This was the first church that we "met" after our arrival in Utrecht. She sports quite a combination of styles. The facade of this church is in Renaissance style, but the church is in fact one of Utrecht's oldest, dating from ca. 1040. There are regularly concerts held here in this church, as well as other events from time to time. The interior is rather bland but gives a good basic idea of Romanesque architectural principles.
This Roman Catholic church is a real eyecatcher. It's built in a neo-Classical style that is often called Waterstaat-style, after the ministry that was responsible for the building of new churches for much of the 19th century, although the term neo-Grec is also used, and seems more appropriate, as the style is obviously inspired by ancient Greek temples. It was designed by K. Zocher and built from 1838 to 1840. As usual for this period the interior is filled with objects that looked sculptured but are in fact made out of plaster, and marble that at closer examination turns out to be painted wood.
The Geertekerk is a three-aisled Gothic church with Romanesque elements. It looks more like a village church, and it stands in a rather quiet but pleasant part of the centre. This church fell victim to the intolerance of the Calvinists, who no longer used it but preferred to see it fall apart rather than to return it to the Catholics. For many years it was a total ruin, just a few walls without a roof, with trees growing inside, until it was decided that the Remonstrants were allowed to buy it in the 1950's. These Remonstrants did a terrific job at restoring it.
Utrecht is a city of cathedrals. Apart from the only real Gothic cathedral in the Netherlands and the Roman Catholic St. Catharina, there is this Old-Catholic St. Getrudis. The Old-Catholics are the result of a conflict within the Roman Catholic church in the 18th century. Ever since the Old-Catholics have used different architectural styles for their churches than the Roman Catholics. The St. Getrudis, the cathedral of the Old-Catholic diocese of Utrecht, is an example. It was built in 1912-1914 in neo-Romanesque style. I can't say anything about what's inside, as I haven't been in there myself.
The Nicolaikerk is one of Utrecht's original four parish churches. This is a late-gothic church with a few romanesque parts, especially at the western facade, a reminder of the original church from the 12th century. One of its two towers was heightened in 1586 to accomodate a carillon.
The church is used for protestant services but is also part of the Centraal Museum. In Summer you can get in at Saturdays.
The current Roman Catholic cathedral was built as a monastery church. The monastery is now Museum Catharijneconvent. In 1853, when the catholic hierarchy was fully restored in the Netherlands and the catholics had given up their demands for the return of the big cathedral, this church was chosen to be the new Roman Catholic cathedral. It was the only church restituted to the catholics in this city. To give it more allure the church was lengthened; the facade was reconstructed a few meters from its original position, and a tower was added which in many ways was a copy of that of the townhall of Kampen.
The interior looks rather "protestant" because it was restored to look like a painting by Pieter Saenredam, who painted it in the 17th century, when the church was protestant. In case you might like to take a look, you can on Saturday afternoons in the Summer.
There are 5 main churches in Utrecht, they form a churchcross together. The Domchurch is in the middle, the northpoint is the Janskerk and east is the Pieterskerk. The ones in the south and west respectively Paulusabdij and Mariakerk are gone. The other churches are very old and worth a visit.
The Janskerk or Church of St. John was build in the 11th century. Bisschop Bernold opened the church, one of five churches to form a cross of churches at city of Utrecht.
The original building was constructed in a Roman style with two towers at the West side.
One of the towers collapsed in the 14th century.
In the 16th century a big part of the church was reconstructed in a Gotic style.
After the reformation the practicing of the Catholic religion was forbidden and the church was transformed into the city library.
In 1656 the reformed church bought the building. A heavy storm damged the West side of the church and in 1682 this side and the remaining tower were demolished.
Early 1800 the church was used to house German troups and later for storage of timber.
In 1947 a first restauration was started, but a second one was needed from 1977 till 1981 to rebuild the church in its original Roman style.
During the high season the Janskerk is open to visitors:
Tu - Fr: Noon - 5PM
Sa: Noon - 4.30PM
On sundays their are holy services in the church.
The Maria church was one of the five Roman Churches build in the city of Utrecht in the 11th Century on an initiative of emperor Hendrik IV and bisschop Koenraad.
In 1844 the church was demolished; nowadyas only the cloister hallway remains.
This church comes in a combination of styles. The facade of this church is in Renaissance style, but the church is in fact one of Utrecht's oldest, dating from ca. 1040. This originally Romanesque church was part of a cross of churches in the center of which was the cathedral. Later the choir was replaced by a Gothic one. There are regularly concerts in this church, as well as other events. The interior is rather bland but gives a good basic idea of Romanesque architectural principles. Thick walls, small windows, that sort of thing. Like most churches in the centre of Utrecht the church is open in the Summer.
The Pieterskerk or Walloon church in many ways is the St. Jan's twin. Not only are both churches practically equaly old (both were consecrated in 1048), originally they must have looked virtually the same too, both being cruciform churches in early-Romanesque style. Of all Romanesque churches in Utrecht the St. Pieter is the best preserved, both outside and inside, even though it has had some changes in Gothic style, and its two towers were destroyed centuries ago.
In Summer the church is open from Tuesday to Saturday between ca. 11 and 16 h.
Utrecht is full of churches and of course the Dom (cathedral and tower) - if you have time it is probably worth exploring them but we didn't unfortunately.