17th International Congress of Christian Archaeology


Brochure Saturday Excursion and City Tours


Utrecht City Walking Tour on Sunday 1 July

For those staying or arriving in Utrecht on Sunday 1 July we will organize a walking tour in the area of the ancient Roman castellum.

The conference´s venue is situated at the very Northern border of the Roman empire, just inside the Roman fortress. With the arrival of Willibrord in AD. 691 this fortress developed into the main ecclesiastical centre of the Northern Netherlands during the Middle Ages.

During our walk we will visit under expert guidance (in English and Italian) those places that have played a key role in the early history of the city. We will take a look at the physical remains of the original Roman fortress and the Cathedral church, pass by some of Utrecht’s Romanesque churches and encounter the city’s unique medieval canals. We will also walk past the so-called ‘Paushuize’, an early 16th century mansion built by order of the only Dutch pope, Adrian VI.

Meeting point and time

Sunday July 1st 2018, at 6 PM at the foot of the ‘Domtoren’ (Cathedral bell tower)

The tour will end at 7.30 PM circa.


Nijmegen City Walking Tour on Wednesday 4 July

After arrival in Nijmegen on Wednesday afternoon a tour through the city centre of Nijmegen is provided (with guides in English, Italian and German). We will visit the site of the late antique Castellum, the Carolingian and later remains on the Valkhof hill and the medieval and modern city centre with the church of St Stephen. At 5 PM we are awaited in Museum Het Valkhof for a reception organized in collaboration with the Museum and the City of Nijmegen.

Meeting point and time

Wednesday July 4th 2018, at 4 PM in front of Museum Het Valkhof, Kelfkensbos


Congress Excursion on Saturday 7 July

Following the conference a tour will be organized to two interesting sites in the extreme south of the Netherlands (1,5 h drive from Nijmegen)


Valkenburg catacombs

The catacombs excavated in the marl pits of Valkenburg around 1910 are a remarkable monument of the reception of Early Christian Rome. They are a precise replica of some of the more monumental areas in the early Christian catacombs of Rome. Piety, didactics and apologetics were the main drivers that motivated those who built these catacombs. The realization of the Valkenburg catacombs was possible because of a close collaboration with the Pontificia Commissione di Archeologia Sacra and specialists such as Joseph Wilpert. Several of these scholars left their signature on site. We will visit the various cubicula with their paintings among which the Cappella Greca, currently in restoration, and admire the historical signatures. A tasty lunch will be served in the catacomb premises.

More information:





While in Maastricht, we will take a walk along the remains of the late-Roman castrum, and visit the Basilica of Our Lady Star of the Sea, the Archaeological Museum Derlon and most importantly the area of the Vrijthof, with the Basilica of Saint Servatius.


Basilica of Saint Servatius

Under the impressive medieval church in the centre of the attractive city of Maastricht, several layers of older structures have been discovered in the last century. The focus of these building campaigns was the tomb of Servatius, one of the first missionary-bishops active in the Southern Netherlands. He allegedly died in 384 in the Roman castrum of Maastricht. Excavations have revealed a Late Antique memorial chapel, a 6th century basilica and subsequent early medieval churches. Specialists will talk us through the excavations and show other artefacts like Early Christian gravestones. The church treasury gives evidence of the continuous religious significance of the site with splendid reliquaries from the Early Middle Ages onward.

More information:




Fee for the Saturday excursion: 50 € (to pay cash at the Congress; lunch at the catacombs included)

Departure by coach from Nijmegen Central Station at 8.45 AM. Return at 8 PM ca.

Please register your participation by sending an email to ciac2018@let.ru.nl or by signing up at the front desk by Tuesday, July 3rd.