An interesting city, definitely worth at least a quick two hour stroll, or a day if you want to visit the main monuments. Has many old churches and old, well kept buildings and a “very nice” (for lack of other words) main square.Related to:
- Historical Travel
Hills in Limburg
In the southern part of Limburg the highest hills of the country can be found.
Most famous is the Vaalserberg.
This hill is 322meters high and the top of the hill marks the border with Belgium and Germany. It's therefore also known as the "3-country-point". Look-out platforms offer a good view and there are lots of tourist activities set-up here. Including a large labyrinth.
The St Pietersberg 120m high is a hill just south of Maastricht. Inside a large cave system exists (man made for the mining of rock).
The Wilhelminaberg (230m) is the 2nd largest hill of the country and artificial. It consists of coalremainings from the mines. Nowadays an indoor skifacility is located on the slopes of the hill, and the hill therefore has the honor to contain the worlds largest indoor skicenter.
The Cauberg (150m), the walhalla for Dutch cyclers. It's not so high, not so steep but for some reason it's notorious among cyclers and one of the thoughest hills to take.
To compare these hills with the rest of the Netherlands. Only Gelderland has it's highest point above 100 meters (the Veluwe hills are in this province), Overijssel (veluwe hills) and Utrecht (Utrechter hills) manage to have a hill with a height above 50 meters.
Flevoland's highest point is only 8 meters high.
If you are fedd-up with hills, go to Roermond instead. There's plenty of leisureactivities over here. Wether it's cycling, walking, or waterrecreation. There's a nice small citycenter and those who like to shop won't get bored easily.
A real tourist trap. This village consists of hotels, restaurants and... tourists.
They are all attracted to several attractions here. First of all that's the Geuldal (Geulvalley), nice scenery and higly scenic when you take the train (or drive the highway) from Maastricht. Furthermore there are caves, thermal baths, an old ruin (one of the oldest in the country) and hills. There's a cablecar going-up on of the hills and cyclers can find the Cauberg here. The mountain with cyclinghistory, the setting for the Amstel Gold Race and Tour de France (will take place here for the 2nd time in 2006).
Do notice, on sunny days there can be traffic jams up to 4km on accessroads to the town.
There are several sites where you can enter caves. The best known are in Valkenburg and the St Pieterberg in Maastricht. The caves are all man-made for the mining of "Mergel", used as a building material. The yellowish rocks show a large cave system which later was redevelopped as a shelter during the second worldwar.
Supposedly the oldest city in the Netherlands (Nijmegen is the other contestor). Was founded during the roman empire as a city and is one of very few cities flourishing eversince.
The Dutch lacked their defense at Maastricht and the city has been a part of many countries. Especially France left its footprint here, making it also the most foreign city in the Netherlands, it's got a bourgundic feeling to it.
Maastricht is also the craddle of the European Union. The 1992 treaty transformed the European Economic Community into the European Union, and on top of that, this is the birthplace of the Euro currency.
For tourists there is enough to do. Maastricht is well known for it's old citycenter, famous churches, haute cuisine and the best nightlife of the country. Maastricht was recently voted as "best city" by the Dutch people.
The traintrack costed millions
The most famous traintrack in Limburg is called 'Miljoenenlijntje' the name refers to the costs of the track. The 12 kilometer track between Schaesberg and Simpelveld costed 12 million guilders in 1925. That is 1 million per kilometer, an enormous amount in those days. In 1934 the first train used these tracks and in 1988 it was decided to stop the trainconnection because there were to little passengers to make money. Since 1995 a steamtrain makes tourist rides on this tracks.
Monuments of the war
During the second world war there was heavy fighting in Limburg. Due to its location so close to Germany there were many bomberplanes flying over this area. One of these planes was shot down by the german anti-aircraft guns at 28 april 1944. It crashed in Cartils, killing four of its crew. Two crewmen were rescued by the resistance and were kept hidden untill the invasion of the allied forces. One crewman was captured by the germans. The four men killed are buried in Maastricht. A monument in remembrance is put on the place of the crash.
Around Limburg there are more of these kind of monuments.
In Gronsveld, just south of Maastricht, there is one of the only four towermills left in our country. This mill was built in 1618-1623 for the lord of Gronsveld, Joest Maximillian van Bronckhorst. In 1766 they added 3 meter to the tower, this can be seen clearly because this 3 meters are more narrow.
The mill was used for the villages of Gronsveld, Heugem, Cadier and Keer. All belonging to the lands of van Bronckhorst. In the tower are four grooves through which the miller could see the roads from these 4 villages, all on about equal distance from the mill.
The mill is open to the public on the first and third saturday of the month.
The Limburg province is rich in natural resources. Since prehistoric times people mined the hills for flint. Next came marlstone, gravel, sand, and coal. Since the discovery of natural gas in the north of our country the coal was less interesting and coalmines eventally closed,. Today you can take a tour in an old coalmine in Valkenburg.
Other mines are just there to be discovered. A prehistoric flintquarry with explanation can be seen for free in Valkenburg (Plenkertstraat). In the woods near Gronsveld you can stumble upon a gravelquarry. This one is located in the Savelbos. Until 1950 sand and gravel were taken from here to make roads. The sand and gravel were brought here from the mountains south by the river Maas.
In Kerkrade there is a zoo completely develloped in the 21th century. It opened to the public in april 2005.
The name Gaia, taken from the Greek goddess of the earth, is a symbol for the past. But Gaia also stands for a new earth a living planet.
The park works themes like the icetime, the dino-age, africa and more.
Altough it was rainy and cold when we visited it was a great experience.
Mountains in the netherlands
In our flat country we call every elevation a mountain. In Limburg they have the highest mountains of our country. In Vaals is the Vaalserberg with 322 meter the absolute recordbreaker.
In the picture the St Pietersberg near Maastricht (170m)
About 800 000 years ago the river Maas streamed through the Limburg landscape over the Örenberg. The water brought 8 meters of gravel, sand and clay at this point. The water was also very rich in calcium. The calcium dripped into the layer of gravel and sand. Eventualy turning into limestone, and with the gravel and sand in it it looks like natural concrete. (Stumbling upon this place during a walk, i actually thought it were concrete remains of a wall or something) The rare sediment is called Örenberg conglomerate after the place it was found. They mined the area and the mine collapsed. The piece you find here are put here as a geological monument.Related to:
A church, a few old farmhouses, that's about it as far as the sights of this village are concerned. I like it, but you might not think this is very interesting. However, a look at the watertower is something I'd recommend if you're near. It's an absolute beauty in Expressionistic (Amsterdam School) style.Related to:
- Historical Travel
This village east of Maastricht has little to offer to the average tourist. I happen to find the church very interesting, but I'm probably one of the few. If you're near you could take a look at it and see what I find so interesting about it. In short; the combination of parts from very different periods.
A little outside the village is the site that Margraten is best known for, the American War Cemetary. After World War Two a piece of land was given to the USA (that's right, this is American soil now) for use as a war cemetery. American soldiers who had been killed during fights in The Netherlands and Germany were buried here. Some 17000 in total, of which now about 8000 graves are left, while ca. 1700 names of missing soldiers are commemorated on white marble walls which are part of a memorial of a truly American scale. I first saw it when I was a child and it made a huge impression on me.Related to:
- Historical Travel
Provincie Limburg Hotels
I was very impressed with this hotel and doubly so by the very reasonable rate I got through...more
We stayed here for a long weekend (thursday to sunday). We got a room overlooking the trainstation,...more
Maastrichterweg 25, Roermond, 6041NZ, nl
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