Saint Servatius’ Treasury

Keizer Karelplein 3, 6211 TC Maastricht

The challenge: use LEDs to light a leading example of Europe’s cultural heritage to its best advantage, limit the damage to art objects and reduce the time-consuming maintenance required for halogen lighting.

The treasury at Saint Servatius’ Church in Maastricht houses some historically and artistically valuable church artefacts. The basis of the collection was put together by Saint Servatius himself. Known as the ‘first bishop of Maastricht’, he lived 16 centuries ago, at the time of the migration of the peoples. Over the centuries, the treasure has grown (and also shrunk at times), and it is still very impressive. Go and see for yourself, on Keizer Karelplein in Maastricht.

Clarity and reflection are important in this museum. Both the gold and silver objects and the cases in which they are displayed reflect light. Reflections prevent visitors from seeing the objects properly. The angle at which the light falls on the reflective surfaces determines how the objects are seen. Cleverly positioned spotlights keep reflection to a minimum.

The treasury at Saint Servatius’ also includes a famous collection of Oriental silks dating from the fourth to the fifteenth century. Movement detectors ensure the darkness is lit up as soon as a visitor enters the space. The low-UV LED lights illuminate the patterns and designs without causing any undue optical damage to these light-sensitive textiles.

Client: Stichting Schatkamer St. Servaas

Engineering: Spie, Maastricht

Installed: 2015

Photography: Marije Zuidweg