History Hoge and Lage Fronten in a nutshell
The Hoge and Lage Fronten are part of the fortifications in Maastricht-West. Also locally known as the 'Wèrreke'. The fortifications were built in different timeperiods. Just after the completion of the fortifications in the Lage Fronten, the fortress status of Maastricht was abolished (1867). A large part of the city gates and fortifications were demolished to enable expansion of the city.
19th century: industry in the Lage Fronten
After the abolition of the fortress status, large parts of the Lage Fronten were repurposed and converted into a cargo-handling port. A station and railway yard were built on the Frontensingel. The Maastricht-Boschpoort railway station has since disappeared, but remnants of the tracks are still visible in the Lage Fronten. The industrial past can also be visible in the subsoil and it is not ruled out that passers-by find remnants of industrial waste.
20th century: out of sight, out of mind
In the course of the 20th century, the Lage Fronten fell into disrepair. The construction of the Noorderbrug in the 1980s was the final blow. Due to the increase in traffic on the Frontensingel, Statensingel and Cabergerweg, the accessibility of the Lage Fronten deteriorated. Local residents forgot about the area. In the following years, the Lage Fronten transformed into a site where mainly vagrants and junkies spent their time. With the added downside that on a rather large scale (contaminated) waste was dumped in the Lage Fronten. But this neglect also had an advantage: flora and fauna had free rein.
21st century: Frontenpark
From 2015 to 2019, the Lage Fronten were overhauled. The ramparts were restored to prevent further decay and the Centre for Environmental and Nature Education (CNME) now tackles ecological management to promote biodiversity. A 120-metre-long dry canal has been built underneath the Cabergerweg, connecting the Hoge and Lage Fronten, just like they once were. Thanks to the rerouting of the Noorderbrug, surrounding roads are now traffic-calm. Both Hoge and Lage Fronten are easily accessible again. From the Sphinxkwartier, hikers can now walk through the Frontenpark from St. Lambert's Church on the Queen Emmasquare in one easy hike towards Lumière Cinema. In Maastricht dialect: #wandelevaanLambèrtotLumière.
Frontenpark in the picture
Thanks to our photographers Fred Berghmans and Jonathan Vos we have an impressive photo collection at our disposal. All photos can be viewed on Flickr Belvédère Maastricht.