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This city offers culture, boutiques, shops, a Burgundy atmosphere, classic and modern. Maastricht is the capital city of Limburg and one of the oldest cities in the Netherlands with a history dating back to 500 BC. Maastricht is situated by the river Meuse (“Maas”) and borders on the Heuvelland region and the Belgium regions of Flanders and Wallonia. Almost 119,000 people inhabit the city of Maastricht.
Maastricht's history dates back to the Stone Age. Tools and remains have been found that go back 250,000 years ago. Encampments were already created in the Maastricht area when the Celts lived there until the Romans entered the area. They created a huge camp, a castra, called Mosa Trajectum.
The Romans built the first bridge across the Meuse so the people could cross the river, regardless of the water level. This bridge was in use (including renovations) for a thousand years until it collapsed in 1275. A new bridge was erected 200 meters to the north which is now known as the famous 'Sint Servaasbrug'. Maastricht has been permanently inhabited since Roman times.
Maastricht prospered as an industrial city with a great number of ceramics factories. After the foundation of the Maastricht University, the city presented itself as a congress city. The Eurotop 1992 took place in Maastricht during which the twelve European countries signed the Maastricht Treaty. This was the foundation for the European Union and the euro as currency.
Culture and attractions
Maastricht's rich history is visible throughout the city. Maastricht has over 1500 monuments, buildings and attractions including the Vrijthof, the Basilica of Our Lady, the Market square, the Saint Peters mountain, the Bisschopsmolen and the Saint Servatius Basilica.
Several museums are located in Maastricht including the Bonnefanten Museum for fine and contemporary art, the Museum aan het Vrijthof, the Maastricht Natural History Museum and the Centre Céramique where exhibitions and displays are organized.
Maastricht is a place of pilgrimage. Pilgrims come to Maastricht to worship e.g. Our Lady Star of the Sea, Saint Servatius, Saint Lambert and Saint Hubert. Maastricht also has several churches including the Saint Servatius Basilica, the Minderbroeders church and the Saint Lambert church.
Events and entertainment
One of the main events in Maastricht is the yearly TEFAF, the world’s largest and most famous art and antique fair. Furthermore, André Rieu gives a few spectacular performances every year on the Vrijthof square, which has become one of the most popular events of Maastricht. Without any doubt André Rieu will again attract thousands of visitors to Maastricht this year as well. Another major event is Carnival, 3 days of festivities which is celebrated in the entire province. Maastricht is known for its street carnival and parades. In summer there is the Amstel Gold Race, the famous international cycling event. Every year in August there is the Preuvenemint, a great culinary event on the famous Vrijthof square in which all the top restaurants of Limburg participate. Jazz Maastricht is becoming increasingly popular each year, just as the Nederlandse Dansdagen (Dutch Dance Days). Jumping Indoor Maastricht is the top sports event for horse lovers. And last but not least in this list comes Magical Maastricht when Maastricht is transformed into Christmas City of the Netherlands each December with beautifully lit ice skating rinks and Christmas markets.
A city with 'joie de vivre'
The city is known for its star restaurants and delicious eateries. The most famous are of course Beluga boasting 2 Michelin stars. The star restaurants Chateau Neercanne, Toine Hermsen and Tout a Fait are attractions in their own right to warrant a visit to Maastricht. This city offers everything you would expect from a Burgundian lifestyle concerning food and drink. Join the locals in Café Sjiek or at the Friday afternoon drinks at Café Zondag or La Bodega and experience the atmosphere for yourself.
Shopping in Maastricht
With the rich nightlife, culture and history, Maastricht is a wonderful destination for a visit. Shopping is very attractive with many boutiques, innovative shops and shopping centers, several markets and an extensive pedestrian shopping area. Something you shouldn't miss is a visit to the former Dominican church where bookshop Selexyz is situated, as well as Coffeelovers, the famous coffee shop of Maastricht with coffee from Blanche Dael. The British newspaper The Guardian labeled this the most beautiful bookstore in the world.
Hiking, golf, skiing, mountain biking…
After a day of shopping and enjoying the city, you may want to try one of the challenges in the field of sports that are close at hand. Make a reservation and we’ll help you choose from the many possibilities in and around Maastricht.