This church is one of the oldest at Maastricht. It is well possible, hat at this location the oldest church of the Netherlands was located before the present church was constructed, but documents about it were lost.
The official Dutch name is Basiliek van Onze-Lieve-Vrouw-Tenhemelopneming.
The present building was build in the 11th and 12th centuries in a Roman style.
There are guided tours available.
Basilica of Our Lady.
The building of this church was started in the 10th century. The Treasure boasts many relics.
From Easter through Autumn half term daily from 11.00 a.m.- 5.00 p.m.; on Sunday 1.00 p.m. - 5.00 p.m.;
the church is opened to the public each day, but not during servces.
Price of admission:
Adults € 1.60; Children up to 12 years € 0.45
Star of the sea is another name for Mary. This old statue sits in its own chapel beside the Onze Lieve Vrouwe Basilica.
Many people in Maastricht visit it to burn a candle and pray.
So many in fact that sometimes people have to queue.
I'm not really a church person but I do appreciate the historical relevance of a place's ecclesiastical buildings and the Church of Our Lady is a particularly interesting one. There has been a church on this site since the 4th century AD although the oldest parts of the current structure date from the 9th century. The building has been added to several times over the course of the last thousand or so years which when wandering around (outside and in) sort of traces the city's history.
Although this is a Catholic place of worship the church attracts a multi-denominational group of worshippers, as well as us tourists, and is dedicated to seafarers of all nationalities and creeds.
This is a very imposing old church to say the least. It dates back to the 11th century and is situated on a lovely leafy square not far from the Market Place and Town Hall. When the main body of the church is closed to visitors, it is still possible to visit the altar of Our Lady which is housed in its own little side chapel section off the square. Here one can say a prayer and light a candle. It is really quite beautiful..
The interior of the Church of Our Lady has got three naves. The choir is covered golded figures. The capitals are covered with frescos.
Very interesting is also the cloister built in the half of the 14th century: nowdays there you can visit the Schatkamer (Treasure Room).
Onze Lieve Vrouwebasiliek (Church of Our Lady, in English) is a masterpiece of the Dutch Romanesque architecture. Its construction began in the 10th century with the tall wall without windows in the square in front of the church. On the its sides there are two circular tower built in the same years of the central part. Durig the 13th and 14th century the church was finished with an apse and two small tower in the back side of the building.
Onze-Lieve-Vrouwekerk - Maastricht's Church of Our Lady
Sadly the main part of this church was behind scaffolding and I hadnt realised what an unusual building it was. Next door and with open access was a small candlit chapel where one could sit and pray, light a candle or contemplate on the world in an air of peace. It was very dark, save for the many small candles burning, but nevertheless one could make out the paintings and the statue of the Madonna.
I'm glad I stopped by. Another man who was sitting quietly didn't even notice me.
The main building looks fascinating and I wish I'd explored it more thoroughly. Maybe a good reason to return - especially when the building/maintenance work has been completed.
In the Chapel of Our Lady, visitors can light candles as in most Catholic churches. There are also small boxes in the walls for gifts (money), each stating a different goal/reason for offering. One of the first boxes on the right bears the legend "Voor verkregen gunsten", which means "For received favours".
It feels good to express gratitude for being able to travel to beautiful places with loved ones. So whenever I'm in Maastricht, I drop some money in this particular box. It helps me remember how fortunate we are.
Once we were inside we were a bit confused where we were and its exact historical magnificence was. This because several changes in have been made to the church, mostly in the form of new additions to the old church. The church's current main entrance is, for example, in a Gothic style giving the impression that it's a completely different building. Behind the entrance is a Gothic baptistery from the 15th century. In the 16th century the church was expanded with a Gothic archway which surrounds a courtyard. But it's also so dark in there, rather typical for these Romanesque churches with their small windows.
But anyway, we kept on walking and found the Treasure House where we admired many ecclesiastical crafts, embroidered copes, reliquaries, procession banners, church silver and many more. In our opinion this church monumental simplicity it is unique in the Netherlands. Once back outside don’t forget to the intimate green square named 'Onze Lieve Vrouweplein' with lots of terraces of the surrounding cafes for the necessary refreshments!
The church is dedicated to Our Lady, we were not surprised by that, as it was very common in those days for the first church in a city. You do not want to miss this church and can enter it except when they have a service. Today it is a very common thing to burn a candle in the Merode Chapel in honour of Mary, Star of the Sea, on a sunday or any other day in the week. Really a lot of people in Maastricht visit it to burn a candle and pray. So many in fact that sometimes people have to queue … we were lucky enough to have a free entrance and go our own way.
Once inside we saw a very notable feature, namely the Late Gothic choir with its large crypt. The capitals of the black columns in the ambulatory are richly carved, great to have a closer look. The side chapel containing the image of Onze Lieve Vrouwe Sterre der Zee (Our Lady Star of the Sea) dates from the 15th century. Other features of interest are the west crypt, which belonged to the earlier church, the church treasury, the beautiful 16th century cloister and the west tower.
Maastricht's origins date back to the days of the Roman Empire, which makes it one of the oldest cities in The Netherlands. At a fordable place of the river Maas they built a bridge and a settlement named Trajectum ad Mosam, which from the third century on was protected by a huge wall. Built into this wall (at least it looks that way!) is a very unusual building and an intriguing example of Romanesque architecture -> the Onze-Lieve-Vrouwekerk (Church of Our Lady). It definately has a so-called westwork which obviously once served defensive purposes as well. Parts of it were build using stones from the former Roman castellum. Without a doubt this is the oldest church in Maastricht.
Its earliest predecessor was built in the 4th century, the oldest parts of the current church probably date from the late 9th century (we’re not completely sure about that?). Apart from several smaller additions in Gothic style, the church is still completely Romanesque. By a kind of an accident we ended up by this amazing building. We just did some window shopping and wanted to have a nice refreshment at the Onze Lieve Vrouweplein (square). Once walked around the corner towards the square we immediately saw the façade of the church. Damn those refreshments … we wanted to get in!