Before the Romans came, there was already trade in the neighbourhood of the place where
people went across the river Maas: for example, trade of flint from the mines where now
Rijckholt is. In the Roman era came the settlement for trade 'Vicus', called Wijck today.
In the Roman era, Maastricht was already a junction of roads. During the centuries it has
levied much toll. Since 550 there was a Frankish mint. The 'Scoense Verderen' (farers to Schonen)
carried Maastricht cloth and leather, glass and pottery from the Rhineland, and raw materials
from the Ardennes. Wine, raisins, pepper (etc.) came from far countries. And the town needed
building materials: marl from Kanne, stone from the Ardennes.
Maastricht was the local market for vegetables and cattle and much more. Since about 1500 it was
staple market for wool and other goods. There were three large international yearly markets: on
Saint Servaas (13-th of May), Saint Remacle (3-d of September) and Saint Remigius (1-st of
October). Then there was freemarket too, and exiles were allowed to stay in town.
King William the First was a trade king: in 1827, the Zuid-Willemsvaart was set open, with in
Maastricht the Bassin as a terminal point. In 1850 came the canal to Liege.