In de ban van de stad


  • Serve Minis




The present border of the municipality Maastricht has largely been determined by the Peace treaty concluded at London in 1839 between Holland and Belgium. The fortified city of Maastricht stayed Dutch possession after the Belgian Revolt (1830). At the Peace Treaty of 1839 Limburg was divided in two. The new state frontier followed the river the Maas. Only at Maastricht the borderline was drawn about 2,5 km's to the west respecting the surroundings of the fortification.

From medieval times on the sovereign was entitled to remove all obstacles within this zone at threatening war. Till the end of the 18th century, the government of the city was shared by two sovereigns, represented by the Prince-bishop of Luik and the German Kings and Emperors or their feudal lords and successors. The episcopal residence, still localized at Maastricht from the 4th to the 8th century (next to the Church of Our Lady within the border of the Roman Castellum), the Prince-bishop possessed the oldest rights.

The area to the west of the city belonged to the crown lands of the Emperor during the Early Middle Ages. Close to the old city a new power centre arose near the grave of the Holy Servatius, buried outside the city according to Roman customs (384). With support of the Merovingian rulers an abbey was founded near the grave of Servatius and in Carolingian times a royal Palatinate was built next to the abbey.

The Servatius Abbey got the status of Free State Minster in de 10th century and the German rulers visited the city of Maastricht regularly in the 11th and 12th century. The imperial authority has been strongly undermined in the 13th century. The Duke of Brabant knew to extend his territory considerably. In 1204 he also obtained the feudal tenure of Maastricht, which gave rise to a long fight with the Prince-bishop of Luik.

Both sovereigns preserved their own jurisdiction and the remaining affairs of the government were arranged in common like the maintenance of the city walls, built ca. 1250, the up-keeping of the roads, the public houses and the new bridge made of stone, of which the construction was started ca. 1280. In the 14th century a new circumvallation was laid out, which enlarged the area of the city three times, but the urbanization of this expansion has mainly been confined to the northern and southern crafts-centers of the city.

Biografie auteur

Serve Minis

[No biography available]




Minis, S. (1989). In de ban van de stad. Bulletin KNOB, 88(3), 22–28.