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Historic city centre

Ancient city centre with rich history

You can always count on a warm welcome on any visit to the charming old city centre and impressive historic buildings of Sittard-Geleen. The market square with its inviting terraces is a lovely spot to while away sunny days, and the Limburg good life is yours to enjoy in the many cafés and restaurants all year round. There's always another surprising boutique or cute little shop waiting to be discovered down the winding little streets of the old town. Come see for yourself why Sittard is famous for its charm, hospitality, and love of the good life. 

A brief history lessons
Sittard is one of the oldest cities in the Netherlands, and has a rich history behind it. Its city rights were granted in the year 1243. In 1400, it became part of the Duchy of Jülich, which it remained until 1794. From 1798 to 1814, it belonged to imperial France as a part of the département of the Roer, with Aachen as its capital. After being liberated by the Cossacks, in 1815 it became the last city to be added to the new Kingdom of the Netherlands. But it would be some time yet before its inhabitants felt truly Dutch; in 1830, Sittard was one of the first cities to recognize Belgian independence, and in 1848, many in the city agitated (in vain) for rejoining Germany. But by 1918, when Belgium attempted to reclaim Dutch Limburg, the people of Sittard were fully integrated into the Kingdom of the Netherlands. Since 1972, the city centre has been officially designated as a protected national monument.

City walks

The Sittard Historical Society has published two wonderful walking guides to historic Sittard: A walk through the chapel area and Over and along the old fortifications. Both are available in the South Limburg Tourist Board shop, and both are very much worth your while.

Let us show you
To discover the deepest secrets of the historic city centre of Sittard, take a guided tour. The guides of DeCompanen are masters of wrapping up the story, the sights, and the lifeblood of Sittard into a complete experience, and they have a number of packages on offer, with something for everyone:

City walk
Discover the many aspects of Sittard: its origins, its history, its beautiful buildings and extraordinary stories, its churches and monasteries, the city wall, the city gardens, traditions, its famous sons and daughters, and much more!

Sittard through the camera's lens
Let your guide show you the most beautiful spots in Sittard to capture with your camera. The guide tells you the story of the city while a professional photographer gives you the perfect tips for photographing them. A city walk and photography workshop in one! Take better photos and get the most out of your single-lens reflex camera, compact camera, or even your mobile phone!

Art in the city
Learn more about the works of art that you can come across as you stroll the city centre of Sittard. A guide will introduce you not only to the extraordinary statues of the city streets, but to more 'hidden treasures' under the ground.

This walk can be combined with a visit to Museum Het Domein, where following a nice cup of coffee the guide will walk you through the exhibitions of contemporary art and city history.

Reflection walk
Find yourself on a walk of discovery through Sittard and environs. A guide will take you to the places that have more to them than just history. A closer look at the old centre of Sittard reveals a richness of old churches and monasteries. Their spirituality remains, but is now professed in a contemporary way, separated from the old religious traditions.

Sittard Music City!
Discover Sittard's music history, where music has been a part of life for a thousand years. From the medieval melodies of choirs in the great church to the sounds of the city's brand-new pop music stage Volt. In between, Sittard-Geleen has produced a wealth of composers, singers, bands, stages, and festivals, each with its own unique story and sound. All of Limburg still sings the songs of Jo Erens, Frits Rademacher, and perhaps the greatest of them all, Toon Hermans; but did you know contemporary pop artists are also one of Sittard's biggest exports? Wander, listen, dance, and enjoy on the music walk.

Intimate walk by lantern light
In winter (November-January), you can be led by lantern through a Sittard shrouded in darkness. At select spots, hear blood-curdling stories, folk tales, and legends told by a professional guide.

Book any of these packages on www.decompanen.eu

Coffee & More
With the Coffee & More package, the South Limburg Tourist Office introduces you to three of the city centre's best-kept dining secrets, all just a stone's throw away from each other - and all at a special price. For just €7 per person, enjoy the best of what these three true Sittard highlights have to offer. Triple your pleasure!

Present your Coffee & More ticket and voucher to receive two special coffee drinks and a culinary confection to enjoy on your walk along some of the unique places in the Sittard city centre.

These three establishments will welcome you:
- Brasserie Eigenwijs
- Coffee Mundo
- Bagels & Beans  

Book through the South Limburg Tourist Office
Sittard Historical Society City Walk
The Sittard Historical Society (Vereniging Sittards Verleden) has two city walks specially developed to help visitors and locals alike to discover the unique places and hidden treasures in the city.

These walks take participants through the oldest part of the city, including the former chapel area, and along the last surviving remnants of the medieval defensive works.

*         The Claustrum unlocked, a walk through Sittard's chapel area is a walk through the very oldest part of the city centre: the place where Sittard arose, an area that has been an ecclesiastical enclave for some five centuries.
*         Fortifications walk in and around the ancient fortified city of Sittard is a walk over the city walls and through the firing range, where you will discover how Sittard's unique, medieval defensive works developed over time.

For both walks, a richly illustrated and informative pamphlet is available at the South Limburg Tourist Board shop in Sittard and at local bookshops. On both walks, signs with brief explanations can be found at the points of interest.

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