The underground of Maastricht
Are you not afraid in the dark and do you like a challenge deep underground? In that case, Maastricht is a perfect destination for you. In this Burgundian city, an entire network of passages can be found underground. During your stay at Dormio Hotel de Prins van Oranje you can visit these caves and corridor system. The collective name of all these underground attractions is Maastricht Underground, consisting of Fort Sint Pieter, Caves North, Caves Zonneberg and the Kazematten. What makes these caves and passages special, is that they were not made by nature but excavated by human hands. It is therefore worthwhile to pay a visit to the Underground of Maastricht.
History Underground Maastricht
The Underground of Maastricht was not constructed just like that, it involved many hours of work. And that is putting it mildly. People have made the mine passages by sawing and hacking marl from the primeval layer of soft limestone. The marl has arisen because millions of years ago, skeletons and scales of animals have accumulated at the bottom of the sea which was located on this spot back then. It is special that these fossil remains can still be seen until today in the yellow marl stones on the walls of the corridor system. In the eighteenth century, people excavated a defence system of 14 kilometres in length in order to approach the enemy underground and to disable them. During the war, the Underground of Maastricht served as a shelter for the population of Maastricht and surroundings. There was room for more than 25,000 people who really lived underground. It included a sickbay, a bakery, a chapel and there were water wells and toilets.
The labyrinth once consisted of more than 20,000 passages with a total length of approximately 200 kilometres. Nowadays, 80 kilometres of passages are left. It is very easy to get lost, but luckily a guide will always be able to guide you out. The passages are filled with incised signatures and charcoal images. During your visit to the Underground of Maastricht, you will see with your own eyes how the Maastricht population took refuge in the vast passages of this system. To add some additional dimension to your visit, you can discover the deepest secrets of the Sint Pietersberg by scooter. Especially for children, a Children Cave Tour is organised in the Caves North.