St. Servaas church, Maastricht
The St Servaas Church was only named after St Servaas, it was also built on top of his grave. You can visit his crypte inside the church. This crypt was made in the year 1050, on top of the grave of St Servaas. It's been a pilgrimage for centuries.
St Servaas was born in Armenia and ater appointed guard of the Holy Grave in Jerusalem. After he had a vision, he moved to the Belgian city of Tongeren where he became a bishop. In another vision he was ordered to become a bishop in Maastricht. St Servaas died on the 13th of May 384.
In the St Servaas Church you can also visit the treasury room. On display are several of teh church's treasures. Most of these are relic holders. Some of them even contain actual relics. But you can also see some religios art like painting and sculptures. In other rooms you'll find some textiles from the 14th century and textile wrapped relics. Some of the relics date back to the 9th century.
The golden casket in the picture is a relic holder as well. It contains some of the remains of St Servatius as well as that of other bishops.
The St Servaas Church is perhaps the biggest symbol of Maastricht. This catholic church was built in a gothic style back in the year 1000. It's the only church in The Netherlands that was built on the grave of a saint. In this case St Servatius. The church is located in the heart of the city at the famous Vrijthof Square. You can have a look inside every day from 10 to 5. You can also have a look in the treasury room. The church is in the top 100 monuments in the Netherlands on the UNESCO world heritage list.
The St. Servatius, or St. Servaas, was built on the grave of this saint, a bishop of Tongeren (Belgium) who moved his throne to Maastricht and died there in 384. The church was rebuilt and changed several times since, and is now a combination of regional variants of the Romanesque and Gothic styles of architecture. The church is often called a cathedral but it's not and never was, despite its connection to the bishop; the Church of Our Lady is the successor of the former cathedral.
At the city square of Maastricht known as 'the Vrijthof' you can see the oldest and one of the most famous churches of the Netherlands . The original church was built in the 6th century but several times destroyed and rebuilt during the ages until the present Romanesque Church took its place. It's named after the city's patron saint. The shrine of st. Servatius is situated here and the focus of pelgrimages through the ages.
Though the buildings of Saint Servaas are of great beauty, the fine artworks that the church has made and collected throughout the centuries is to be seen in the treasury. This can be reached at the backside of the complex and also houses the Saint Servaas chapel (where also the remains are of this holy saint). There is a small entrance-fee, but it is very weel worth while taking a look at all the gold, silver and jewels of the Saint Servaas' church, convent and monastery.
Already for many many centuries the Saint Servaas-church has been dominating the towns skyline, but also the religious life of the people of Maastricht. Though there are many other churches, Saint Servaas with it's large convent and monastry had a guiding spirit towards them and a higher position within the Catholic Church. The church itself is situated in the centre of the Westbank of town on the large square "Vrijthof", the central square now sadly ruined by constructioncompanies that say it will be wonderful (in a few years ... 2005!). The church holds a main basilica, but also the buildings of the (now small) convent (the monastry-part has been moved outside the citywalls).
Because there are quite some construction works going on at the Vrijthof the basilica was closed. There are some great things to be seen inside the church! There is the treasuryroom and the crypt for example. However the treasury is not open in July in August, and in the wintertime only opened on Sunday. There is also a beautifull courtyard.
In the year 1000 the building of the church started. The church was built above the crypt of St. Servaas who was buried there in 384. The pope also visited the church in 1985, from then on the church was a Basilica Minor.
The Cathedral is a medeavel church. It's the only Dutch church build upon a grave of a saint. It is a church that is build in Roman style. It has a beautifull porch, which is embellished by statues. There's also an impressive 'Emperor' Hall in the west-wing of the church. The church has one of the biggest church bells in the Netherlands, called 'the Graameer' (Grand mère) which weights over 7000 kg ! Visting the church means also visiting the Treasure-room: there you can find an important collection of Church art, like Servatius' Shrine, Servatius' Grale (4 th. Century) and many relics.
TREASURE CHAMBER BASILIEK FROM ST. SERVAAS
Inside this treasure-chamber, Maastricht cherish her treasures.
You can admire the Golden House, in which St. Servaas, the first bishop of the Netherlands from the 4th century, is burried.
The treasure-chamber contains a statue, a cup and several objects that belonged to the bishop.
Besides the inheritance of St. Servaas you can see a large collection of silk materials from the 6th century and several paintings and statues.
Must visit! Have a look at my travelogue; inside you'll find the church treasure, relics, and the crypt with burial site of St. Servatius.
The Church Museum or "Treasury" of St. Servaas (or Servatius) is worth the 3.50 Euros entrance fee. You might want to review the website even before you visit so you know what you are seeing.
opened every day from 10.00 to 17.00 hours.
Roman church build on the grave of the first Dutch bishop St. Servaas and a treasure room.
no entrance during the mis.
Sint Servaasbasiliek is one of the Netherlands' oldest churches and the main church of Maastricht. It is built on the grave of "St Servaas", the first bishop of Maastricht.