Valkenburg : Christmas shopping in caves and ancient pits.

Valkenburg is preparing for the annual event: the opening of the underground Christmas shopping area in the local ancient caves and pits, on December 4th.


 

For the 14th time since its first opening in 1985, people can visit the attractive caves from December 4th until December 18th, from 12.00 until 22.00 hrs PM.

The caves are spread under the Valkenburg city center and are well preserved to meet a casual look and atmosphere. The corridors in the caves are all lighted with candles. The market booths are not lined up but present the merchandise in scattered fashion, throughout the underground area and they all present all kinds of articles about the Christmas holidays.

The heart of the cave is the oldest part: the Romans cut it out of the marl, some 2000 years ago. In this picturesque part, Christmas scenes will be presented here on a daily basis. In addition, this part is reserved for a buffet and for bars and terraces on various platforms and floor levels.

Valkenburg’s mayor Mr. Nuytens will commission the Christmas cave scene on December 4th at 15.00 hours, where after orchestras, brass bands, choirs and individuals will play at regular intervals.

The entrance fee for this annual top happening is 2,50 Dutch guilders (about 2 dollars).

As hundreds of thousands of visitors will visit the town in the coming weeks, a second Christmas market has meanwhile started, located at another part of the rich Valkenburg cave and pit mazes. That market has already opened some days ago and is now a welcome initiative to avoid that the first market caves will become too packed or crowdy.

A visit to one of the markets is highly recommended and it became one of the top attractions of the Netherlands in the Christmas season.

Cees Grol

Dec 1999.

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