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Lees in het Nederlands
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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.