Been here? Rate It!
As Maastricht once used to be a fortified city there are still some city walls left. I liked walking along them because you get nice views and a walk in the green.
Next to the walls you will find many old houses and historic buildings like this old monastery.
When you are 'inside' of the city-walls, you are standing in the St. Bernardusstraat. Right where you come off the O.L.V.-wal you can find a plate that will tell you all about the city walls. Very interesting. I''m not sure if it's in English too, but there is also a picture, so you can figure is out ;-)
The Helpoort (Gate of Hell) was built in 1229 and is the oldest of the remaining gates in the Netherlands. It is part of the first walls that fortified the city. Above the gate you can see some pieces of wood painted red. From here the enemy was besieged, before they could even enter the city at all.
These are remains of the 1st town wall, they can be found in St. Pieterstraat or nearby, anyway if you decide to go to St. Petersberg and start from the center, you'll hardly miss this wall on the way to the Southern boundaries of the town....
I found out that some people live in the wall (?) or at least have house entrances cut thru it, coz i noticed a couple of doors with doorbells... hm, strange... :))
The pater Vinktoren is an interesting feature of the old townwalls. This tower is situated next to a part of an old townwall with two round bastions, that tell an important historic tale. The bastion called "The five heads" reffers to a crude event, somewhere in the 17 th. century, when a father, called Vink, was decapitated for conspiracy with the Spanish. His head - together with the heads ofhis four accomplices, were put on sticks at the round bastion as a statement to scare the Maastricht people. The tower in which he was prisoned untill that very moment is the Pater Vink toren and the round bastion called
"Five heads" was the place of action. Nowadays, the place is a peacefull, quied place, surrounded by a beautifull park. Sitting at the top of the old round bastion you'd probably feel more relaxed than Vink did during his last minutes...
The medieval townwalls
During its existence maastricht has had several townwalls. The first medieval townwall was buid in the 13. th. century. As Maastricht expanded it had to build new walls, as it did in the 14 th. en 16 th.century. The walls are still visible. Large parts of the second townwall f.e. are still intact and can be explored. Many of the historic towngates are also in tact. The walls and gates and certain hisoric buildings next to these walls can be found at differrent locations in the city. These locations are the "Onze lieve vrouwenwal," - (there you'll find also the "Helpoort") - Lang Grachtje, Waterpoortje, Stenen Wal, Pater Vinktoren, and de bastion "Vijf Koppen" Most walls are accessible. There are stairs that lead up to the walls; you can find them f.e. near the Helpoort.
This is the only towngate that's still left in Maastricht. The gate is a part of the first townwall, build in the 13 th. century. This particular towngate is the oldest one in the Netherlands and has been used for 2 cenuries as a defensive work against the French armies, that were trying to invade the city. You can still see that the gate has forfilled this function. Around and above the gate thera are loop-holes and in front of the gate you can still see a dozen canon, standing there proudly to scare off the enemy.
Later on, after these wars, the gate has had several other functions: it has been a residence, a storage for tools and gunpowder etc.
Nowadays this towngate is open for public. There are hosts who will answer all your questions.
Feilzusterklooster, a small convent builded in the 14th century - rebuilded in the 17th century after a huge fire
- Historical Travel
- Museum Visits
This gate is truly old. In fact it's the oldest city gate in the Netherlands. Inside is a small museum. Parts of the walls around the gate are reconstructions.
- Historical Travel
This O.L.V.-wall is the wall that leads you to the Helpoort. From here you have a nice view over the river Maas. In front of the wall a lot of canons are placed. Very impressive!!
- Book now for big savings!
- Hotels.com Outstanding choice of hotels all over the world at fantastic prices.
- Save money, Book now!
- Booking.com Excellent choice, Low rates
Maastricht Travel Guide
Explore the World
- Oriole Beach Hotels
- Herculaneum Hotels
- Wear Valley Hotels
- Lake Champlain Hotels
- Mexico City