It may not be a particularly large city, but Maastricht certainly is ancient. The oldest archaeological finds ever located in the Netherlands come from this area, and prove that humans lived here during the Palaeolithic period, some 250,000 years ago. Much later the Romans established the current city and named it Mosae Trajectum, meaning ‘crossing at the Meuse’. In fact, one the oldest bridges in the country, the Sint Servaasburg (Saint Servatius Bridge), crosses the Meuse river here. It was built in the 13th Century to facilitate expansion beyond the walls of the original stronghold. Ten years ago, the Hoge Brug (High Bridge) was added, providing visitors with the most amazing view of the city, and a perfect selfie location.
Crossing a divide, however, takes more than just building a bridge. The original town and the newer districts, such as Wyck (pronounced ‘week’) on the other side of the river, remained separate entities. There were rumours ot mutual discord and hostility; people simply coudn’t stand each other. The new arrivals were deemed unwanted and boorish intruders; a sentiment that lingered on throughout the years. Anja tells me that when a new cemetry opened in Wyck in the 19th Century, a Maastricht lady was overheard saying that she ”wouldn’t even be found dead on The Other Side”.
From: Holland Herald, March 2016
Photograph by Karim : www.werkaandemuur.nl