second half 17-th century
Until the last years of the eighteenth century, cruel punishments were given for witchery
and crime. The pillory stood on the Market square in such a way that the condemned saw the street
called "Grote Gracht". Hence the Maastricht saying "to look into the Groete Grach". As to the
Market square: Pieter Post built there about 1660 the town hall which is there up to now.
With two stairs leading to the front door: one for each of both lords (the prince-bishop and
The 'roi soleil' ('sun king') Louis the Fourteenth of France besieged Maastricht in 1672, and
took the city. To reach that goal he had to undermine the outer defense works (casemattes) that
had been built recently. He was so proud of this victory that he had a triumph arch erected
for it in Paris.
During the attack, the wellknown musqueteer d'Artagnan died next the gateway called
'Tongersepoort'. In 1676 stadtholder Willem the Third (the English 'king Billy') besieged
Maastricht, but he did not succeed. Yet, France gave Maastricht back to the Netherlands in 1678.
Thereafter, the Dutch treated the Catholics more kindly. They fortified and enlarged the outer
defense works. On the hill called 'Sint-Pietersberg' they built the fortress 'Sint Pieter'.