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Crossing the Meuse river by walking the St. Servaasbrug

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Crossing the Meuse River by Walking the St. Servaasbrug in Maastricht

If you're looking for a unique and picturesque way to explore the charming city of Maastricht, then crossing the Meuse River by walking the St. Servaasbrug is an absolute must. This splendid seven-arched 13th-century bridge is not only a symbol of the city but also offers a fascinating glimpse into its rich history and architectural beauty.

Historical Significance and Fun Facts

The St. Servaasbrug, also known as the St. Servatius Bridge, holds the title of being the oldest bridge in the Netherlands, despite being largely rebuilt after World War II. Named after Saint Servatius, the first bishop of Maastricht, this bridge has played a significant role in the city's development.

The Romans originally built a wooden bridge across the Meuse in Maastricht around AD 50, and the Latin phrase for "crossing of the Meuse," "mosae trajectum," became the name of the city. The present St. Servaasbrug was constructed between 1280 and 1298, replacing the collapsed Roman bridge. The Roman Catholic Church even provided indulgences to those who helped build the bridge, highlighting its importance to the community.

Architectural Features

Made of limestone, the St. Servaasbrug stretches 160 meters long and 9 meters wide. Its seven arches, each spanning approximately 12 meters, are supported by seven piers. The bridge's design is a testament to the craftsmanship of the medieval era, and its picturesque setting against the backdrop of the Meuse River makes it a favorite spot for photographers and visitors alike.

Things to Do and See

Walking across the St. Servaasbrug offers a delightful experience, allowing you to soak in the beauty of Maastricht from a unique vantage point. Start your journey in the Wyck District on the right bank of the Meuse River, known for its charming streets, boutique shops, and cozy cafes. As you cross the bridge, take a moment to admire the statue of St. Servatius, a prominent figure in Maastricht's history.

Once you reach the other side, you'll find yourself in the heart of the city's old town. Explore the bustling Market of Maastricht, where you can visit the historic Town Hall and immerse yourself in the vibrant atmosphere of the local market. Don't forget to sample some delicious Dutch treats and indulge in the city's culinary delights.

When to Visit

The St. Servaasbrug is a year-round attraction, but the best time to visit is during the spring and summer months when the weather is pleasant, and the city comes alive with festivals and events. The bridge offers stunning views of the Meuse River, especially during sunrise and sunset, so be sure to bring your camera to capture the magical moments.

Whether you're a history enthusiast, an architecture lover, or simply seeking a memorable experience in Maastricht, crossing the Meuse River by walking the St. Servaasbrug is an adventure you won't want to miss. So, lace up your walking shoes, embrace the charm of this ancient bridge, and embark on a journey through time in the enchanting city of Maastricht.

Updated on 27 May 2024

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