St. Servaas and his stories

St. Servaas and his stories
On January 27th Meet Maastricht offered the tour of St. Servaas for the third time – it seems the interest in this imposing monument is never ending; every time we announce it, it is booked to capacity in no time. Of course that is in no small part due to the story telling of Julia Wojtas – she provides our guests with all the relevant information in an entertaining way.

Photo credits: Martijn Weyenberg

We started off with a quick overview of the history of Maastricht’s start and yearly centuries, looking at the objects displayed in the ‘Lange Gaank’ – the vaulted halls surrounding the inner courtyard. After that, we visited the Treasure Room, filled with the precious objects which testify to faith, power and cultural preferences through the ages. The greatest treasure kept here is the elaborate gold plate shrine of St. Servaas, a masterpiece of the craftsmen of a thousand years ago.

Photo credits: Lucy Willems 

And on into the majestic church itself, with stories of its builders and of the significance of the statues and paintings. We descended into the crypt and were allowed to enter the small cellar containing the burial site of the saint – the threshold stone completely worn away by the footsteps of the millions who passed here to pay their respect. In a second crypt Julia explained to us the different stages of the building, the oldest dating back about 1500 years.
After that it was up and up, on a winding Medieval staircase, first to the great balcony overlooking the church. And upward, on a more narrow stone spiral stairway, to the magnificent Emperor’s Hall, a serene vaulted chamber. And higher still, up into the bell tower, where you can see the top of the stone vaulted ceiling. From there we could walk up narrow wooden stairs to the bells, as long as we got back down before the bells started ringing… It was a great experience; thank you Julia and we will be happy to have you as our guide again soon!

Photo credits: Martijn Weyenberg

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