The collection of streets between the city centre and the Jeker quarter
is known as the Stokstraat quarter. It’s that historic corner of the city between
two statues, ‘De Mestreechter Geis’ and ‘Slevrouwe’. All of these streets
ultimately lead to the ever-charming, intimate and romantic Onze Lieve Vrouweplein. In this part of the city, you can find the warmth and charm of a classic Maastricht pub on virtually every corner.
The quarter takes its name from what may be the city’s most famous (or infamous) street. Today, Stokstraat is known as the place for the most exclusive and luxury shops in the Netherlands, but it was not always so. If there’s any street that has seen its fortunes turn over the years, it’s this one. In the Middle Ages, its reputation was dubious thanks to its many bathhouse-brothels; later, the street enjoyed a renaissance with many reputable merchants established in it, until, as the Industrial Revolution took hold and the city centre became overpopulated with wave after wave of migrants from the countryside, the street became synonymous with grinding poverty. Living conditions here became so dire that there was even talk of demolishing the entire street.
The Stokstraat quarter of today is the result of a dramatic redevelopment between 1950 and 1973, which succeeded in preserving its historic character but transforming it into a fashionable address for living, shopping, and dining.