A Unique subterranean museum in the 'Cannerberg' near Maastricht, since 1996 an officially designated national monument
One of the worlds best provided preserved marlstone quarries, the 'Jezuitenberg (Jesuit Caves)', is located on the outskirts of the city of Maastricht, close to the
Belgian border. Exploitation of this quarry, which forms part of the 'Fallenberg-complex', took place between 1704 and 1880, when marlstone was widely used as building material. Owing to the Jesuit Fathers there now
is a subterranean museum in this vast network of galleries. Between 1860 and 1960 Jesuit scholars and theological students spent a great deal of their leisure time on Wednesday afternoons in this quarry where they
recreated after their strenuous studies.
Apart from the many interesting studies and publications they produced, they drew a full scale floor plan of the quarry's gallery network, and moreover, they created
numerous charcoal and coloured drawings on the cave's walls.
Furthermore they carved a large number of reliefs and statues on and from the marlstone walls. Winged bulls, the Alhambra (including a fountain and a pond), Christ,
Buddha, the head of Ramses II and many other fascinating objects embellish the interior of the subterranean galleries. When in 1968 the Jesuit Order left Maastricht, supervision and maintenance of these caves became
the responisbility of the 'Jezu´etenberg Foundation'.
It is possible to make a one-hour and half-guided tour on foot through the caves. The guide will tell you something more about the history of the caves and will provide
background information about the drawings and statues that you will encounter. Reservations are obligatory and can be made by contacting the secretary Guided Tours. Groups must consist of at least 10 persons who are
not under 18 years. On Saturday you only can visit the caves at ten a.m., noon, two p.m.and four p.m. On Sundays and during holidays the caves are closed.
In the galleries there is a constant temperature of 10 degrees Celsius only. The humidity is as high as 98 %. Consequently it is recommended to wear warm clothes and