Sunday, January 22, 2012

Maastricht, The Netherlands

Maastricht emerged in Roman times at a point along the river Maas which could be crossed by foot, on the Roman road that led from Colonia Agrippina (Cologne) to Bononia (Boulogne). Maastricht is located in the southern part of the Dutch province of Limburg, of which it is the capitalMaastricht is widely known as a city of history, culture, local folklore and education. The town is popular with tourists for shopping and recreation. Maastricht has a large growing international student population. It is also known for its picturesque squares, romantic streets, and historical buildings. 

Claudia's visit February 2008

St Servaasbrug

The Stadhuis (townhall) on the markt was built from 1559 - 1664 and said to be a masterpiece by Pieter Post of the Northern Netherlands. If you want to, the lobbey area is open to visitors. Maastricht is a lovely, relatively small city to visit. You'll enjoy some lovely winding streets offering some great shops, yes some of the main brands are there but there are more than enough independent stores to keep the ardent shopper interested and very happy.

There are cafes, bars and restaurants scattered throughout Maastricht, you're guaranteed to find something to cater for all budgets and preferences. If the sun is shining you won't be stuck trying to find a terrace to relax on as the Dutch are big fans of outdoor cafe life. One of our favourites is Brasserie Bonhomme on the Maaspromenade. Alternatively there is a great selection in front of the Onze-Lieve Vrouwbasiliek or on the Vrijthof.

Brasserie Bonhomme

Onze-Lieve Vrouwbasiliek
There aren't a huge number of key sites to see in Maastricht, it is definitely a city for relaxing, shopping, eating and drinking. So if you find the Stadhuis, Onze-Lieve Vrouwebaisiliek, St. Servaasbrug, The Generaalshuis, the Cemetery and the Sculpture of Pieke, you'll have ticked all the tourist boxes.

Sculpture of Pieke

The Generaalshuis
Het Vrijthof

You will find the sculpture of Pieke and his dog in Stokstraat, he was a character in a book written by the author Ber Hollewijn. The Generaalshuis on the Vrijthof was built in 1809 by General Dibbets, who succeeded in keeping Maastricht part of the Netherlands. The Cemetery, is now one of the city's main squares and was located outside the town walls when the construction of St Servaas began.

Below some more photos taken in Maastricht when Carlos and Jose visited us in June 2008. Next time guys, try parking the easy way :-) (private joke).

Typical sight in the Netherlands, a bike park

Finally on Maastrich, for somewhere really special to eat, check out Restaurant Beluga where we celebrated Susy's birthday in 2010. Amazing food, a special culinary experience.