European year of cultural heritage

European year of cultural heritage

2018 is the European year of cultural heritage. All locations of Oostwegel Collection are monumental locations and have the status of a national monument according to the national service for cultural heritage. We learn more about each other’s history to look in the European context.

Credits pictures: VVV Zuid-Limburg

Oostwegel Collection & cultural heritage

We would like to introduce you to the cultural heritage in the Maastricht Region.

Exterior Château Neercanne

The American Cemetery Margraten

The American Cemetery Margraten is an American military cemetery and a monument dedicated to the memory of the deceased American soldiers at the time of the fight in South Limburg, the battle of the Ardennes and in the Ruhr area, during the second World War. 8,000 Soldiers are buried on this major American cemetery in The Netherlands.

On the picture you can see the family Ryan with Camille Oostwegel sr. standig near the grave of captain Joseph Ryan from New Jersey. He died in Germany on 1 March 1945 while he served in the 744e Tank Battalion. Camille oostwegel, adopter of Captain Ryan’s grave in Margraten initiated the production of a documentary about Ryan. The starting point of the documentary is a mysterious bullet hole in one of the mirrors in Château St. Gerlach in Valkenburg.

You can watch the movie online:

Schunck 'Glaspaleis'

In 1874, Johan Arnold Schunck moved to Heerlen to set up a hand-weaving mill. He and his family ended up in Heerlen the business continued to flourish and when Arnold died in 1905, his son Peter took over. Around 1930, Schunck had his eye on an unsightly looking plot of land on the south side of Heerlen’s market place (now called ‘Bongerd’). Schunck had plans for a new building and wanted to radically transform the way in which his products were sold and to do this. So, in 1933, Frits Peutz, was given the assignment to design a ‘spacious and tall store’, which is the current Glaspaleis (literally ‘glass palace’).

Instead of being demolished, the municipality decided in 1995 to renovate the Glaspaleis. The building now holds the accolade of being one of the most influential buildings of the 20th century, according to the International Union of Architects.

Today, operating under its original name, SCHUNCK* is being used as a multidisciplinary cultural institute housing a museum for modern and contemporary art, a centre for research and presentation in the field of architecture and urban planning, a public library and a school of music, as well a restaurant and café.

The Basilica in Meerssen

The Basilica on the market in Meerssen is known as the ‘ jewel of the Maasgothic ‘. The middle part was built in Romanesque style around 800 by Charles the great. Between 1320 and 1340 the monks of Reims built the low chancel in Gothic style. The middle part was adapted to this style.

In 1465 the Basilica partially went up in flames. To make matters worse, the church tower blew partly over in 1649. In 1733 it was decided to break it down. The basilica was completely restored twice in the 20th century. The Basilica features beautiful stained glass windows of the famous artist from Meerssen Charles Eyck. In 1938 Pope Pius XI the church was elevated to become a Basilica. The Papal recognition as Basilica is partly due to two special moments: the blood miracle (the oldest miracle of The Netherlands, 1222) and the fire miracle (1465).

The blood miracle took place in the church of Meerssen in 1222. During the Holy Mass the priest forgot to put water and wine in the chalice. A voice told him to continue with the Eucharist. And really, when breaking the host water and blood dropped out of the host in the chalice. It must have been the voice of God.

At the Fire wonder a farmer, who saw the flames coming out of the roof of the Church, intervened immediately from the upper hamlet of Raar and savid the monstrance out of the burning Church. Returned to the field where he was working, he saw that the field completely ploughed. Angels must have done this work. To remember this occurrence, every two years during the Sacrament octave a great procession from the Basilica to Raar.

The water tower of Rimburg

The water tower of Rimburg also called water tower of Ubach over Worms is located in the municipality of landgraaf. The former water tower was built in 1925-1926 by the former coal mine “Laura en Vereeniging” in Eygelshoven, designed by the office of this company. The water tower has a height of 35.70 metres and one 200 m³ watertank. The tower and the clean water cellar have a status of national monument.

In 2004 two individuals won the water tower contest of the municipality of landgraaf. The restoration of the water tower and the construction of a house next to it, on reflection went beyond their budget. So was the water tower was sold in 2006. After a major renovation is the water tower decorated as a watchtower with next to it a Brasserie.

Castle Ruins Valkenburg

On the spur of Heunsberg hill, high above Valkenburg, are the weathered remains of marlstone walls and towers. These are the remnants of the once-powerful medieval fortress of the lords of Valkenburg.

In its heyday, the impressive structure had towers and battlements and was defended by cannons. It was several floors high and had gothic windows. Heunsberg hill is surrounded by steep marl walls on all sides, which made it virtually impenetrable at a time when knights fought with bow and arrow, lances and swords.

The castle is also protected by a hollow road carved out of marl on the east side known as Dwingelweg. This formed the perfect line of defence against danger from that side. The trees in the area were regularly cut down during the Middle Ages to give the approaching enemy no chance to seek cover and sneak closer.

The history of the castle begins in 1115 and ends in 1672. In the intervening years, the inhabitants held authoritative positions and managed vast areas. Valkenburg Castle was besieged and destroyed several times over the centuries but always rebuilt until 1672. Those who visit the castle today can see that the immense structure has undergone many construction phases over the years, all linked to the sieges and devastations.

The Dutch Mine Museum

The Dutch Mine Museum cherishes the Limburg coal and mining history and is in the shaft building of the former coal mine Oranje Nassau 1, Heerlen. This is the only building of Heerlen in the Unesco top 100 monuments.

The shaft building with 3 floors, built around the 470 metres deep mine shaft, is decorated as an exhibition space. Here are mining objects exhibited and films shown about the history of the mining area. At this place you can visit the pick-up building with a pick-up machine from 1897.
The Dutch Mine Museum has an extensive collection of mine lamps, outfitting hammers, styles, tools and art created by and for miners.

Lumière Cinema

In the monumental power plant of the old Sphinxfabrics Lumière Cinema Maastricht is located today and visitors can enjoy a daily lunch or dinner in the restaurant/café. Enjoy the summer on the sunny terrace by the water. Lumière is the place for the particular film, with up to 8000 shows per year.

Geul Valley

Who enters the valley of the river Geul, can still really enjoy a breath-taking corner of unspoilt nature. Especially the part between Partij and the Belgian border is unique. The wooded valleywall south of Wijlre, following on the plateau area at Ingber, is a hikers’ paradise. The most southern part of the valley of the river Geul has an erratic character. Open plateau portions are interspersed with steep slope forests. Timber-framed buildings as white pearls adorn the beautiful landscape. A true five-star landscape!

The characteristic half-timbered house

They are like white pearls scattered amongst the rolling hills in the Maastricht Region: the characteristic half-timbered houses and farmhouses.
Until the last century farmers built and maintained these white houses with wooden frameworks itself. The building, in which the skeleton is made of wood, stone, straw and clay, was until 1850 the normal way of building houses in this region. Because the materials were available in the neighbourhood, it was cheap to build houses in this way. Nowadays for over one hundred years half-timbered houses are no more newly built, but renovated.

Castle Strijthagen

The castle dates back to the thirteenth century. The castle was built on the foundations of its medieval predecessor. Over the centuries, the Castle has affected much of mine damage. The castlefarm dates back to 1690. The baron of Strijthagen was one of the residents, as well as baron De Rose de Lommissen. Painter Aad de Haas and pianist H. Bands held at the Castle.

The shaft Nulland

The shaft Nulland belonged to the former ‘Domaniale Mijn’ in Kerkrade. The oldest coal mine of The Netherlands. From 2006 it is a dependency of the Discovery Center Continium, Museum square Limburg. Former mineworkers of the ‘Domaniale Mijn’ established the foundation ‘Koempels of the Domaniale’. The shaft was refurbished as a museum. They provide since 2013 tours for various groups, from elementary school classes to families and of associations to corporate events.  In the shaft are an original elevator, a mine bicycle, coal cars, various machines and all kinds of objects and photographs from the my time to admire. Recently, visitors can also take a look at the upper floor.

The ‘Grendelpoort'

The ‘Grendelpoort’ is one of the three medieval city gates of Valkenburg. The gate was built round 1335. Formerly the gate had an other name, namely: Bergerpoort, Maastrichtse Poort or Trichterpoort, after the places where the road through the gate lead. On the outside was a small gate, behind this gate used to be a well ; the ‘Grendelput’. This well is gone for a long time, but the name of the port is still used.

Jesuit Caves

A Unique subterranean museum in the Cannerberg near Maastricht since 1996 an officially designated national monument.
One of the world’s best provided preserved limestone quarries, the Jezuïetenberg (Jesuit Caves), is located on the outskirts of the city of Maastricht, close to the Belgian border. Exploration of this quarry, which forms part of the Fallenberg-complex started centuries ago when limestone was widely used as building material. Owing to the Jesuit Fathers there now is an subterranean museum in this vast network of galleries. Between 1860 and 1960 Jesuit scholars and theological students spent a great deal of their leisure time on Wednesday in this quarry where they recreated after their strenuous studies.
Apart from the many interesting studies and publications they produced, they drew a full scale floor plan of the quarry’s gallery network, and moreover, they created numerous charcoal and coloured drawings on the cave’s walls.

Furthermore they carved a large number of reliefs and statues on and from the limestone walls. Winged bulls, the Alhambra (including a fountain and a pond), Christ, Buddha, the head of Ramses II and many other fascinating objects are embellished in the interior of the subterranean galleries. When in 1968 the Jesuit Order left Maastricht, supervision and maintenance of these caves became the responsibility of the Jezuïetenberg Foundation.

View the history of our venues