St. Peter’s Caves
St. Peter’s Caves
Over the centuries, the mining of marl in the caves of St. Pieter has resulted in the formation of a labyrinth with over 20,000 tunnels. The so-called block breakers (marl cutters) as well as various artists have left their marks behind in the form of various texts on the walls, some of which are very old. Today the mines and caves only serve as a tourist attraction.
In one of the highest spots in Holland, miles of tunnels make for a unique experience. A tour beneath Saint Peter’s Mount near Maastricht allows you to explore the caves that were excavated by men through the centuries.
- Discover the highlights in a tunnel system totaling 80 km.
- Listen to the stories of life underground during the wars.
- You can also explore the caves on an autoped.
Saint Peter’s Mount consists of limestone, which is called 'mergel' in Limburg. Because it is an excellent building material, miners started excavating the mountain some 1,000 years ago. Their work resulted in a unique tunnel system that is well over 80 km long. The caves are accessibly exclusively by guided tour.
The tour will take you to a huge dome and the Gothic hallway. The caves were used as a refuge in wars and when Maastricht was under siege. The guides can tell you about life in the dark tunnels in places where people used to stay. Did you know that the cave also served to keep Rembrandt’s famous Night Watch painting safe during WWII? You can also visit this site.
You can take several guided tours through the tunnel system. There are special tours for children and the disabled and you can also visit Saint Peter’s Fortress dating from the early 18th century. If you prefer a more active experience, book the autoped tour, which starts at the Zonneberg entrance.
The tours take about one hour. Please note that the temperature belowground is about 10 °C. Don’t forget to bring a warm coat.
The caves have several entrances. The Grotten Noord (North Caves) are most easily reached from the city center. You can walk there in about 25 minutes. The local VVV tourist office can give you a map. You can also take a bus, which stops at a 5-minute walk from the entrance. Zonneberg is easily accessible by car (15 minutes) or bicycle (20 minutes) from the center.
Spending the night near the caves
Book a hotel or B&B just outside Maastricht’s city center.