Waldeck Park Casemates, Maastricht

Waldeck Park Casemates, Maastricht

The Casemates (Kazematten) is a network of underground tunnels and former chalk mine galleries located in Waldeck Park – the scene of many violent battles, back in the past. As a defense system, the casemates were created over the period from 1575 to 1825, totaling 14 km in length.

The Waldeck bastion was constructed following the siege of the city in 1688-90 for the purpose of strengthening the outworks on the south-west side. Commissioned by the fortress engineer Daniël Wolff baron van Dopff, it is named after George Frederik van Waldeck-Eisenberg, the military governor of Maastricht (1679-92), and was a seconded fortification – not attached to the main wall. During the dismantling of the Maastricht fortress, in 1867, it was partially destroyed.

From 1770 to 1780, the outer wall of the dry moat was reinforced with a counter scarp of masonry bricks with marl blocks in chains at regular intervals. Behind this wall is a caponier, an elongated, curved casemate with embrasures from which an enemy, ventured into the dry moat, could be fired at from behind. The caponier is linked via corridors to the underground mine system of Maastricht.
Also there are listening and communication corridors used for eavesdropping on enemies.

The history of the casemates is remarkably associated with the legendary French musketeer d'Artagnan who was killed during the siege of Maastricht in 1673. There is a lot of information about him inside the casemates, plus an impressive statue outside, in Waldeck park.

At the time of WWII, locals also put the underground tunnels – capable of holding up to 30,000 people – to a good use, hiding from the Germans. The newest part of the network was built in the 20th century, during the Cold War, to serve as a shelter in case of a nuclear attack on Maastricht.

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Waldeck Park Casemates on Map

Sight Name: Waldeck Park Casemates
Sight Location: Maastricht, Netherlands (See walking tours in Maastricht)
Sight Type: Attraction/Landmark
Guide(s) Containing This Sight:

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