Episode 12: The Court of Tilly

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The building we’re discussing this week was home to nobility, a General (or two), French revolutionaries and more before it became a hub of education for over a century! That’s right, we’re talking about the Court of Tilly (or Hof van Tilly in Dutch) which now houses the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences of Maastricht University. Join us as we chat about this city landmark and its history.

Above we can see two illustrations of the Court of Tilly by artist Philippe van Gulpen. The first (top) shows the Court of Tilly’s courtyard and garden from the south (c. 1840, (c) RHCL). Gulpen’s second illustration (bottom) shows the courtyard of the Court of Tilly from an insider’s point of view, where the relief feature and fountain can be seen on the right (c. 1840, (c) RHCL).

Throughout the late nineteenth and twentieth centuries the Court of Tilly was an educational institution, first as a public school then as a form of teacher’s college to train young educators. The first image (top left) shows a ceiling stucco decoration from the interior of the building, c. 1917 ( (c) Cultural Heritage Agency of the Netherlands via Wikimedia Commons).

The second photograph (top right) shows pupils of the graduating class of 1933 of the National Nursery School for Teachers (Rijkskweekschool voor Onderwijers in Dutch; (c) RHCL). The director of the Rijkskweekschool lived next door to the Court of Tilly and the entrance to this home can be seen in the third photograph (bottom) to the right of the main gate. This photograph shows the main frontage and large gate of the Court of Tilly above which are the letters ‘RIJKSKWEEKSCHOOL VOOR ONDERWIJERS’ as well as a marlstone cartouche with the year ‘1714’ (c. 1925 – 1930, (c) RHCL). To see a higher resolution image where you can make out some of these features, click here.

One of the impressive features of the Court of Tilly is this marlstone relief featuring the Greek god of the Sea Poseidon with his wife Amphitrite (19/22018, (c) Romaine, Wikimedia Commons). The relief was originally part of a fountain and the wall was the partition of house number 90 on the same street ( (c) RHCL).

Above you can see the courtyard of the Court of Tilly as it stood in both 1972 and 2018. The top images (left and right) show the courtyard 8/6/1972 when the Court functioned as a teaching college ( (c) RHCL). The lower images show the courtyard as it was in 2018 as the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences as part of Maastricht University ( (c) Romaine via Wikimedia Commons).

As stated above, the Court of Tilly has continued its educational capacity into the 21st century and remains a part of Maastricht University. In the photographs above you can see some of the modern interiors. The first photograph (top left) shows the exterior of the old gymnasium built in 1885 ( (c) Kleon3 via Wikimedia Commons) and the second (top right) shows it’s current interior as a multi-purpose University space ( (c) mestreechtersteerke.nl).

The bottom photographs show the interior of the main building with the bottom left showing the ground floor and the bottom right showing the first floor of the Court of Tilly in the 21st century ( (c) mestreechtersteerke.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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