht in it.

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    Go Mountain Climbing!

    by johngayton Written Aug 31, 2010

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    For an interesting day out from Maastricht a visit to the Netherlands' highest point of Vaalsberg is a must do. OK It's not really a mountain at 322 (and a bit) metres but the sheer novelty value of mountain-climbing in what is otherwise an almost totally flat country makes for a bit of fun.

    There's no need to pack your ropes, pitons and crampons though as the ascent from the nearby town of Vaals is a gentle 2 km stroll even if you take the steepest walking route.

    From the summit you get great views not just over the Netherlands but also Germany and Belgium as coincidentally the hilltop is also the point where the three countries meet. So not only can you visit the highest point but can also add two more countries to your travel pages at the same time.

    At the top there's a couple of restaurants, a pair of overlook towers (if you want to get even higher), a kids play area, a VVV tourist office/souvenir shop and some interesting-looking hiking trails.

    To get to Vaalserberg from Maastricht the #50 (I think) bus runs every 20 minutes or so from the main bus station to Vaals (which takes about 30 minutes). From Vaals walk uphill to the south along Kerkstraat (??) and follow the signs for Drielanerpunt.

    The best value bus ticket is the "Dagkaart" which costs (July 2010) 5.50 Euros and is valid on all Limburg services for the day (including into Aachen). If you don't fancy the walk up I think there's also an hourly bus from Vaals up to Vaalserberg for which your day ticket is also valid.

    Another interesting little stop-off on the route is the small town of Gulpen, best known for its Gulpener brewery, which has a couple of good cafe bars and is a pleasant little town in its own right too.

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    • Mountain Climbing
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    National Monument Jezuïtenberg

    by rolphbronkhorst Written Sep 19, 2009

    One of the worlds best provided preserved marlstone quarries, the 'Jezuitenberg (Jesuit Caves)', is located on the outskirts of the city of Maastricht, close to the Belgian border. Exploitation of this quarry, which forms part of the 'Fallenberg-complex', took place between 1704 and 1880, when marlstone was widely used as building material. Owing to the Jesuit Fathers there now is a subterranean museum in this vast network of galleries. Between 1860 and 1960 Jesuit scholars and theological students spent a great deal of their leisure time on Wednesday afternoons in this quarry where they recreated after their strenuous studies.

    Apart from the many interesting studies and publications they produced, they drew a full scale floor plan of the quarry's gallery network, and moreover, they created numerous charcoal and coloured drawings on the cave's walls.

    Furthermore they carved a large number of reliefs and statues on and from the marlstone walls. Winged bulls, the Alhambra (including a fountain and a pond), Christ, Buddha, the head of Ramses II and many other fascinating objects embellish the interior of the subterranean galleries. When in 1968 the Jesuit Order left Maastricht, supervision and maintenance of these caves became the responisbility of the 'Jezuïetenberg Foundation'.

    It is possible to make a one-hour and half-guided tour on foot through the caves. The guide will tell you something more about the history of the caves and will provide background information about the drawings and statues that you will encounter. Reservations are obligatory and can be made by contacting the secretary Guided Tours. Groups must consist of at least thirteen persons who are not under 18 years. On Saturday you only can visit the caves at ten a.m., noon, two p.m.and four p.m. On Sundays and during holidays the caves are closed.

    In the galleries there is a constant temperature of 10 degrees Celsius only. The humidity is as high as 98 %. Consequently it is recommended to wear warm clothes and comfortable shoes.

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    Dominicanerkerk

    by Cristian_Uluru Written Jul 26, 2009

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    Walking along Grate Staat you can find on your left the Dominicanerkerk (Dominicans' church, in English). It was built in 1337 by the Dominicans and I was surprised to discover that nowdays it became a book shop. Inside the shop you can see on the vaults some fantastic frescos showing monks and saints.

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    Bisschopsmolen – Regional delicacies.

    by Jerelis Written Nov 27, 2008

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    Inside the bakery we did enjoy another authentic regional delicacy - sweet flan made from spelt – served with coffee and tea. Via a window we saw the miller grind an ancient variety of spelt, called Kollenberger Spelt, which the baker then uses to bake the most delicious and healthy types of bread and pies imaginable, we guess. He also told us that Julius Caesar was the first who introduced spelt into The Netherlands. It’s always good to talk to someone who knows and can provide you with this kind of historical information.

    When we left we noticed that we had several paper bags with fresh goods in them, it was too hard to resist and we simply had to buy it! We also picked up a gift pack of Gulpener Korenwolf wheat beer on your way out, as it's made with their spelt. So, whenever you would like to see, smell and taste the centuries-old chain of “farmer-miller-baker”, you will receive a warm welcome at the Bishop’s Mill and the adjoining traditional bakery and do visit it!

    Address:
    Stenenbrug 1-3, 6211 HP, Maastricht.

    Directions:
    Near the Onze Lieve Vrouweplein, follow the signs towards the Koestraat (Cow Street) and right there you can’t miss the beautiful red building.

    Opening hours:
    The Bishop's Mill and the bakery are open tuesday untill saturday, from 09.30 hrs. till 18.00 hrs. On sunday open from 11.00 till 17.00 hrs.

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    Bisschopsmolen - The watermill.

    by Jerelis Updated Nov 27, 2008

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    We kept on reading the sign that gave us a prospective of its historical magnificence. The earliest mention of this water mill on the northern arm of the Jeker River dates from the 11th century. It was then owned by Godfried van Bouillon and after his death passed into the hands of the Prince-Bishop of Liège. The alleyway Bisschopsmolengang leads you to the back of the building (wall dating from 1609), where you can view the mill’s waterwheel. In 2005, the old water mill was reunited with the adjoining traditional bakery.

    We left the mill through the rear exit and here we had a splendid view of the watermill itself. We were told that Maastricht once had over 15 watermills on the northern and southern branch of the small river ‘Jeker’. If you look carefully you can see the remains of these watermills on the buildings along the two branches of the Jeker river. We entered the mill again and on our left side we saw a door leading to a bakery (watch the step!). We treaded ourself to a cup of coffee or tea and a slice of ‘vlaai’, a specialty of southern Limburg. It is a flat cake covered with fruit, a real treat!

    Address:
    Stenenbrug 1-3, 6211 HP, Maastricht.

    Directions:
    Near the Onze Lieve Vrouweplein, follow the signs towards the Koestraat (Cow Street) and right there you can’t miss the beautiful red building.

    Opening hours:
    The Bishop's Mill and the bakery are open tuesday untill saturday, from 09.30 hrs. till 18.00 hrs. On sunday open from 11.00 till 17.00 hrs.

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    Bisschopsmolen - A well hidden gem.

    by Jerelis Written Nov 27, 2008

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    This is one of those hidden gems I might say! We didn’t know it was there and is definitely ‘Off the beaten path’! How did we even get here? Well ... at least that is quite simple to explain. We visited the Onze Lieve Vrouwekerk (Church of Our Lady) and after that we walked our way up via the Koestraat (Cow Street), on our way to one of the oldest part of the defensive walls, which was our goal at that time. At the end of the Koestraat we saw this beautiful red building. It triggered our attention and saw a sign outside and decided to enter through the doorway.

    At that same time we noted immediately that we entered something very special as we found ourselves in the inner works of a mill. We read the signs that explained where we were, what kind of building we entered and were aware that we were inside the Bisschopsmolen (Bishops Mill), a seventeenth century watermill. The only one still in use today in The Netherlands. How about that!

    Address:
    Stenenbrug 1-3, 6211 HP, Maastricht.

    Directions:
    Near the Onze Lieve Vrouweplein, follow the signs towards the Koestraat (Cow Street) and right there you can’t miss the beautiful red building.

    Opening hours:
    The Bishop's Mill and the bakery are open tuesday untill saturday, from 09.30 hrs. till 18.00 hrs. On sunday open from 11.00 till 17.00 hrs.

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    • Museum Visits
    • Historical Travel

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  • Stone tablets tour (part 2)

    by ger4444 Written Apr 20, 2008

    In this street you find 3 stone tablets. At nr 2 a horseman, nr 8 a stone called “Kain and Abel” and finally ate nr 5 a star, depicting the cities coat of arms’star. Now go back to the mill and enter the ‘koestraat.’ Here at nr 23 a stone of Saint Christofel, and at nr 4 a stone “in the cow” this one was the reason for naming the street “koestraat” (cow street). Go left to the Cortenstraat and at the end left to the Maastrichter Heidenstraat. Walk ahead and continue till you reach the Witmakerersstraat. At house nine a stone with a cock. At number 13 a stone with a rinoceros and at number 12 a stone with a weapon. Follow the street “kapoenstraat” now and see at number 20 a stone ‘in the white rose’ and at nr 22 there is a stone depicting a half moon with a face. Follow the kapoenstrrat in the other direction than the Vrijthof, where you have on your right hand the Lenculenstraat. On the corner a stone tabled “in the golden hand” In the Lenculenstraat you find at number 18 a stone saying “: this house was build bluessed by peace” and at number 20 there is a stone depicting a wine butt. Follow the lenculenstraat and you enter the tongersestraat number 1 again. Have a coffee and a little something to eat in this pub. You can also opt to do from the Tribunal the off the beaten path Park and Walls Walk. This walk about the stone tablets will take approx one and a half hour to 2 hours. Take abreak at the terrace at the Lange Grachtje, café De Pieter.

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    Stone tablets tour (part 1)

    by ger4444 Written Apr 20, 2008

    I have already in other tips mentioned the existence of stone tablets in Maastricht. In the middle ages, before Napolion introduced the number shields, houses had stone tablets. They depicted the function of the building, such as a bakery or a pub, or a profession, a smith for example. There are numourous of such stones and they are located mostly a bit under the first floor level. Most of the stones are detailed and wonderful preseseved. They all tell a tale. There are acually 425 tablets. Interesting is that many of these stones have moved from house to house, during the ages. In 1800 we got the housenumebrs, which were in the beginning only one serie for all houes in and outside the town, later it changed in numbers per street. The tour starts at the Tribunal (tongersestraat 1). (Vrijthof, at the south side corner follow the road going uphill). This place already has a shield (I will also take you along hanging shields) depicting Lady Justice. In the Tongersestraat a few more stone tablets are to be found. At nr 3 ‘in den gallye 39’ at nr 10 a helmet with a shiled and at nr 11 there is a stone dpicting St. Lambertus. At nr 16 there is a beautifull stone ‘in den raef’(in the raven) and at 52 a stone depicting a white sheep. Go back to tongerstraat 1 and go to the right, to the kakenberg at number 6 a stone ‘in den gulde sterre 1732’ (in the gold star). You now go following the direction from the “Ezelmarket” near the tongerse straat (with a staute of a donkey) straight forward to the Grote Looijers straat. At nr 27 a stone of Sint Maarten, a saint. At number 17 and 19 also two stones. At the end of this street you go ahead continuing the Lange Grachtje and at the T-cross there, you enter the Pieterstraat. At number 48 astone called ‘in de oude waegh’ (in the old weigh house), probably referring to weighting witches, at number 40 ‘aux bateux’ at nr 34 ‘In de Roes’(in the rose), at number 30 and 15 two stones probulby for pubs and hostals (‘in saint peter’ and ‘in the old swan’) Take now the second street to the right the Stenenbrug. At number 12 a stone for Saint Maarten and at number one a sign of mill keeper at the mill. Then, turn the street in that is called ‘Ridderstraat’

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