Fortifications, Maastricht

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  • Lunet Gelderland
    Lunet Gelderland
    by rolphbronkhorst
  • Fortifications and fountain
    Fortifications and fountain
    by Nemorino
  • City wall
    City wall
    by Nemorino
  • sachara's Profile Photo

    The Helpoort or Hell's gate

    by sachara Updated Sep 13, 2005

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    The Hell's Gate
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    The Helpoort or Hell´s gate is the oldest surviving towngate in the Netherlands. The Helpoort was part of the oldest fortifications of Maastricht, built in 1229.

    In the 15th century a newer fortification was built more south of the towngate. At that time the towngate lost his former function.

    You can visit the Helpoort to climb the tower and have a look at a small historical exhibition.
    The visiting hours are daily from 13:30 to 16:30 for a free gift.

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  • Nemorino's Profile Photo

    Vauban was here

    by Nemorino Updated Mar 3, 2013

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    Fortifications and fountain
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    What Kilroy was to the twentieth century, Vauban was to the seventeenth. Wherever you went in Western Europe, Vauban had already been there and had designed, built, strengthened – or conquered – the fortifications.

    Sébastien Le Prestre de Vauban (1633-1707), is considered by military buffs to be “one of the greatest military engineers of all time.” (Since I am not a military buff, I’ll simply take their word for it.) During his lifetime, Vauban was responsible for the fortification of over 160 places in France and neighboring countries. But they say his major contribution was that he developed new methods of attack which revolutionized siege warfare.

    As I have already mentioned in one of my Freiburg im Breisgau reviews, one of Vauban’s many projects was to fortify the Schloßberg, overlooking Freiburg, after French troops occupied that German city in 1677.

    Today an entire district of Freiburg is named after Vauban, but not just any old district. On the site of a former French military base, the city of Freiburg has developed the Sustainable Model District Vauban, a new district for more than 5000 inhabitants and 600 jobs, using renewable energy resources and planned for the needs of people, not cars.

    In Paris there is a monument to Vauban in the Invalides, in one of the side niches adjoining Napoléon’s tomb.

    The French King Louis XIV sent Vauban to Maastricht in 1673 with 45,000 troops for the purpose of overcoming the existing fortifications and occupying the city. Vauban accomplished this within three weeks, using new tactics of his own devising.

    For the next five years Maastricht was occupied by the French, and in this time Vauban further strengthened the fortifications.

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  • sachara's Profile Photo

    Onze Lieve Vrouwe Wal

    by sachara Updated Sep 13, 2005

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    Onze Lieve Vrouwe wal

    The Onze Lieve Vrouwe Wal along the river Maas is part of the first fortifications of Maastricht. This city wall was built in 1229 at the same time as the Helpoort at its southern end.

    Walking from the Sint Servaas bridge along the riverbank to the Helpoort or the park you have a good view at this citywall. In front of the wall is a row of old canons.

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  • sachara's Profile Photo

    Maaspunttoren

    by sachara Updated Nov 2, 2005

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    Also at the eastbank of the Maas are remnants of fortifications from the 14th century. Just south of the new built Hoge Brug stands the Maaspunttoren as a landmark just at the riverside. Once the Maasspunttoren was the southern tower at the corner of the first medieval walls.

    Around the Maaspunttoren are newly built walls in red brick in the form of former fortfications as part of the renewal of the public space in this area. It is a lovely place to sit down for a while and have a look at the river and the green area of the park at the westbank.

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  • sachara's Profile Photo

    Waterpoort

    by sachara Updated Nov 2, 2005

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    Waterpoort

    Also at the eastbank of the river Maas is the Waterpoort, dating back to the 13th century. In 1714 the Waterpoort was enlarged to make it easier to load and unload the ships.

    It is supposed that the first wooden medieval bridge crossing the river Maas was at this point before it moved more to the north at the point of the St Servaas bridge.

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  • Luchonda's Profile Photo

    Gate to Hell

    by Luchonda Updated Mar 6, 2005

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    Helpoort

    Helpoort - old fortification gate in Maastricht.
    The Helpoort forms parts of the earliest city walls and were built on the authorization of Henry I, duke of Brabant in April 1229. It is the only city gate which is left standing in Maastricht and is also the oldest of its kind in the Netherlands.

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  • Fort Sint Pieter

    by ger4444 Written Dec 13, 2002

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    During your visit in Maastrict you will probably take a trip to the Sint Pietersberg, because you may want to visit the caves or you are looking for some outdoor action "en plein aire" at the hill. Then, it would be a good idea to take a look at the old sint Pieter Fort. This is an 18 th. century fort, build as a pentagon, with a strategic overview on Maastricht. You can have a guided tour (1 hour) and there are terraces that give a splendid view over the city and its surroundings. When you go up the hill, following the road that leaves from the fort, you will find large fields; an idealistic scenery for a picknick.

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  • Kazematten ,Linie Du Moulin

    by ger4444 Written Dec 6, 2002

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    In the 16 th. Maastricht has started to build its fortification, in order to protect the city against the enemies. There now exists a giant labyrinth of old tunnels under the city, that are (partly) open to public. You can get back in time by exploring these tunnels and see how the soldiers in those days used this strategic place. But be aware: the tunnels have ceilings that are build for 16th cenury Maastricht men, so if you are a tall person, you may feel it in your back, when you have explored this underground world!
    Only by guided tour

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    Hoge Fronten, naturereserve inside the city

    by tompt Updated Apr 4, 2011

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    Looking at the St Servaes from the Hoge Fronten
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    Between 1773-1777 Colonel-Ingenieur Carel Diederick Du Moulin made the plans for the Hoge Fronten, a 15 hectare defence area. There are dry moats and bastions with bomshelters and explosive storage rooms. It was called the Linie van Du Moulin, today we call what rests de Hoge Fronten. The walls of the bastions shelter rare plant and animal life and are labelled protected naturemonument since 1992. This area is the only place in the Netherlands where you can find the wall-lizard. This is due to the warm microclimate the fortications have. We have also seen foxes here, but the flowers are also great.
    The area is managed by the foundation CNME Maastricht & Mergelland.
    And is owned by the municipality of Maastricht.

    You can walk on top of the fortifications but also on a lower level between the walls. This lower level is partly closed to protect the lizards from roughly may to november.

    It is an oases of quietness in the busy city Maastricht and certainly worth to go there for a 30 minutes to an hour walk.

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  • siaki68's Profile Photo

    Kazematten

    by siaki68 Written Jan 4, 2005

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    What about meeting the ghost of D’Artagnan in Maastricht? D’Artagnan, one of the legendary musketeers, was mortally wounded on the 25th of June 1673 outside the city walls and the locals believe that his ghost wanders in the casemates. Between 1575 and 1825, mining activities created a labyrinth of galleries at Maastricht’s western side. The galleries extended for 10 kilometres and were used, among other things, for military purposes. To visit Kazematten you must join a guided tour. The tour lasts about 1 hour and is led by an official VVV Tourist Office guide. Information and reservations in VVV Maastricht, tel. 0031-43-32178 78, email reserveringen@vvvmaastricht.nl

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  • johngayton's Profile Photo

    Still Wandering - The Helpoort

    by johngayton Written Aug 31, 2010

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    Restored Helspoort
    1 more image

    This is one of Maastricht's original city gates, built in 1229, and is the oldest surving city gate in the Netherlands. Strangely enough the reason why it has stood for so long is that by the 14th century its use as a gate became redundant as the city expanded and a second set of walls were built. The Helpoort was then used for storage and as such was never in the frontline during the various battles and city seiges over the centuries.

    The gate has recently been fully restored and its towers now host a museum exhibition about the city's fortifications.

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    St. Petersberg Fort

    by Lalique Written Feb 25, 2003

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    the Fort

    I heard that it's one of the Musts, so we decided to go there and see.... Well, 1st of all we were not lucky with the weather - the pathes going round the Fort are all naturally formed, i.e. it's plain earth, so due to constant raining we walked in mud up to our knees; 2nd as we were told, tourists were not allowed to get on top of the Fort, thus no much fun just go around it; 3d we were really lucky to find out that there were caves nearby, what was really great experience.

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  • Luchonda's Profile Photo

    Pater Vinck Tower

    by Luchonda Updated Feb 17, 2006

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    Pater Vinck tower

    Reconstructed tower called "Pater Vinktoren"
    The Pater Vinktoren tower, where the heads of five inhabitants of Maastricht who had helped the hated Spanish were displayed, has been reconstructed, and a small section of defences around the tower remain

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  • MikeAtSea's Profile Photo

    Helpoort

    by MikeAtSea Written Nov 19, 2006

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    Helpoort

    The Helpoort forms parts of the earliest city walls and were built with the authorization of Henry I, duke of Brabant in 1229. It is the only city gate that is still left standing and also the oldest of its kind in the Netherlands. The gate was used to defend the city for more then two centuries. Later the Nieuwstad was also walled serving as a second wall of protection.

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  • Imaniac's Profile Photo

    Kazematten

    by Imaniac Written Mar 5, 2004

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    Kazematten in Maastricht

    Kazematten is the Dutch word for Casemates. These casemates are a large underground structure. It's a tunnel system from the late 18th century. It was used during the wars as a bomb free shelter. It was also a storage space for ammunition and other war items.

    You can join a guided tour through the tunnels every weekend at 2 o clock. A tour takes one hour and starts at the Waldeck Bastion in the Waldeck Park. Taking part in the tour costs 3,50 Euros for adults.

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