Episode 11: The Minderbroedersberg

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Did you know there have been three Churches of the Minderbroeders (Lesser Friars or Franciscans) in Maastricht? In this episode we’re talking about the second which still stands today as the administrative hub of the University of Maastricht! Join us as we discuss it’s life as a Church and convent then as a court and prison, and now as a University building. 

As stated above, the Minderbroedersberg church and convent were the second of their kind in Maastricht. The first (which had to be vacated) and second (also later vacated) can be seen in the images above. On the left you can see the first Minderbroederskerk (church of the lesser friars) as it is today as part of the Regional Historic Central Limburg archives ( (c) RHCL). On the right is an illustration by Philippe van Gulpen from c. 1840 of the second church which was built in 1699 ( (c) RHCL).

The first two images above show plans for the second church and convent of the Minderbroeders, being the Minderbroedersberg. The first image (top left) shows a chart created in c. 1894 by Baron G.Th.L. von Geusau for his Brief history of the Cloisters in Maastricht ( (c) RHCL). The second image (top right) shows the first floor plan of the church and convent in c. 1804, drawn for a French publication ( (c) Wikimedia Commons).

The third image (bottom left) shows the now former church as a court in c. 1846, as illustrated by Philippe van Gulpen ( (c) RHCL). The fourth image (bottom right) is an illustration of the court in action, also drawn by Philippe van Gulpen, c. 1840 ( (c) RHCL).

While the third Minderbroeders church (on the Patersbaan) and convent no longer exist, the top image here shows the Patersbaan farewelling missionaries to the Paters Franciscan Friars in c. 1925 ( (c) RHCL). In the bottom image we can see the Sint Janskerk on the left, the second Minderbroeders church and convent in the centre and third Minderbroeders church on the right in c. 1915 ( (c) RHCL).

The four images above show the Minderbroedersberg throughout the twentieth century. The first photograph (top left) features participants in a scientific research course lead by CJ van Leddes – Hulsebosch, head of the laboratories of the judicial investigation in Amsterdam in c. 1925 on the steps of the Minderbroedersberg ( (c) RHCL). The second photograph (top right) shows political offenders being brought to the court after the liberation of Maastricht at the end of World War II (14/9/1944, (c) RHCL).

The third image (bottom left) shows a more peaceful court front in c. 1968, featuring the ‘Lady Justice’ statue in the facade of the building ( (c) RHCL). Curiously, the fourth image (bottom right) shows the discovery of a tomb during renovations of the court in 1975 ( (c) RHCL).

Above are modern photographs of the Minderbroedersberg as it exists today as the administrative hub for the University of Maastricht. In the top photograph you can see the exterior and refectory of the modern building ( c. 2017, (c) SATIJNplus Architects, via Facebook).

The bottom photograph shows the interior of the Aula of the Minderbroedersberg whilst being used for a University ceremony ( (c) Ad Utens via fotograafzuidlimburg.nl).

As always, if you have something you have always wanted to know about Maastricht or wanted to ask a local, please contact us through social media or our website and we will do our best to answer your questions in future episodes!

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