St. Servatius Bridge

Maastricht, Netherlands

St. Servatius Bridge (Sint Servaasbrug) connects pedestrian traffic from the Binnenstad district of Maastricht on the west bank of the Meuse to the Wyck district on the east bank. It is named after Saint Servatius, the first bishop of Maastricht, and (despite being largely rebuilt after World War II) it has been called the oldest bridge in the Netherlands. The bridge is made of limestone, and in its current configuration it is 160 metres long and 9 metres wide.

The Romans built a wooden bridge across the Meuse in what is now Maastricht, in approximately AD 50, and the Latin phrase for 'crossing of the Meuse', 'mosae trajectum', became the name of the city. For many years this remained the only crossing of the lower Meuse. However, the Roman bridge collapsed in the year 1275 from the weight of a large procession, killing 400 people. Its replacement, the present bridge, was built somewhat to the north of the older crossing between 1280 and 1298; the Catholic church encouraged its construction by providing indulgences to people who helped build it.

The bridge was renovated in 1680, and in 1825 a wooden strutwork section on the east side of the bridge was replaced by a stone arch. In 1850, as part of the construction of the Maastricht-Liège Canal, a channel was cut on the west side of the bridge.

When in the early 1930s the bridge had been relieved of its function as the city's only river crossing by the construction of the Wilhelmina bridge, 300 metres downstream, a major renovation was performed. The arches were reconstructed in concrete, covered with the original stones. Underwater, counter-arches were constructed to prevent erosion of the river bed on which the bridge was built. Two arches on the eastern end of the bridge were removed and replaced by a vertical-lift bridge.

During World War II the bridge was severely damaged by the German army as they retreated from the Netherlands in 1944, but it was rebuilt in 1948. In 1962, the shipping channel to the east of the bridge was spanned by a steel drawbridge attached to the main bridge.

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    Founded: 1280-1298
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    User Reviews

    Abhishek Bachhawat (2 years ago)
    My favourite Bridge
    Gautier Milewski (2 years ago)
    Truly a historical landmark or Maastricht. A beautiful bridge at the feet of which the Maas wrinkles in its contemplative flow. It is the heart of the city which is itself an island of peace and beauty and calm. I wish to go back to Maastricht just to step foot on this bridge again.
    Rick Hsu (2 years ago)
    It's very beautiful bridge.
    Natalia Riabtseva (3 years ago)
    Very nice bridge that combines old and modern part. Certainly worth to pass by and across
    Ermengol Bota (3 years ago)
    One section of the bridge goes up when a big boat cross it. Nice to see. Also the bridge is very nice, an old stone bridge.
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