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In 1579 the city was sacked by the Spanish army under general Alexander Farnese, Duke of Parma (Siege of Maastricht, 1579).

Around the same time, the poet Henric van Veldeke wrote a legend of Saint Servatius, one of the earliest works in Dutch literature.

Unlike most Dutch towns, Maastricht did not receive city rights at a certain date. In 1204 the city's dual authority was formalised in a treaty, with the prince-bishops of Liège and the dukes of Brabant holding joint sovereignty over the city.

The provosts of the church of Saint Servatius held important positions in the Holy Roman Empire during this era.

The city's two main churches were largely rebuilt and redecorated.

In the 10th century Maastricht briefly became the capital of the duchy of Lower Lorraine.

During the 12th century the town flourished culturally.The bridge was an important link in the main road between Bavay and Cologne. Remains of the Roman road, the bridge, a religious shrine, a Roman bath, a granary, some houses and the 4th-century castrum walls and gates, have been excavated.Fragments of provincial Roman sculptures, as well as coins, jewelry, glass, pottery and other objects from Roman Maastricht are on display in the exhibition space of the city's public library (Centre Céramique).Maastricht Romanesque stone sculpture is regarded as one of the highlights of Mosan art.Maastricht painters were praised by Wolfram von Eschenbach in his Parzival.It is not known when the Romans arrived in Maastricht, or whether the settlement was founded by them.The Romans built a bridge over the Meuse in the 1st century AD, during the reign of Augustus Caesar.Of a later date are Palaeolithic remains, between 8,000 and 25,000 years old.Celts lived here around 500 BC, at a spot where the river Meuse was shallow and therefore easy to cross.The town was an important centre for trade and manufacturing.Merovingian coins minted in Maastricht have been found in many places throughout Europe.

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