It is still a subject of dispute whether the located on both sides of the Meuse/Maas River Maastricht is the oldest or the second oldest (next to Nijmegen) city in the Netherlands. It is the second to Amsterdam regarding the number of heritage sites.

During my very short visit in town, I have hardly seen much of it.

Maastricht (7)

The history of Maastricht began around 500 B.C. as a Celtic settlement. Its name, meaning „crossing at the Meuse“, is presumably related to the bridge that the Romans built in the 1st century during the reign of Emperor Claudius.

I don’t intend to recount here its changing fortunes, similar to those of so many other settlements in Western Europe in principle.

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Maastricht isn’t a typical Dutch city. It resembles the Belgian cities along the Meuse/Maas River with their local architectural style, arose indeed along that river.

The Town Hall from 1683 is considered one of the most beautiful Dutch Baroque buildings.

Minckeleers Maastricht

The statue of Jean-Pierre Minckelers, Maastricht scientist, inventor of illuminating gas – with ‘eternal burning flame’.

Onze Lieve Vrouwe Maastricht

Onze Lieve Vrouwebasiliek/Basilica of Our Lady. It was renovated in the 19th century, but the major part of the contemporary church dates back to the 11th and 12th centuries. The temple is an important representative of the Maasland architectural style. It has obtained that, I should say, sinister and oppressive atmosphere thanks to the Dutch architect who had renovated it in the 19th century. The building is unlit and so dark that you can have the feeling, the devil would spring out of some corner and would begin to pull you to Hell.

In 1933, it was declared „Basilica minor“ by Pope Pius XI (you could identify the rank right away by the Umbraculum – part of the papal regalia and insignia).

I know, the photographs are poor quality, but this is due to the lack of light inside.

The organ is from 1652.

St. Martinus Maastricht (3)

Do I see one Black Madonna in St. Martin’s Church – not mentioned or explained anywhere, just as the one in the Church of the Immaculate Conception in Monschau?

St. Martinus Maastricht (2)

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Some street shots. Do you see what I see?

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