Thursday, May 29, 2014

Maastricht

Thursday, May 29, 2014

We finally found parking in an underground garage at Stadspark where there was a market or festival going on.

Helpoort, the only remaining medieval gate along the first line of city walls dating back to the 13th century 


We stumbled upon an operating water wheel to an old flour mill from the 13th century that happens to be part of a really good bakery Jackie read about called De Bisschopsmolen. 

The mill once belonged to the Bishop of Liege in 1099 hence the name. 
We were both hungry so we stopped for a bite to eat at De Bisschopsmolen. We split a sandwich, bowl of soup and a slice of apple pie.

Next we went into Onze Lieve Vrouwebasiliek (Basilica of Our Lady), an beautiful Romanesque church. 

Candles in front of the statue of Our Lady Star of the Sea, which is over 600 years old 
It is quite dark inside, but worth viewing the interior, but we weren’t allowed to take pictures inside.
Onze Lieve Vrouwplein (Our Lady Square) 
The Maas River 
Saint Servaasbridge (Sint Servaasbrug) over the Maas River 





Jackie & baby girl by the Saint Servaasbridge over the Maas River 
Hoge Brug, a more modern bridge over the Maas River 
Next we walked through the shopping district. Even though it was a national holiday, there were still plenty of businesses open in Maastricht to support the tourists. 
We went to Stadhuis Masstricht (Maastrict City Hall). 

There was a large outdoor flea market set up in Market Square. 
We have been looking for authentic old city maps for awhile now and Joe found the mother load.
We sorted through a large stack of maps that appear to be all from the same German book from 1896.
We chose 5 letter-sized maps of Prag (Prague), Athen (Athens), Berlin, München (Munich), & 2 halfsize maps of Köln (Cologne) and Mainz which is in the Rhine Valley of Germany. Jackie studied abroad in Prague in 2005 and Joe visited her there. That year we also visited Athens, Greece. Jackie has been to Berlin, Germany and would love to go back there with Joe (5.5 hour drive). Both of us really want to visit Munich (7 hour drive). We have plans to visit Cologne in June while Jackie’s friend and old coworker Todd is visiting with his boyfriend Ken. Joe visited Mainz in the Rhine Valley in 2011 when he spent 6 weeks in Eindhoven for work and Jackie really wants to visit there with him (3.5 hour drive).

Next we went to Selexyz Dominicanen Bookstore, a 13th century Domican church converted into an impressive contemporary bookstore in 2005.

The interior design is done by the Amsterdam firm Merkx+Girod Architecten. 
A series of stairs led up the walk-in bookcase, providing an up close personal view of the vaults of the nave. Many have considered this to be the world’s most beautiful bookshop!
Bookstore from level 2 
The church nave, now the bookstore café 
Bookstore from level 3 



The exterior of Selexyz Dominicanen
We ate some waffles with ice cream at outdoor patio by Dominican Church and Joe had a beer
Vrijthof Square 


Strange sculptures in Vrijhof Square 
Saint John’s Church (Sint Janskerk), the gothic red tower next to the Basilica of Saint Servatius


Basilica of Saint Servatius, one of the oldest churches in Europe dating back to the 4th century. It has been remodeled and rebuilt many times so there are many styles all over. 



The cloister around the church courtyard with entry into the church at the end

The nave was built in the first half of the 11th century 
Crypt under the main alter, the site where St Servatius brought Christianity to Maastrict in 387 AD. 

The stain glass window through the cast iron opening under the alter in the crypt 
The alter and apse 
The transept was built in the second half of the 11th century. 
Charlemagne worshipped here. The remainder of the cloisters required a fee to visit. Apparently the church treasury contains many relics.
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