Dom church and tower, Utrecht
The Domkerk used to be one church, but in 1674 a tornado went thru it and the middle collapsed. Now the tower is on one side of the road and the rest of the church on the other. The tower is 112.5 m high and can be seen from about anywere in the city. The building of the Domkerk started in the seventh century and has been devastated a couple of times before this one was build from in 1254 onwards.
At the Domtoren (the tower to the Domkerk), you're required to leave your bags in lockers at the ticket center. You don't understand why until you're trudging up endless narrow circular stairs, feeling along the brick walls for the next handhold.
Our guide, a university student with a crewcut, hawk nose, and radiant smile, gave his spiel at each stop, first in very clearly enunciated Dutch and then in English. We walked among the huge cast iron bells on one floor -- forewarned not to touch the ropes -- and our guide demonstrated by gently tapping the smallest bell. It was a deafening sound that reminded me of Dorothy Sayers' book, The Nine Tailors, which featured murder by bells.
One floor of the tower was the former residence of the tower guardian -- not bad living quarters!
The view from the outside walkway, 3/4 of the way up the tower, was gorgeous. We took a lot of photos but decided not to continue to the top. It was just as well that I didn't try it, because we heard later that there were no handholds, and I had enough trouble seeing the steps on some of the shadowy turns.
I would highly recommend this tour, both for the history lecture and the view of Utrecht. A good bargain at 6 euros. Not recommended for those who are infirm, unfit, or acrophobic.
The views of Utrecht and the surrounding countryside from the top of the Domtoren are absolutely breathtaking!
For just a small fee, you can take a guided tour to the top with commentary from a multilingual guide. If you are in Utrecht and you don't suffer from a fear of heights, then it would be a shame to miss this experience.
Admittedly, the climb to the top is very tiring, so be warned! However, the view from the top and the amazing photographs that you can take make the climb worthwhile.
If I recall correctly, the tours run hourly during the day. Tickets are to be purchased in advance and lockers are available, so no need to attempt the climb with a heavy rucksack!
The Dom Tower is undoubtedly the major feature on the skyline of Utrecht. It isthe tallest tower in Holland and rises over 300 feet in the air. It was built in the 14th century and is hugely impressive from ground level. After ascending 465 steps (so I was told) the views are quite stunning. I say I was told, because I'm not very good with exposed heights, and there is just no way I was going to go up there, not even for the benefit of you good VTer's. Sorry. Having looked at some photos from the top, though, I would recommend it for you bolder souls who can handle heights.
Speaking to one of the locals, I was told that a few years ago, during a cultural festival, they erected a temporary lift (elevator) on the outside to convey visitors to the top. It must have been terrifying!
Entry to the Tower, including a tour is €6:80 for adults.
Situated just behind the Oudegracht is the Dom Tower, which literary towers over the city of Utrecht. It is a good orientation point and also nice to look at. The interior is worth a look, but I'm not sure if you are allowed a climb up the tower if that is what you fancy.
The Gothic belfry was built between 1321 and 1382. The Dom Tower was a multifunctional building. In addition to being a belfry, it was used as the private chapel and bastion of the archbishop of Utrecht. The 112-meter-high Dom Tower in Utrecht is more than 600 years old. This symbol of the city of Utrecht stands on the spot where the city originated 2000 years ago, now Dom Square
The Domkerk is Utrecht's most popular cathedral. The 112-meter-high Dom Tower in Utrecht is more than 600 years old. This symbol of the city of Utrecht stands on the spot where the city originated 2000 years ago, now Dom Square.
This tallest structure in town, which by the way also wins the prize for awesome architecture, gives you a fabulous view both of Utrecht and neighbouring cities, as you can see for miles on a clear day. It is also a remarkable piece of history, so make sure to get your guided tour.
The Dom church is located at the opposite end of the centre from the train station in the old town. You can see the church from almost every part of the city. Listen for the musical chime on the hour. The old town has old style cobbled streets and delightful architecture.
The only true Gothic Cathedral of the country was erected on the location of the former Roman castellum, and had several Romanesque predecessors before this version was built. Unlike French Gothic cathedrals this one only has a single tower. It's been a protestant church for centuries now, reason why inside it's rather uninteresting. The nave vanished long ago, due to the destructive combination of neglect, incomplete support to the vaults and a tornado, which is why a square now seperates the tower from the church. In the Summer of 2004 the nave was reconstructed temporarily out of metal tubes. The result was very disappointing and gave absolutely no idea what the church had been like in its complete form.
Climb the tower for a great view and sore feet. I did once, long ago when I was a boyscout. We were explicitly told not to spit down. The law of gravity would turn a tiny bit of spit into an object that could kill an unsuspecting passant below. I'm not sure if it really works that way, but I mention it just to be safe.
When you just want to relax at a peaceful place, go to the cloisters. Which is a good idea after climbing the tower.
Oh yes, the church is called the Dom, not Dome as some people seem to think. Dom means cathedral. Dome means dome and isn't a Dutch word at all.
The Dom, as it is popularly known, is a familiar landmark in Utrecht. Not being used for church services anymore, it is open to the public as a museum.
Information materials on its history, architecture, and significance are available at the main entrance.
Already since a storm raged over Utrecht in 1674 the middle part of the DOM church has been missing from the street scenes of Utrecht. Since that time the church and the tower are seperate buildings. But this year (2004) due to the fact that work was begun on this church, the middle section has been reconstructed again to give an impression of how big the complete building is. It can be seen till the 12th of september.
The only touristy thing I saw/ visited in Utrecht, and it's a must!
The tower is 112 meter high and over 600 years old. You can visit the tower on a guided tour, you have to climb 465 steep steps, the last section on a noarrow winding stair. But you are rewarded with a great view on sunny days.
The Dom was nearly destroyed by a Tornado/Hurricane (depending on what version you hear), in the 1600's, and it is quite a building. the black stones marked in the pavement between the Church and the tower are laid to mark the former position of the part of the church that is now gone.
At 112 meters tall, the Dom tower spires over all other structures in Utrecht, and is the largest musical instrument in the Netherlands.
The Gothic belfry was built between 1321 and 1382, and you can climb the stairs any day of the year. Be sure to go the the very top, as the guide will stop short of the highest viewpoint.