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The Bisschopsmolen (Mill of the Bishop) dates from the Seventh century. The original owner, the Earl Godfried van Bouillon went on a crusade and died in Heruzalem. As the mill was a loan to finance the crusade, the building came in the hands of the Bishop.
In 1442 the mill came in the hands of the local trade union. All local brewers had to bring their grain to this mill. This lasted till 1795 when the mill was sold by the occupying French troops.
Through the centuries the mill changed owners a couple of times and even a steam engine was introduced.
In 1924 a new water wheel was added to drive one of the mills; the other became powered by an electrical motor.
In 2004 the mill was restored and a bakkery shop was added.Related to:
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Rijksbewaarplaats nr. 9 - "de Kluis"
Located at the Schaiktunnel in the Sint Pietersberg you can find Rijksbewaarplaats nr. 9, which is known as "de kluis" which means the vault.
From 1942 until 1945 this was the storage area for most of the dutch art treasures.
When the nazi’s invaded the Netherlands, they started to build the so called 'Atlantikwall'. All treasure had therefore to be stowed away safely.
The closest bombfree area was situated at the Sint Pietersberg.
About 780 art master pieces, including "de Nachtwacht" by Rembrandt, "de Stier" by Potter and "het Straatje" by Vermeer, were transferred and stored here until the end of WWII.Related to:
- Museum Visits
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National Monument Jezuïtenberg
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.
Take sightseeing tour
While in Maastricht you can take sightseeing tour around the City. The tours starts from the Vrijthof, in front of McDonalds.
I particulary like this tour as they use Oldtimers and the gudes are very knowlagable.
Thier guided tours are very intersting and there are few choices.
City Tour A (old city)
City Tour B (including Maastricht saroundings)
City Tour C (includes all above & further a feild)
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Take a River Cruise on the Rederij Stiphout
On my first day in Maastricht, I took a short river cruise on the Maas River (aka Meuse River) run by a company named Rederij Stiphout. They have a small information and ticket booth. The trip that I purchased lasted about an hour. There is a guide who provides information and commentary in Dutch and English.
There is one stop at the St. Pietersberg caves. If you want, you can get out and tour the caves -- and then take a return trip on a later boat. I elected to stay on the boat which travels down to near the border with Belgium -- and then turns around for the return trip to Maastricht.
There is seating both inside and outside. The ride itself is not terribly exciting. On the return trip to Maastricht, I used the time to write out some postcards. The boat also has a snack bar which serves food and drinks, including beer.
See the Statue of d'Artagnan
In Maastricht, there is a statue of the famous French musketeer, d'Artagnan. In the 19th Century, d'Artagnan became famous all around the world as one of the main characters in Alexandre Dumont's "The Three Musketeers" and its sequels. In real life, d'Artagnan died at the age of 62 during the 1673 siege of Maastricht in the Franco-Dutch War.
I saw the statue of d'Artagnan from afar while on the Stadsrondrit Maastricht Sightseeing Tour. It is located in a park outside of the city center.
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Visit the Markt
The Markt is a large plein (square) in the Maastricht city center. Its main attraction is the Stadhuis which was the old Town Hall. During my visit, there were many vendors selling merchandise in the Markt. It is also surrounded by many sidewalk cafés, restaurants, pubs, and stores. The Markt is another great place in Maastricht to people-watch.
Visit the Onze Lieve Vrouwenplein
The Onze Lieve Vrouwenplein is a large, beautiful center city square. Its main attraction is the lovely Onze Lieve Vrouwekerk (Church of Our Lady) that was built in the Romanesque style. The large plein is surrounded by many sidewalk cafés and pubs. It is another great place to sit and people-watch.
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Stadsrondrit Maastricht Sightseeing Tour
At the Vrijthof, you can find the Stadsrondrit which is a tram that gives guided tours of Maastricht throughout the day. The tour that I took was in Dutch and English. The guide suggested that I sit in the back because he described the sites in English after he did so in Dutch. The duration of the tour is 40 minutes -- and it gives a good overview of the city and its tourist attractions.
This church is buid in gothic style between 1267 and 1294. It has been the seat of the Dominacaner. The churcha has fresco's depictiung amongs others Thoma Aquino. From 1895 on the curch has had different funcions. such as the town archives and a concert Untill the new millenium it was used for expositions and during carnaval its a beer hall, where many Maastricht Carnival cebrators got their first kiss...Now it is housing the countries largest bookstore, which has won the European Award for best bookstore.
The carrilion (2)
Eventually, playing songs with a political undertune could have impact. Therefor the local towncouncel was eager to buy clocks a soon as possible. Not the ones for the gate or fire, but a new carillion. They were so eager to have the carrilion, that they already bought one, even before the townhall was finished. Clocks for this carrilion were made of the bronze of the canons. Yes, they could therfor onlyin time of mno war. That’s why clocks symbolize peace. The makers of the clocks – the Hemoy’s – are the Stadivarius for carillions. They only made a few carrilions. The palace at the Dam in Amsetrdam, the Dom tower in Utrecht and the Maastricht town hall. In the ninetheent century the carrilion lost its importance. It lost its function as mean in the hands of worldy and religious power, and time was indicated by the steam flutes of the factories. Money was saved at expensive of the maintanace of the clocks and there had been a time the clocks were not playing anymore. Luckely in 1962 one decided to extend the carrilion and in 1997 it got restaurated. The function of town carrilionneur was one with presitige and grandeur. In the 18 th century a candidate had to pay a salery of a month to go for an interview. The towers where in hands of the government and this was not only because of the strategic function of the carillions, but also because the magistrates knew the function the clocks had as ‘radio’. Untill today the town carrillionneur is placed under authority of the cummunual government. It has in Maastricht been a profession that went from father to son. It has been within one family for one and a half century. There are only two carillionneur educations in the world, in Mechelen (Belgium) and Amersfoort. High demands for a carrillionneur, since he plays for a public of ten thousants of people. A normal musician is mostly specified in one genre. But a carrilionneur has to know a lot of genres. Steijns plays barroque, pop, jazz, carnival etc. He was also playing at the André Rieu concert at the Vrijthof square in Concerto de Aranjuez. Funny to see how he run up all the many steps to get in the little room in the top of the Sint Servaas tower.
The carrilion (1)
As said already, Maastricht carrillion cant be missed when you visit the city. It resounds every hour, everywhere. Tunes of the season like carnival- and christmas songs play. There is lot to tell about the carrilion. First, it is the largest music instrument in the world. It contains 49 clocks, the clappers are each connected by an iron wire to the keys. The keyboard resembles an organ. It has pedals played by the feed, and keys, played by the hands. Because the clocks are so heavy the player has to hit the keys by smacking them with the fists. The one who plays the carrillion is called carrillionneur. In 1996 the carrillion of the Townhall got enriched by some extra clocks. And, the keys have been replaced by wooden sticks so that one can hit and smack them better. The carrillion is a typical instrument from the region Holland-north-france. The city carrilionneur Steijns playes the townhall’s carrillion. This instrumet dates from 1663 and is one of the eldest and beautiful in the world. It survived wars and occuppations and was the center of festivals and joy. It’s a sound that belongs to Maastricht. I cant imagine the town without it. It makes from Maastrict one big concerthall, because it craetes a natural resonance you normally have to have a good concerthall for. A liitle history to get an idea of the importance of the instrument can be interesting. In the middel ages people lived in wooden houses, close to eac other in a small city within walls. If one house gets in fire, the whole city burnes down. To make the town aware of fire the clocks were needed. They could be heard by everyone. They were located in a tower that overlooked the whole town. Gared were at the top of the tower, watching for disasteres. Several clocks served different functions. In case of fire, the fire clock was used, then all men went to the water to fetch water. In case enemy was attacking, the Gate clock was used. All the farmers from the surrounded area could come within the walls after which the gates were closed. Other clocks were f.e. the verdict clock, which ring as the councel had made a new decision. The more wealthy and “interesting” a city wanted to present itself, the more clocks were bought. A competition between citys started to see which one had the most clocks, but also a rivalry between church and administration was going on. Between wordly power and religious power. But also, the clocks got suddenly a new function, they became the ‘radio’ of the middle ages. Carlilionneurs started to play the ‘hits’ of the middle ages, so that the whole population could hear the songs, since the avarage public could not effort going to a concert.
One for all, all for Maastricht
Not far from the famous kazematten one is liable to run into a famous character out of French History, whom I personally had believed to be a fictitious character sprung from the imagination of Alexandre Dumas, author of The Three Musketeers. Nothing however is farther from the truth.
Charles de Batz de Castelmore, Comte d'Artagnan (Lupiac (Gers), 1611 - Maastricht, Juin 25th 1673) was a captain in the army of the French King Louis XIV. He was romanticised in the books of Alexandre Dumas, and as a result became known as d'Artagnan. He died during the siege of Maastricht (1673).
He was a son of Bertrand de Batz-Castelmore and Françoise de Montesquiou, a daughter of the Lord of Artagnan. Upon the death of Charles' brother he inherited the title Count of Artagnan. (Comte d'Artagnan).
.A beautiful large statue, portraying Monsieur D'Artagnan ready to engage any adversary of the King, is to be found here and a smaller one at the site of his death close to the kazematten.Related to:
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This printingoffice is from around 1900 and is still in use. You can see several materrials and tools in vitrines and a historical overviwe of printing work. Old printingpresses are set awork.
The office is located in a 17 th century house with a garden and a chapel
st Servaas bridge
The St. Servaasbridge is also called by locals "aw bröck" (old bridge). its a monumental bridge and one of the eldest in the Netherlands. its build in the end of the 13 th century. It had been a bridge for all traffic but now became a bridge for pedestrians and bikers only. In 2006 they began renovations at the suface of the bridge embellishing it with new tiles and streetlights
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