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Treasury text version
The true treasures of a church are its saints. Their relics are kept and
worshipped with due care. The same applies to the Basilica of Saint Servatius
- to its Treasury. The property of the treasury, which is still quite
sizeable, is just a fraction of the original amount of its church treasures.
The Church treasures undoubtedly originated from Saint Servatius himself.
As legend has it, he took all of the church treasures, comprising the
bones of his predecessors, with him when he left Tongres. These remains
of saints, called relics, are encased in precious metals adorned with
gems or in valuable fabrics.
Today, the valuable Church treasures of the former Chapter are displayed
from various perspectives. First of all, you can see a display of objects
which relate to Saint Servatius himself or which are ascribed to him,
such as the gilded bust, dating from 1580, with a relic of the Saint's
skull; the pectoral cross; the pilgrim's staff; the crosier; the chalice
with portable altar; the seal; and the goblet.
The most precious treasure is the so-called 'Noodkist' (Chest Reliquary),
being the shrine of Saint Servatius. The shrine contains what remains
of the relics of Saint Servatius and other bishops of Tongres and Maastricht.
The 'Noodkist', which dates from around 1160, is considered the milestone
of the goldsmith trade in the area of the river Meuse. The 'Noodkist'
was carried in procession through the streets of Maastricht in times of
great distress. Today, this tradition is repeated every seven years on
the occasion of the Heiligdomsvaart (the Showing of the Relics).
The Treasury of the Church of Saint Servatius includes a famous collection
of oriental silk fabrics from the 4th to the 15th century. Finally, many
ivory and silver reliquaries can be seen in the treasury, shaped as boxes
or horns, or made from objects from exotic countries, such as ostrich
eggs, coconuts, and so on. All objects are testimony to our ancestors'
devoutness and love of art. Since 1983, the Treasury can be found in the
'Chapter Chapel', which dates from the 11th century.
The Treasury can be visited daily from 10:00 am to 4:30 pm.