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Maastricht is located in the southern part of the Netherlands, close to Liege and Aachen. It is an ancient city and was founded by the Romans around 50 B.C. near a ford in the river Maas. The city center is split in two by the river and the train station located in the smaller part of the center.

The city's name comes from the Latin 'Mosae Trajectum', the site where the river Maas could be crossed. The settlement grew to become a walled castellum, which was abandoned towards the end of the fourth century A.D. Maastricht had its first outer walls built in 1229. The city was important strategically, and has been attacked and invaded throughout its history.

The centre of the city is especially attractive, due to the wealth of historic buildings. There are approximately 1450 monuments in the city that are protected by law. Both new and renovated buildings must maintain the period atmosphere of their surroundings. Because of its heritage value, the whole of Maastricht city centre has been declared a 'protected area'. (Maastricht Tourist Board)

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Additional Photos by Chrystyna Kushmelyn (ChrysK) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 136 W: 0 N: 74] (495)
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