Episode 33: Ambachtsschool (Trade School)

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Ever wondered where the 19th and 20th century tradesmen of Maastricht learned their trades? This week we’re talking about the old Ambachtsschool where boys would be trained in mechanics, woodwork and other valuable skills!


The first photograph above (top left) shows the facade of the Ambachtsschool in 1960 ( (c) RHCL). The second image (top right) shows the school in 1915 ( (c) RHCL). The third photograph (bottom) is a coloured postcard of the school from 1926 ( (c) RHCL).

Above are photographs of the classrooms, students and teachers of the Ambachtschool in the early 20th century. The first photograph (top left) shows the a classroom of the automotive department with the director HR Bus and his successor IPHS Nijst on the left, 1930 ( (c) RHCL). The second photograph (top right) shows the metalworking department, with metal lathes and milling machines, c. 1960 (NB. this may be dated incorrectly as it seems to be a part of the 1930 collection of photographs; (c) RHCL).

The third image (centre row, left) shows two young men in the woodworking room in 1930 ( (c) RHCL). The fourth photograph (centre row, right) shows the instruction room for blacksmiths with instructor LH van Bilsen on the left, 1930 ( (c) RHCL).

The fifth photograph (bottom left) shows the painting room of teacher HW Pot in 1930 ( (c) RHCL). The final photograph above (bottom right) shows another metalwork instruction room in 1930 ( (c) RHCL).

Top left above is a photograph of the Stadspark aviary, built by students of the Ambachtsschool, c. 1930 – 1935 ( (c) RHCL). Top right is a photograph showing students building a different aviary in c. 1950 – 1956 ( (c) RHCL). The third photograph shows the bear cage in the Aldenhof park constructed by students of the school for the arrival of two bears in 1920 (photo from 1930 (c) RHCL).

The first photograph above (top left) shows a group of students and teachers from the school in 1939 ( (c) RHCL). The second photo (top right) shows pupils with their teacher in 1925 ( (c) RHCL).

The third image (bottom left) shows a leaving certificate from the school, belonging to Joseph Oberndorff and signed by director Henricus Bus ( (c) Jos Last via mestreechtersteerke.nl/). The fourth image shows men standing outside the school during it’s time as repatriation camp ‘VV4’ in 1945 ( (c) RHCL).

The photograph on the left shows construction of the cinemas next to the old school in 1994 ( (c) RHCL). The photo on the right shows the cinema before it closed in early 2020 ( (c) wijlimburg.nl).

Above are photographs of the Ambachtsschool’s modern equivalent, VMBO Maastricht. The first photograph (top left) shows students in the large greenhouse ( (c) scholenopdekaart.nl/). The second (top right) shows HBR (hospitality) students who usually work at the the school’s restaurant, De Bonnefooi, selling takeaway meals during the Covid-19 pandemic, c. 2020 – 2021 ( (c) www.stichtinglvo.nl). The third photograph shows the gates of the VMBO Maastricht school c. 2019 ( (c) nos.nl).

Above are photographs taken by John Kerkhofs via Maastricht Digital in early 2020, showing the interior and exterior of the school as it stands today (Kerkhofs).


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!