the houses

Until the eighteenth century, houses in Maastricht (like elsewhere) where most often made of wood and loam ('vakwerk'). Only the most important houses were made of stone in early centuries: for instance the convent of the White Women on the Vrijthof, where the legendary maiden Marieken van Nieumeghen did penitence; and lateron the Spanish Gouvernment, where Willem van Oranje was outlawed. The 'Hof van Tilly' was first a refugee house, later on meeting place of the administrators from Liege and Brabant, and house of the wellknown military gouvernor 't Serclaes de Tilly. There are many large monumental houses standing upright today.
When most houses were made of stone, the poor lived still in hovels: in the Lange Grachtje, for example, these were built against the city wall. Downtown pauperized altogether in the second half of the nineteenth century; Regout, the 'king of pottery', had a big house built for his labourers: the barracks called 'Groete Bouw' or 'Cité Ouvrière'. Outside the town, people lived often in hovels and marl pits (see the picture).
In the eighteenth century, soldier Abraham van Citters knocked out his pipe in a powder magazine. The explosion that followed created the empty space called 'Abrahamslook', where new houses could be built. Some monumental city farms were then built. The nursing home Klevarie stands there now.

another picture