In 2004, the Maastricht tourist office and some professional enthusiasts began collaboration on a unique project: the creation of a museum in one of the Maastricht bomb shelters. Starting in 1941, the 12 km long tunnel system that once was part of the fortifications around the old town, was used as a giant underground shelter, where 25,000 civilians could find a damp, but safe place whenever there was a threat from the air. Later, in the 1960s, some of the wider tunnels were re-equipped for use as a shelter should the Cold War erupt into a hot one! Impressive equipment was installed to resist the dangers of poisonous gas and nuclear fall-out. Finally, all this came to an end after the fall of the Berlin wall in 1989. Most of the shelters were emptied in 1992. Luckily, one of them escaped. It was saved in its original 1965 state. This is where one can now find this small museum. ‘Schuilen in Maastricht’ is more than the history of the Cold War. The long nights of the Second World War, when the the inhabitants of Maastricht found themselves packed together on wooden benches in the poorly lit tunnels, plays an important role in the museum. The atmosphere, the smell of damp, is reinforced by the impressive but stylish way in which the museum was designed. With the help of volunteers, ‘Schuilen in Maastricht’ opens its doors once a month. Entrance is free. Opening hours are listed on the museum’s website.
Minister Goeman Borgesiusplantsoen, 6214 SC Maastricht, Netherlands