the sixteenth century
The king of Spain inherited the rights of the Duke of Brabant. Charles the Fifth visited
Maastricht in 1520, Philips the Second came in 1550. The 'Spanish Government' was built on the
square called 'Vrijthof'. The Spanish garrisoned the town. Maastricht maintained a garrison
Meanwhile the Reformation had come, and as a reaction the Counter-Reformation. The Council
of Trente was the culminating-point of the Counter-Reformation. The kings of Spain were leaders
in the fight against Protestantism.
The magistrate persecuted witches and anabaptists. The latter were burnt on the Vrijthof.
The Calvinists caused many troubles too, and were banned from the city.
But the Maastricht citizens were not always happy with the Spanish reign. When they wished
to replace the troublesome Spanish soldiers with German soldiers, the Spanish committed the
'Spanish Furie' (1577, see the picture). Then the revolting Staten-Generaal (Holland) reigned the city
for two years, but the Spanish reconquered the city in 1579. Catholicism was reinforced by the
coming of Jesuits, Capucine friars and 'Bonnefanten'. That is how Maastricht remained Catholic