Onze Lieve Vrouwebasiliek

Top choice in Maastricht

Dominating an intimate cafe-filled square, this millennium-old basilica-church is a fabulous example of Mosan architecture, made 'extra authentic' through 1886–1916 restorations led by Pierre Cuypens (of Rijksmuseum fame). Still a deeply spiritual place, you'll usually come in past pilgrims kneeling at the candle-filled medieval shrine to 'Maria Star of the Sea' and will need to adjust slowly to the brooding darkness of the interior, with its gigantic Romanesque pillars.

The treasury houses a rich cache of jewels and paying the access charge allows you to visit the small north cloister. An audioguide is available (€3) from the shop-stall to the right as you enter the main church.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Maastricht attractions

1. Helpoort

0.15 MILES

This rough-cut-stone tower-gateway dating from 1229 dominates the most impressive of several fragmentary sections of medieval city wall. You can look…

2. Museum Aan Het Vrijthof

0.21 MILES

Exhibitions in this small museum change every few months but even if the current subject doesn't interest you it's worth popping your head inside.

3. Vrijthof

0.24 MILES

Home to a range of city festivities and occasional funfairs, the Vrijthof is an expansive square on which a row of terrace cafes face off against two…

4. St Janskerk

0.26 MILES

This attractive 17th-century Gothic church has a soaring if relatively unadorned interior and a 43m limestone tower whose deep red hue was originally…

5. Markt

0.29 MILES

The Markt, Maastricht's commercial heart, still hosts markets several times a week in the shadow of the 1664 city hall, a distinctively spired, cubic…

6. St Servaasbasiliek

0.32 MILES

Built above and around the shrine of St Servaas (Servatius), the first bishop of Maastricht, the basilica presents an architectural pastiche whose…

7. Centre Ceramique

0.37 MILES

Primarily a state-of-the-art library, this modern airy cube also has changing exhibitions in the spacious foyer area.

8. D'Artagnan Statue

0.47 MILES

Of countless battles and sieges that have afflicted Maastricht, the best known was in 1673 when Louis XIV's French army took the city guided by master…