I visited the Domkerk again on my most recent visit to Holland. This time I was lucky, as I got to meet with one of the very informative English speaking guides, who was able to answer all of my questions about the Church, and made my visit here that much more special and interesting.
Some of the things that I learned were that, first of all, this Church was originally built in the 14th century. It was built at the exact center of where the city of Utrecht originated almost 2,000 years ago. The Church and Cathedral were connected for hundreds of years, with the shape of a cross (as seen from the sky) but a rare 1674 tornado ripped out the middle of the building, and it was never replaced.
In the center of the building is a lovely formal garden, which is known as a parterre. This particular style of garden originated in the Renaissance period, and the garden has various herb beds which are edged in stone, surrounded by gravel paths.
As you walk around the Church, as you look to the floor, you will see many etched stones, which are the burial places of various Saints and holy men. During the latter part of the 16th century, Protestantism took over much of Holland, and all of the faces of the statutes inside of this Roman Catholic Church were defaced, and they remain this way today.
We were lucky enough to be there while there was a choir practice going on, and the acoustics were lovely. There is a very nice cafe attached to the church, and we sat for a cup of tea, and we were again lucky that the man that was giving us the tour was also on his break and sat with us and gave us even more information about the church. A very nice man and a very nice group of people work here.
We did not climb the Domtoren, so I cannot comment about that. This is definitely worth a stop if you are in Utrecht, which I would highly recommend anyway.
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