Onze Lieve Vrouwekerk / Church of Our Lady, Maastricht
Onze Lieve Voruwe basiliek is built at the place where St Servatius founded a chapel in 380 AD. The oldest imposing west part of the church with two small towers is built around 900 AD. This part with its tiny windows looks like a fortress. It´s not easy to make a picture of this part because of the trees at the square and the surrounding buildings.
It´s possble to visit the church inside fro free, if there are no services. You can walk in the gothic corridors and have a look at the courtyard. For entering the courtyard and the treasury room you have to pay a small entrance fee.
At this westside of the church you can find the intimate green square named 'Onze Lieve Vrouwe plein' with lots of terraces of the surrounding cafes.
When visiting the Our Lady's basilica, have a look at the nice chancel ceiling paintings.
Most of the time they aren't illuminated. To light it up, you have to pay a 0,50 € at the left side of the chancel.
A lot of usefull and practical info about history, architecture, art, guided visits, etc. you'll find at this website Sterre der Zee
This organ has been built in 1652 by André Séverin.
The triptych represents the Adoration by the herdsmen, the Adoration by the Three Wise men, Davis beheads Goliat, and the entrance of David and Saul.
There is a weekly Mass on Saturday at 5 p.m. in the crypt of Onze Lieve Vrouw Basilica. The mass is generally in English.
More info about the basilica and the description of all art-works on this website in dutch
Sterre der Zee
A church builded at the end of the 10th century by the Prince-Bisschop of Luik/Liége Balderik.
This church is special and still in the original shape.When you put a 50 cent euro in the box - the altar will be illuminated for a few minutes and you will enjoy magnificent wall decorations.
You do not want to miss a church building that dates in part from the 11th century. You can enter the church except when they have a service. Have a coffee or a beer in one of the cafe's lining the 'plein' (square). On Sunday afternoon you can visit the Roman Ruins in the exhibit under the Derlon Hotel on this plein.
The oldest part of this medieval cruciform basilica (also a Romanesque church) dates from the 11th century. It is a beautiful church with a very interesting –architecturally- choir. In the side chapel there is the statue of Our Beloved Lady “Stella Mare” (c.1500). In the treasure house, the visitor can admire many ecclesiastical crafts, embroidered copes, reliquaries etc. The treasure house is open: Easter-August half term daily 11am-5pm, Sunday 1pm-5pm. The church is open daily, but not during services. Ticket: 1.60 euros
O Mary, "Star of the Sea", see me here, knelt down before Thy throne of grace, where so many lovers of Thy Motherheart have already received the greatest favours: where Thou obtainest consolation for the sad, help for the poor, health for the sick, forgiveness for the sinners.
This is the first part of the prayer to the Star of the Sea. Attached to the Church of Our Dear Lady, you'll find a chapel devoted to Mary Star of the Sea. The chapel used to be called Merode Chapel. Inside this chapel you can see a stauette of Mary, offered to a religious group of Maastricht in 1470. This wooden statue was made in the 15th century and has been carried around the city during the 7-yearly pilgrimage ever since.
The chapel is open to the public every day. See my Church Of Our Dear Lady tip for mor einformation on times.
The church of our dear Lady is, together with the St Servaas Church, one of the oldest buildings in the city. It was built in the 10th century. But unlike the St Servaas church, you can enter the church for free. Inside you can also see the treasury room and the courtyard. These last two are not for free.
The church is open to public every day, except for when there is a service. You can enter the church through the Mérode Chapel, which is attached to the church.
Impressively dominating the city the gigantic Romanesque cathedral of Our Lady is visible from lots of angles, including the newly opened pedestrian bridge across the river. Its stern and robust exterior commands respect and also conveys a aura of the safety the former inhabitants of the city must undoubtedly have found within its massive walls.
Part of this church was built in the 12th century. It has a chapel right at the entrance, the so called chapel of 'Maria, sterre vande zee' (Maria, star of the sea). This originally was just a pass through chapel but over the years it changed to the main chapel.
Even on a Saturday afternoon people were praying and it was made very clear it wasn t appropriate to take pictures.
I need to visit this church once more one day!
One of the three main churches of Maastricht is Onze Lieve Vrouwekerk. It's tower is quite impressive and the church from the inside is very dark and beautiful. There also it a treasure chamber and a backyard you can have a look at. We had a nice time in the backyard at our VT meeting. Inside the church there was an unfriendly man who was obviously employed to walk around looking angry at people taking pictures etc.
Mary, or "Maria" as we say in The Netherlands, is surely one of the most holiest icons in the Catholic church. Mny churches are called "Our dear Lady's", but not as many as in Belgium (where I have the idea that all towns have at least one under this name). The "Onze lieve Vrouwe"-church in Maastricht is old (dates back to the 12th century) and has an amazing front. Though it is again Romanic style, the architect let go of many principles that usualy were used (for example high towers, low ship). Inside is however the true treasure of this church. At the entrance already one stands eye to eye with a magnificent shrine-like chapel in which lady Mary is watching over us. There are always hundreds of candles lightening up the small room in a mystic warm glow. The church itself holds on to that spirit as it is quite dark (only few windows, that however have wonderful images in glass-in-lead). For me, the "Onze Lieve Vrouwe"-church, had a more impact then the Saint Servaas.
Maastricht has some of the oldest, prettiest and strangest churches of The Netherlands. Take this Church of Our Lady for instance, with its front which is built like a fortress, a so-called westwork. This is Maastricht's oldest church, but it had a predecessor on the same location which was a cathedral in the very early Middle Ages.
And don't forget to look inside! It's so dark in here, typical for these Romanesque churches with their small windows, that you may wonder why the church was never replaced by a Gothic one. They did built a Gothic church next to it though, but that has gone long ago.
Warning: you're not allowed to take pictures. Why? No idea, the man who (quite unfriendly) informed me about this didn't know either, nor did he seem to care. "Ask the priest", he said. Even if you don't use flash or do not use a noisy camera, and thus bother no one, like me, you are not allowed to take pictures. This obviously doesn't have anything to do with respect for the churchgoers but everything with power. "We forbid you to take pictures because we can". My advise; to hell with stupid rules, take your pics as long as it disturbs no one. You can always say you didn't see the notice, like I did, as this notice indeed is VERY small and posted in the chapel, which you want to leave immediately anyway if you don't want to disturb the ever present crowd of praying people. It's almost like they don't want you to see the sign! By the time you are being noticed you should have been able to make a few pics already. If they don't say anything about it leave a small donation, but if you are treated as impolitely as I was, don't.
Of course you shouldn't even be thinking about taking pictures during a service. If you can get in at all that is, as services in this church attract a lot of people in the Summer.
The oldest parts of the church, the west side, were built around the year 900. It took about 3 centuries before the church was completed to what it now looks like. The church is Roman Catholic so there are a lot of beautiful pieces of art to be seen inside the church.
Onze Lieve Vrouweplein is where you will find this church. It is open for visitors and has a special atmosphere. A small side chapel opens directly on to the street and is worth a visit.