Dom church and tower, Utrecht
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.
There are quite a few museums you can check out in Utrecht. In fact, you can get a pass good for three days for entrance to all the museums for 30 euro, but the Dom Tower is cool, and it's 6,80 Euro alone. That's quite expensive for the tour, even if there is a tour guide who speaks both Dutch and English. Be prepared for a 465 step walk up to the top.
It can be quite windy and cold in winter, so wear a jacket, hat, and gloves. Don't forget your camera - it's a long walk back down to the bottom to get it.
The views are extraordinary, and in fact, the Dom tower is the highest tower in the Netherlands.
In 1674 there was a disaster in Utrecht that left half of the church in rubble. The tower survived. I've read different accounts of what caused the tragedy. It was either a tornado, or a hurricane. Either way, the tower stands today as a symbol of days gone by.
About 3/4 of the way up you will come to the bell room. The largest bell in the Netherlands sits there, weighing 8,000 kilograms (9,600 pounds). These bells ring out every 15 minutes, and on Saturdays there are "concerts" for all to hear.
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.
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.
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.
You really can't miss the Gothic Dom church because of the 112mt high Church Tower. The Tower is open to the public. Before you attempt this, realize that there are 465 steps to climb to the top, the staircase also becomes narrow near the top, and not to go if you are afraid of heights. Its not suitable for anyone with mobility problems. The tour is done with a guide who stops frequently to explain things. On a clear day, you can see as far as Amsterdam. Cost 7.5 euro.
Have a look at the Cathedral, but don't miss the Cloister. Its a beautiful courtyard with a nice Herb garden in the centre.
This church was once the countries largest cathedral gothic in style.
In the 1572 during the calvanist wave there was much vandalism, ornaments and statues in this church were smashed or destroyed. Actually its quite surreal to see these statues with their faces smashed - the calvanists smashed anything they believed was an idol.
The church was not in use and fell into a state of neglect, then in 1674 a storm caused the unfinshed and insufficiently supported nave to collapse so all the tower is completely separate from the church. There has been restoration work done in the 1980's
You can climb the Domtoren which is with his 112,5 meters the highest tower in the Netherlands.
The tower was build between 1321 and 1382 and was part of the Dom Church. But in 1674 a gale blew the nave to pieces and ever since the tower is completely seperate from the church.
You can visit the tower with a tour guide. The tour takes about an hour. On the way up, there will be stops where the guide will tell about the chapel, the clocks, teh view and much more. On very clear days you can watch over 30 kilomters far! So you can see the Amsterdam Arena and even the church tower of Den Bosch!
And you can get married here too.
You can climb the tower every monday till saturdag from 10 till 16.00 hours
On sundays from 12 till 16.
In summer the tower is openon fridays, saturdays and sundays withthe last tour at 19.00 hours.
Adults 6,80 euro
kids till 12 years 4 euro.
The 112,32 meters high Dom tower, over 600 years old is the highest mediaeval tower in the Netherlands and the highest Utrecht building.
In 1674 a tornado destroyed the part of the church that was connected to the tower. It was never rebuild (well, there was a temporary reconstruction in 2004).
The tower can be visited only with a guide, which requires a climb of the 465 steps to get a breathtaking lookoff view.
Admittance fee: € 8,00 (adult)
Guided climb hours:
Daily: Noon; 1PM; 2PM; 3PM; 4PM
I loved this tapestry done by Armien Visser. The size is 180 x240cm and herewith the symbolism behind it.
The colour red is the colour of love. In the centre is the dove - the symbol of peace and the Holy spirit. The nimbus with the cross within symbolizes Christ. When Jesus was baptised, a dove descended and Jesus received the spirit of the Lord., wisdon and understanding. On both sides of the tapestry we see the monogram of Christ in different forms.
At the bottom of the tapestry we see "the four Evangelists" characterised by their symbols:
Matthew with man as a symbol
Marc with the lion as symbol
Luke with the ox as symbol
John with the eagle as symbol.
The four evangelists symbolises the four main characteristics of Christ.
Man stands for humanity
Lion stand for kingship
Ox represents peace offering
Eagle symbolises the divinity of Christ.
I loved this gothic old building with its great architecture. The Dom was built in 920 as a Roman structure. In 1253, the greater part of Utrecht was destroyed by fire. For more than a week, the town was scourged by this fire. St. Martin's Cathedral was also severely damaged. When the reconstruction of the church was started, a new kind of architecture was chosen: the (North French) Gothic. Probably, the Cathedral of Cologne served as an example for the new Utrecht Cathedral.
I loved spending time here in the garden of the monastery. It was so peaceful and quiet and the inner herb garden is very nicely laid out. From here you also have a great view on the architecture of the dom.
The monastery was built during the 14th/15th century and links the Cathedral with the Kapittelhouse. I loved the little fountain which is a bronze statue of a monk writing (1913).
On the southside of the cathedral is a picturesque cloister with a garden in the center and a fountain with a bronze figure of a monk writing. The style of the architecture is gothic so how appropriate that part of the summer of darkness festival for the goths took place in the courtyard outside. Many of these goths were having their photo's taken within the cloister, I believe they must have been suffering with the hot weather and heavy clothing
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 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