European recognition of the Sphinxkwartier district


Maastricht’s Sphinxkwartier district is now an anchor point along the European Route of Industrial Heritage (ERIH). ERIH anchor points are heritage sites of exceptional historical importance for industrial history. Maastricht’s Sphinxkwartier, the birthplace of the Industrial Revolution in the Netherlands, has now been designated as one of these points. Gert-Jan Krabbendam, member of the Municipality of Maastricht’s Executive Committee for Urban Development and Monument Conservation: ‘In Maastricht, some 100,000 m2 of industrial Sphinx heritage has been redeveloped in an innovative way and opened up to the public. Many people have worked hard to achieve this. When you as a city receive European-level recognition for your efforts, you should be extremely proud – and we absolutely are.’


On Wednesday 9 October 2019, member of the municipal executive Gert-Jan Krabbendam and Mr Hildebrand de Boer (board member of ERIH) unveiled a plaque in recognition of the Sphinxkwartier’s status as an anchor point. The plaque will get a permanent place in the Sphinxpassage, the 120-metre-long, tile-themed passage that brings the history of Maastricht’s pottery to life in words and images.


Industrialization changed the face of Europe, which nowadays boasts a huge network of industrial heritage sites in many different countries. ERIH has set itself the goal of bringing these sites back to life and making sure they receive public attention. As it stands in 2019, almost 120 anchor points are located across 15 European countries, divided into regional and thematic routes. ERIH has sites across Europe and gives visitors access to more than 1,800 monuments of industrial heritage. The Sphinxkwartier has been added to two themed routes: ‘Production & Manufacturing’ and ‘Housing and Architecture’. Please visit for further information.

From abandoned factory site to buzzing city district

The founding of glass and earthenware companies by the Netherlands’ first industrialist, Petrus Regout (1801-1878), marked a turning point in Maastricht’s history. From the middle of the nineteenth century until 2006, the Sphinx factories dominated the activity in the area around Boschstraat. After Sphinx vacated the premises, the following years saw the Municipality of Maastricht develop a new vision for the Sphinxkwartier, as laid down in the ‘Antwoord van de Sphinx (the Sphinx’s Response)‘.

Contemporary designs with a respect for history

Fast forward to 2019, and the Sphinxkwartier is a dynamic, contemporary urban district. Old factory buildings have been given new uses, yet always with respect for and awareness of the area’s industrial past. The history of the Sphinx factories and Maastricht’s pottery industry comes to life in the 120-metre-long Sphinxpassage. Visitors are immersed in the industrial past of the Sphinxkwartier, ‘t Bassin, Frontenpark, and Het Radium. And thanks to new designs offering a mix of public, catering, and cultural functions, the numerous former factory buildings can be enjoyed by many people. Check out for further information.


 Europese erkenning voor het Sphinxkwartier


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