Utrecht is a city and municipality in the Netherlands and the capital of the province of Utrecht. With 357,667 inhabitants on 1 August 2020, Utrecht is the fourth largest municipality in the Netherlands in terms of population. These inhabitants are divided over four residences, namely Utrecht with 307,840, Haarzuilens with 545, Vleuten with 27,180 and De Meern with 21,755 inhabitants. De Meern, Vleuten and Haarzuilens are originally villages. These three residences and the polder Rijnenburg to the south of De Meern now form the Vleuten-De Meern district. This district and the adjacent Leidsche Rijn district together form the Vinex location Leidsche Rijn, which had 91,104 inhabitants in 2020.
The municipality of Utrecht is surrounded by the municipalities of De Bilt, Stichtse Vecht, Woerden, Montfoort, IJsselstein, Nieuwegein, Houten, Bunnik and Zeist. The Utrecht agglomeration (contiguous urban area) had 493,667 inhabitants on 1 January 2015 (source: CBS). The urban region of Utrecht (the former BRU) had 660,873 inhabitants on that date.
Utrecht is the most centrally located of the four largest Dutch cities. Within this municipality, the important north-south running A2 and west-east running A12 intersect. Other motorways that run through Utrecht and start here respectively are the A27 and A28. Utrecht Central Station is the largest railway hub in the Netherlands in terms of the number of departing trains. The Amsterdam-Rhine Canal also runs through this city, where inland vessels are busy.
Utrecht, together with the three largest cities in the Netherlands and a number of medium-sized cities, is part of the Randstad. Partly because of this, Utrecht owes its favorable economic position.
Utrecht was one of the first cities in the present-day Netherlands with city rights, namely since 1122. The street plan of the current Utrecht city center was created in the Middle Ages. Many houses here are also of medieval origin, although in later times the majority of them have been changed in layout and / or appearance. Yet many monumental buildings have been well preserved. This applies in particular to eight medieval churches, of which the Dom is the largest and best known. The more than 112 meter high Dom Tower, from which Utrecht derives its nickname Dom City, is the highest church tower in the Netherlands. Furthermore, the low-lying yards along the water of the Oudegracht and Nieuwegracht are special.
The city of Utrecht has a long and in some periods turbulent history. This dates back to Roman times at the beginning of our era, when the Roman armies built their castellum. In the seventh century, a small church was built on the site of the castellum. In the following centuries, larger churches arose here. From there, large parts of the present-day Netherlands were Christianized. In the 13th and 14th centuries, Utrecht, situated on the river Rhine, was one of the most important trading cities in Europe. With the rise of the County of Holland, this trade moved there and Utrecht became less important, although Utrecht remained the largest city in the Netherlands until the early 16th century. After that, Utrecht gradually dropped to fourth place in the ranking of the largest Dutch cities. In the year 1808, Utrecht was the capital of the Kingdom of Holland for a short period. From the 20th century, Utrecht experienced a new period of prosperity, now mainly due to its central location in the Netherlands.
The average age of the Utrecht population is relatively low due to the many students here. The best known and largest educational institutions are Utrecht University and Hogeschool Utrecht. Well-known Utrecht companies are NS, ProRail, Rabobank, De Volksbank, ASR, SHV, Jaarbeurs Utrecht and Douwe Egberts.
The two largest denominations in the Netherlands, namely the Roman Catholic Church and the Protestant Church, as well as the Old Catholic Church and the Remonstrant Brotherhood, have their seat and / or head office in Utrecht. The Federation of the Dutch Trade Union Movement (FNV) and the Christelijk Nationaal Vakverbond (CNV) also have their headquarters in Utrecht.
The name Utrecht comes from the Latin Ultraiectum and refers to a place where in Roman times the river Rhine could be ford or crossed. The 'U' comes from the Old Dutch word uut, which means 'downstream' - Utrecht must therefore be understood as 'Trecht downstream' and in contrast to the other Trecht, Maastricht. Later Utrecht was referred to as Traiecti Batavorum (or Trai / jecti Batauorum, Trecht (Tricht) van de Bataven), for example as a placeholder in books in Latin that were published in Utrecht.
Because of the Domtoren, the emblem of the city and with 112.32 meters the highest church tower in the Netherlands, the city is also called Domstad. Two other nicknames are Utreg (in the city of Utrecht) and Utka (in the multicultural slang of the Randstad). During Carnival, the city of Utrecht is called Leemput, after Cathrijn van Leemput.
A resident of Utrecht prefers to be called Utrecht rather than
Utrecht. This is due to the association by the so-called 'Utrecht
sodomy processes': on the Domplein, male homosexuals met each other
in the eighteenth century at the ruins of the collapsed nave of the
Domkerk (for whom there is a memorial stone between the church and
the tower). They were prosecuted by the government and 18 men were
sentenced to death. This made Utrecht a swear word for homosexual.
Shortly after the Second World War, one of the Utrecht newspapers of
that time, the Utrechts Nieuwsblad, decided to ban the word Utrecht.
Inhabitants of the city are also referred to as 'receptionists', after the people of Utrecht who, hanging over the counters of the bridges of the Oudegracht, watched the activity in the city and met each other. 'Uitert' is the outdated name in dialect, and occurs as family names 'van Uitert' and 'van Uijtert'.
On and around the current Domplein is the place where the Romans around 50 AD. laid the foundations for the city of Utrecht. On the banks of the Rhine they built the castellum Traiectum from wood and earth. This fort was part of the defense belt along the northern border of the Roman Empire, the so-called limes. Between 50 and 270 AD. the castellum was rebuilt four times. After the departure of the Romans, the Frisians and Franks fought for the fortress for a long time. The remaining walls lived on as Trecht Castle.
In 690, the Anglo-Saxon missionary and bishop Willibrord founded a spiritual center with two churches within the largely deserted Utrecht border post, to which a third was later added. From this developed the complex of the Dom Church dedicated to St. Martin, the St. Salvator Church and the chapel of the Holy Cross in between. From the eighth century, with a break due to Vikings, a bishop sat in Utrecht, which was therefore the religious center of the Northern Netherlands. From the tenth century on, the bishop gained more and more secular power. He then became the most important monarch in the Northern Netherlands, who ruled the Sticht. In the immediate vicinity of the castle, the flourishing trading district of Stathe was created, where merchants and craftsmen settled. In the eleventh century, the ecclesiastical center was expanded with three new collegiate churches and an abbey, which together formed the Utrecht church cross. In the same century, the bishop and the emperor added their palaces to the castle.
On June 2, 1122, Utrecht was granted city rights by Emperor Hendrik V. As a result, the bishop lost a lot of influence on the city in favor of the new townspeople. These were now allowed to surround the city, and in 1122 the construction of the southern Oudegracht also began. The growth of the population is evident from the fact that three new parishes were split off from the oldest parish, that of the Buurkerk. Initially, the administration of the city consisted of bailiffs and aldermen, but a council was already formed in 1196, which is one of the oldest north of the Alps.
From the twelfth century on, the power of neighboring princes increased, while that of the Utrecht bishop declined. Throughout the Middle Ages, especially Holland and Gelre tried to incorporate parts of the Sticht. Within the city two dominant parties arose, one of which was pro-Holland and the other pro-Gelre. For centuries these parties have fought each other with fire and sword. Repeatedly one can safely speak of civil war within the city walls.
Despite this struggle and despite the increasing competition from the Dutch cities from the thirteenth century onwards, Utrecht remained the largest and most prosperous city and the most important cultural center in the Northern Netherlands. The wealthy built large stone houses along the Oudegracht, especially after the use of brick became common around the mid-thirteenth century. The characteristic wharves and wharf cellars arose along the canal itself. Numerous monasteries settled in the city. In 1253, among others, a major city fire took place in Utrecht. The current Gothic Dom Church was then built from 1254 onwards, following the example of the great French cathedrals.
In 1304 the guilds made a successful rise to power, and they
would continue to play a major role in the city government until
1528. With the digging of the Nieuwegracht at the end of the
fourteenth century, the street pattern within the city was largely
completed and the city area was largely built up. The large number
of hospitals (shelters for the needy) that arose in this century is
striking. A prestige project in the fourteenth century was the
construction of the Dom Tower, one of the tallest towers built up to
The threat from neighboring states of the Sticht remained great, and residents of the Nedersticht forced the bishop to issue the Stichtse Landbrief in 1375, allowing them, as States of the Nedersticht, to exercise control over the way in which politics was conducted. The States of Utrecht consisted of representatives of the clergy, the nobility and the cities. Due to its dominant position, Utrecht occupied a predominant position in the Parliamentary Assemblies. Due to further growth, Utrecht was the largest city in the northern Netherlands until the mid-16th century.
In the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, Utrecht also played an important role in Dutch painting with its Utrecht School. Well-known painters were the Renaissance painter Jan van Scorel, the "Mannerists" Joachim Wtewael, Abraham Bloemaert and Paulus Moreelse, the "Utrecht Caravaggists" Hendrick ter Brugghen, Gerard van Honthorst and Dirck van Baburen, the "Italianisanten" Cornelis van Poelenburch, Jan Both and Jan Baptist Weenix.
From the late Middle Ages to the early 19th century, the city experienced various periods of clashes and shifts between and within different powers, including the reformation, guilds and occupation by Spaniards and French. Utrecht University was founded in 1636.
From the beginning of the 19th century, utilities were built and expanded in a broad sense, which greatly improved the situation for the city. The first urban expansion took place in the second half of the 19th century. Before and - in particular - after the Second World War, Utrecht would expand on a large scale. By 1925 a large part of the population was employed in industry. Especially the metal industry with companies such as Demka, Werkspoor and Jaffa was a major employer. After the Second World War, Utrecht increasingly became a service and knowledge center.
Utrecht is centrally located in the Netherlands and in the province of Utrecht. The city originated on a curvature of the Rhine, when the main arm of the river that followed the course of the current Kromme Rijn and Oude Rijn. A Roman castellum was located on the site of the current Domplein. Today, a modest Kromme Rijn flows into Utrecht in the east to leave the city canals like Vecht (north) and Leidse Rijn (west). West of the city is the wide Amsterdam-Rhine Canal, to the south is the Vaartsche Rijn, a much older canal.
To the west of the city, 'across the Amsterdam-Rhine Canal', lies the suburban expansion project Leidsche Rijn, the largest Vinex location and new-build project in the Netherlands. A series of new housing estates will house approximately 90,000 residents upon completion. North, south and east of the city are some suburbs and commuter and satellite cities. The metropolitan agglomeration coincides with the BRU (Management Region Utrecht).
In 2019, the municipality has slightly more than 350,000 inhabitants and has an area of 99 km² (of which only a very small part is water).
The former municipality of Vleuten-De Meern has been part of the municipality of Utrecht since 1 January 2001. On that date, part of the municipality of Nieuwegein, namely the polder area of Rijnenburg, was also added to the municipality of Utrecht. After the annexation, the newly elected municipal council decided not to alter the existing division into places of residence, namely De Meern, Haarzuilens, Utrecht and Vleuten. However, it was decided to slightly shift the boundaries between Utrecht and De Meern and between Utrecht and Vleuten. This was related to the desired district layout of some new-build neighborhoods.
Before the annexation, the city of Utrecht consisted of eight districts, namely Inner City, West, Northwest, Overvecht, Northeast, East, South and Southwest. The annexation added two, namely Leidsche Rijn and Vleuten-De Meern. The annexed area of the municipality of Nieuwegein was assigned to the Vleuten-De Meern district, but to the residence of Utrecht. Due to the reclassification of 2001, the original intention was to delete the residences Vleuten, De Meern and Haarzuilens from the postcode book and replace them with a Utrecht postcode. Due to fierce protest from the population of the former municipality of Vleuten-De Meern, this plan was not implemented.
Utrecht is represented in at least twenty regional collaborations, each of which has a different composition.
The municipality of Utrecht distinguishes ten districts administratively. These can be compared with districts in other cities. The Utrecht neighborhoods are divided into sub-neighborhoods and these in turn into neighborhoods. Each neighborhood has a neighborhood office or a neighborhood service center. The Vleuten-De Meern district also has a branch of the Burgerzaken department of the municipality of Utrecht.
Each district has a district council committee, composed of city councilors or their deputies, and each district also has a separate district councilor. In addition, a neighborhood council has existed since 2002, which has an advisory role and consists of residents of the relevant neighborhood. The Utrecht neighborhoods (district division since 2001) are:
Figures as of 1 January 2019 :. Total: 352,941 (100%)
01: City center 18,989 inhabitants (5.38%)
02: East 32,529 inhabitants (9.22%)
03: Leidsche Rijn 38,859 inhabitants (11.0%)
04: West 29,421 inhabitants (8.34%)
05: Overfight 34,293 inhabitants (9.72%)
06: South 27,772 inhabitants (7.87%)
07: Northeast 39,282 inhabitants (11.1%)
08: Southwest 38,428 inhabitants (10.9%)
09: Northwest 44,579 inhabitants (12.6%)
10: Vleuten-De Meern 48,789 inhabitants (13.8%)
Utrecht has a historic center, which is completely surrounded by a canal. The Oudegracht and Nieuwegracht run from south to north, which are unique because of the yards, low quays on which the wharf cellars of the houses on the canal end. After Amsterdam and Maastricht, Utrecht has the largest number of national monuments of all cities in the Netherlands. In 2009, the municipality of Utrecht has more than 1400 national monuments, more than 1600 municipal monuments, 4 archaeological monuments and 5 protected city / village views: Utrecht, Utrecht East, Utrecht - Zuilen-Elinkwijk, Blauwkapel and Haarzuilens. The Rietveld Schröder House is included on the World Heritage List.
Utrecht has many churches, chapels and other religious buildings. The lists below are limited to national monuments and a small selection of municipal monuments and other buildings. The order in these lists is from old to young.
Churches and chapels in the city center
Pieterskerk, dedicated to the Apostle Peter, completed in 1048 in a Romanesque collegiate church with two-tower front, founded by Bishop Bernold. He would have planned to build a church cross in Utrecht. The Pieterskerk is said to represent the head of the cross. However, the church cross theory has not been proven. The Romanesque parts of the church, namely the nave, the left side chapel of the choir and the crypt under the choir, are very well preserved. The other parts of the church are built in Gothic style. The infamous storm of August 1, 1674 caused so much damage that it was decided to demolish the collapsed towers and the bay between the ship. The church is now owned and used by the Église Wallonne d'Utrecht.
Janskerk, dedicated to John the Baptist, as well as the Pieterskerk founded by Bishop Bernold, but built a little later. The Janskerk was also a collegiate church with two towers. According to the church cross theory, the St. John's Church represents the left arm of the cross. This church was slightly smaller than the Pieterskerk, but the two churches are built in an almost identical Romanesque style. During the construction, however, the west side was changed and soon afterwards the north tower was demolished. City fires in the 12th and 13th centuries resulted in the ship's round columns being converted into square pillars and the crypt being demolished. In the 16th century, the Romanesque choir with side chapels was replaced by a larger and much higher Gothic choir with Gothic side chapels. It was planned to enlarge the remaining parts of the church in Gothic style, but this plan was not implemented in connection with the Reformation. In 1682 the remaining tower was demolished and a new west facade built. The Janskerk is now owned by the Protestant Municipality of Utrecht. The congregation that holds worship services here mainly consists of (former) students.
Dom, dedicated to Saint Martin, Gothic cathedral built between
1254 and 1517. This church replaced a Romanesque cathedral, which
Bishop Adelbold decided in 1015 to build. The history of the
churches on today's Domplein goes back to the introduction of
Christianity in the northern Netherlands. From the 7th century,
Utrecht was the center from which the Netherlands north of the major
rivers was Christianized. This vast area came under the diocese of
Utrecht. Immediately next to St. Martin's Church was the Oudmunster
or St. Salvator's Church. The two churches initially disagreed as to
which of the two could call itself the seat of the bishop. St.
Martin's Church eventually won this battle and was given the status
of cathedral or cathedral. According to the theory of the church
cross (see above), the Dom stood in the heart of the cross and the
Saint Salvator Church represented the right arm. The collegiate
church to the west of the Dom, the Saint Marie, would be the foot
end. The Dom Tower was built in the period 1321 to 1382. Its design
was revolutionary at that time due to the lack of buttresses on the
outside. With its height of 112 m, this church tower is the largest
and highest in the Netherlands. The oldest parts of the church are
modeled on Gothic cathedrals in Northern France. In this respect
too, this church is unique for the Netherlands. The transept was
built later than the choir, namely mainly between 1444 and 1475. The
construction of the nave started in 1484. Due to a lack of
sufficient resources, this was not completed. In 1517 the project
was discontinued. The tornado of August 1, 1674 (see at Pieterskerk)
blew over the 42 m high nave. The transept, choir and part of the
nave's southern aisles, together forming about half of the original
church, remained intact. In 1580 the church came into the hands of
the Protestants. The Protestant Municipality of Utrecht now owns the
church. The tower with the 13 bells and the carillon is owned by the
municipality of Utrecht. The adjoining cloister with pandhof is also
part of the Dom. The chapter house is now used as a university
auditorium. The Utrecht Dom attracts many tourists. In 2017, more
than 433,000 visitors entered the church.
Neighboring church, dedicated to Saint Mary, five-aisled Gothic hall church with a 55 m high tower. 'Neighbor' should be read as 'citizen'. The Buurkerk was a parish church, intended for the bourgeoisie, in contrast to the collegiate churches, where worship was maintained by canons. The current Buurkerk largely dates from the 14th to 16th century, but its oldest predecessor was founded in the 10th century, making the Buurkerk parish the oldest of the four medieval Utrecht parishes. In 1580 the church fell into Protestant hands. This lasted until 1975, when the district municipalities of the Domkerk and the Buurkerk merged. The Speelklok Museum has been housed in the Buurkerk since 1984. In terms of surface area, approximately 2500 m², this church is the largest in Utrecht.
Nicolai Church, dedicated to Saint Nicholas and also called Klaaskerk by Utrecht residents, parish church of which the Romanesque western front with two towers dates from the 12th century. In later centuries this church was converted into a Gothic hall church. This church is special for its organ history and possessions. Until the end of the 19th century, an organ from the Renaissance period stood here, one of the oldest playable organs in the world. An organ by Witte replaced it. In 1956 this organ was replaced by a modern organ, which became famous at home and abroad, built by the Danish firm Marcussen och Son. A smaller, slightly older organ in this church, the Sweelink organ, is also from this firm. The Nicolaïkerk is owned and used by the Protestant Municipality of Utrecht.
Jacobi Church, dedicated to the Apostle James the Greater, gothic
hall church from the 13th to 15th century. This church is located in
the Utrecht neighborhood district C and because the population in
this area grew rapidly, the church was enlarged several times, first
to the east, until the church almost touched the houses on the
Oudegracht, and then to the west, so that the tower in the church.
The tornado of August 1, 1674 broke off the slender, high spire. In
1953 the bourgeoisie gave the church a new spire, which is less high
and vulnerable than the previous one. Nevertheless, with a height of
63 m, this Jacobi tower is the second highest church tower in
Utrecht. In 1580 the church came into use by the Protestants. The
first pastors in this church were much less strict than most of
their colleagues. They managed to get the city council to adopt a
more tolerant attitude towards religious minorities. The church is
now owned and used by the Protestant Municipality of Utrecht. The
interior of the Jacobikerk is a fine example of a 17th-century
Protestant Dutch church interior.
Geertekerk, dedicated to Geertruida van Nivelles, youngest and smallest of the four medieval parish churches in Utrecht. The first Geertekerk, a simple rectangular hall church, was built in the 12th century just outside the then city. In the 13th century this church was demolished and moved to its current location just inside the city walls. In the 14th and 15th centuries, the Geertekerk was provided with a tower and enlarged. In the 1930s the church fell to ruin after being abandoned by the reformed congregation. The Remonstrant municipality of Utrecht saved this church from demolition in the 1950s. She bought the ruin and rebuilt the church. In 1956 the Remonstrants moved from their former church on the Kromme Nieuwe Gracht to the Geertekerk.
Catharijnekerk, originally a monastery church dedicated to Catherine of Alexandria, built in the 16th century in late Gothic style. After the restoration of the episcopal hierarchy in 1853, this church was designated as the cathedral of the Archdiocese of Utrecht. In 1900 the church was enlarged by one bay to the west and it was given a bell tower in late Gothic style.
St. Gertrudiskapel, one of the best-preserved Roman Catholic secret churches in the Netherlands. This was converted into a medieval house in the 17th century. The predecessor of this hidden church was the Geertekerk (see above), which was assigned to the Protestants by the government in 1580. The hidden church is now connected to the old Catholic St. Gertrudis Cathedral via an intermediate space (see below).
Lutheran Church, largely the chapel of the former St. Ursula Monastery, founded by Abraham Dole in 1421. The Lutherans initially met in a hidden church, but in 1745 they bought two houses on Hamburgerstraat, demolished them and built a new part of their church on the same site, connecting with the medieval chapel. The interior of this chapel was adapted to that of the new extension. A striking feature of this church is the crowning of the façade in Louis XIV style.
Chapel of the Agnietenklooster, with nunnery, built between 1512 and 1516. Since 1921, this chapel has been part of the Centraal Museum.
Mennonite Church, hall church built in 1773, designed by Willem de Haan. The stylish, spacious entrance with top floor is striking.
Saint Augustine Church, Waterstaat Church designed by Karel George Zocher and completed in 1840. At the front is a temple facade with high columns in neo-classical style. Apart from the hidden churches, the Augustinuskerk was the first Roman Catholic church in Utrecht built after the Reformation.
Saint Willibrord Church, very high neo-Gothic church, designed by Alfred Tepe, completed in 1877. The rich and colorful interior was created by members of the St. Bernulphus Guild. For a long time no or only occasional services were held in this Roman Catholic Church. In 2016, the Fraternity of Saint Pius X inaugurated the church and holy masses are celebrated regularly. After the Dom, this church is the most visited by tourists in the city of Utrecht.
St. Gertrudis Cathedral, built in the neo-Romanesque style and completed in 1914, an old Catholic cathedral. Next to this church is the former Roman Catholic secret church of St. Gertrudis. When the Roman Catholic Church was torn in 1723 and the Old Catholic Church was created, this hidden church fell into the hands of the Old Catholics.
Synagogue on Springweg, built in 1926 to a design by Harry Elte. This former Jewish place of worship has a particularly rich interior in Art Deco style.
Friars Minor Monastery, built by the Franciscans in the 13th century. The current building of the Faculty of Law of Utrecht University, located at Janskerkhof, remains from this monastery. However, it has changed significantly over the centuries.
Regular Monastery, built in the 13th century, but rebuilt inside and out many times after the monastery was closed. It served as the Tivoli music venue for several decades, until it moved to the new music center TivoliVredenburg. The company of pop musician Colin Benders has been located in this former monastery since 2014.
German House, built around 1350 by the Teutonic Knights, a spiritual knighthood that originated at the time of the Crusades. The church of the monastery collapsed during the storm of August 1, 1674. The other buildings have been preserved. The main building served as a military hospital for a long time. Today Hotel Karel V is housed in the buildings of the German House.
Catharijneconvent, built in the Middle Ages by the Carmelites, at the time of Emperor Charles V taken into use by the Johns, who had to leave their monastery at the Catharijnepoort for the construction of the Vredenburg. 'Catharijne' refers to Catherine of Alexandria, the patron saint of the Johns. 'Catharijneconvent' is therefore the name that the St Johns gave to the existing monastery. The same goes for the monastery church, the Catharijne church. The Catharijneconvent Museum is now housed in this well-preserved monastery.
Saint Nicholas Monastery, built around 1407. The late medieval building is particularly interesting because of the gallery on pointed arches in the courtyard.
Carthusian Monastery Nieuw Licht on the Laan van Chartroise, built in the 15th to 18th century. Only a gatehouse and a farm have been preserved.
Agnietenklooster, built in 1421. In 1921 the building was expanded with new wings for the Centraal Museum, which moved into it. The monastery chapel is part of the museum building.
Genezzano Monastery of the Augustinian Sisters of Saint Monica on the Waterstraat. This monastic community was founded in 1934 with the assignment to work in the immediate vicinity, Wijk C. In the second half of the 20th century, the monastery called itself Girls City, because it focused on the care of homeless and threatened girls and women. The current monastery building on the corner of Oudegracht and Waterstraat dates from 1997.
Places of worship outside the city center
Old St. Willibrord Church (Vleuten), originally a three-aisled Gothic church, built around 1300. In 1580 this church was assigned to the Protestants, after which the choir was demolished. In 1831 the church was further reduced by the demolition of the two westernmost bays. In 1971, it was rebuilt to its original size with restoration of the Gothic windows, but without any further reconstruction of the medieval church. Only the tower and the parts of the aisles to the left and right of the tower are medieval. This church has a valuable organ built by Gideon Thomas Bätz in 1809.
Chapel of Kasteel de Haar, probably dedicated to Saint Steven, founded before 1420 as a daughter chapel of the parish church in Kockengen. This chapel functioned for centuries as the church of the village of De Haar, which was then next to the castle. In the 17th century the castle and chapel began to deteriorate. At the end of the 19th century, Baron Étienne van Zuylen van Nyevelt van de Haar commissioned architect Pierre Cuypers to rebuild the castle, chapel and outbuildings. In 1896, the chapel was rebuilt in neo-Gothic style while retaining the medieval ground plan, parts of the tower and some wall remains. The chapel located on the castle grounds is not freely accessible.
Lebuïnuskerk (Blauwkapel), the smallest gothic cross church in the Netherlands, built in 1451.
Church of Our Lady of Heaven (Oudenrijn), one of the oldest neo-Gothic churches in the Netherlands, built between 1857 and 1860. In 1940 the parishioners moved to their new church in De Meern. The abandoned church was converted into a factory and radically renovated. However, the special neo-Gothic roof construction has been preserved. This former church is now in use as a cultural breeding ground with the name Metal Cathedral.
Sint-Willibrordkerk (Vleuten), neo-Gothic church, designed by Nicolaas Molenaar sr., Completed in 1885.
Former hall church (Alendorp), built in 1896 for the recently established Reformed Church of Vleuten and De Meern.
Saint Anthony of Padua Church (Lombok), designed by the architects Jan Stuyt and Joseph Cuypers in a neo-Romanesque style. The church building was completed in 1903, the tower in 1924. This tower was built after the example of Italian bell towers: narrow and somewhat detached from the church.
Nieuwe Kerk (Wittevrouwen), built in neo-Romanesque style in
1910, designed by architect Christiaan Posthumus Meyjes Sr .. The
Nieuwe Kerk was the first church in Utrecht to be built as a Dutch
Marekerk (De Meern), built in 1913 in Art Nouveau style as a Dutch Reformed church. This church replaced a medieval chapel at the same place at the Meern Bridge, where the village of De Meern originated.
R.K. Sint-Gertrudiskerk (Rivierenwijk), designed by architect Wolter te Riele, completed in 1924. Utrecht has four churches dedicated to Sint-Geertruida van Nivelles. The oldest is the medieval Geertekerk. After the Reformation, this church came into the hands of the Protestants and the Roman Catholic parishioners moved to their secret church, which of course was also dedicated to Saint Gertrude (in Latin: Gertrudis). In 1914, the old Catholic St. Gertrudis Cathedral was built next to this hidden church. The youngest church dedicated to Sint-Geertruida is the one in Rivierenwijk.
Sint Aloysiuskerk (Schildersbuurt), large church in hexagonal shape with a high dome, completed in 1924. The architect was Hendrik Willem Valk. This church houses many valuable objects of visual art and an organ by Abraham Meere from 1810.
Wilhelminakerk (Schildersbuurt), built in 1931 in the style of the Amsterdam School.
Mariakerk (De Meern), Roman Catholic church built in 1940 in the style of the Delft School. The architect was Hendrik Christiaan van de Leur.
Sint-Dominicuskerk (Oog in Al), neo-Romanesque church in the style of the Bossche School built in 1951.
Ulu Mosque (Lombok), a mosque built in the period 2008 to 2015 at the head of Lombok with two 44 m high minarets. The affairs within this mosque are under the authority of the Turkish government.
Islamic Cultural Center Leidsche Rijn (De Meern), mosque and cultural center opened in 2016. The mosque board consists of members from the Moroccan community.
In the city center there are many buildings with a history that goes back to the Middle Ages. Well-known are the Utrecht city castles, stone houses of wealthy or noble families, which were mainly located within the medieval trading district of Stathe. In later periods, representative buildings were built in many more places throughout the city. The list below shows eye-catching buildings, ranging from old to young.
Oudaen, Oudegracht 99, a fortified house from around 1280. In the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries, Utrecht had many of these castle-like houses of wealthy patricians. Less well-preserved include Drakenburg (Oudegracht 114), Kranestein (Oudegracht 55), Fresenburch (Oudegracht 113) and Blankenburg (Oudegracht 121).
House Zoudenbalch in the Donkerstraat from 1467-1468 in late Gothic style, with a striking natural stone facade, which was restored in 1903 after a fire.
Bartholomeïgasthuis on the Lange Smeestraat, from 1367, consisting of a wing on the street with a chapel standing at right angles to it.
Sint Eloyen Gasthuis, Boterstraat 22. Since 1440, the house of the blacksmiths guild of Sint-Eloy has been located here. The house is only open to visitors on National Heritage Day (second Saturday in September). The entrance door / gate dates back to 1644.
Paushuize from 1517, built by order of Pope Adrian VI from Utrecht, who never lived in it. It is a late Gothic building with typical stone and brick layers of "bacon".
Sonnenborgh and Manenborgh, two strongholds, remains of the city fortifications from around 1550. Sonnenborgh is now in use as an observatory.
Leeuwenbergh Gasthuis, a two-aisled hall, built in 1567 as a pest house, later used as a church. The gate building on the city wall has disappeared.
Grote Vleeshuis on the Voorstraat, built in 1637, possibly after a design by the painter Paulus Moreelse.
Statenkamer, the former refectory of the Friary Minor Monastery at the Janskerkhof with a gate from 1643. Now part of Utrecht University.
De Krakeling, Achter Sint-Pieter, house from 1663 with striking ornaments and a special door. Built for Everard Meyster, known for the Amersfoortse Kei.
Foundation of Renswoude from 1757 by Joan Verkerk in rococo style. Originally an institution that educated gifted orphans. Most of the sumptuous interior has been preserved in its original state.
Shop van Sinkel on the Oudegracht from 1839, designed by P. Adams in neoclassical style. One of the first department stores in the Netherlands, striking because of the four caryatids in the front facade.
City Hall of Utrecht on the Stadhuisbrug on the Oudegracht, with
a heavy neoclassical facade of natural stone from 1826-1847.
Building for Arts and Sciences at the Mariaplaats, built on the site of the demolished Maria Church in 1844. Clara Schumann and Johannes Brahms performed here. Currently conservatory.
Main building I of the Dutch Railways from 1870.
Main Building II of the Dutch Railways from 1893-1895 in neo-Renaissance style by architect J.F. Riveter.
Ooglijdersgasthuis from 1894, at the F.C. Dondersstraat. Designed by architect D. Kruijf. From 1894-1989 housed the Nederlandsch Gasthuis for Needy and Disadvantaged Ooglijders. From 1990-2015 this was a location of the Hogeschool Utrecht.
Academy building on Domplein in neo-Renaissance style, designed by E.H. Gugel and Ferdinand Jacob Nieuwenhuis.
Pharmacy on Voorstraat 6, the best preserved example of Art Nouveau in Utrecht, built in 1904 after a design by R. Rijksen Gzn.
PhRM at Janskerkhof 14, society of the Utrechtsch Studenten Corps, built in 1901 and designed by A.H. Zinsmeister.
Former Main Post Office on the Neude from 1918 by J. Crouwel in the style of the Amsterdam School. The hall with its curved span is striking.
De Inktpot, the old Main Building III of the Dutch Railways, a large brick building from 1918-1921, designed by G.W. from Heukelom. ProRail has been located in the building since 2003.
The world famous Rietveld Schröder House from 1924, designed by Gerrit Rietveld. It is an example of De Stijl architecture and has been on the UNESCO World Heritage List since 2000.
Police station Tolsteeg on the Tolsteegbrug, a building from 1926 in the style of the Amsterdam School. Now film house 'Louis Hartlooper Complex'.
The Forts near Utrecht as part of the New Dutch Waterline, which has been on the Dutch Provisional List for World Heritage by UNESCO since 1995.
Several buildings on University grounds De Uithof are architecturally worth mentioning. Examples include Rem Koolhaas 'Educatorium, Wiel Arets University Library, Willem Jan Neutelings' Minnaert Building and Köther-Salman Architekten's De Bisschoppen.
Orphanage gate on the Springweg, built at the beginning of the seventeenth century using older elements
Hofpoort on the west side of the Nieuwegracht between Pausdam and Paulusbrug, a bluestone gate with Doric half columns (third quarter of the 16th century and c. 1620)
Gate of the Bisschopshof on the Servetstraat (1634)
Almshouses and courtyards
Beyers rooms at the Lange Nieuwstraat / Agnietenstraat (1597-1650)
Brunts at Lepelenburg (1621)
Chambers Maria van Pallaes at Agnietenstraat (1651)
Rijn en Zon, a flour mill in the Vogelenbuurt.
De Ster, a sawmill in the Lombok district.
St. Salvator's Church, located next to the Dom. Demolished in 1587. The Dom had come into the hands of the Protestants and apparently there was no need for a second church on the same site.
Vredenburg Castle, the hated stronghold of Emperor Charles V, was demolished by the Utrecht population in the years 1577 to 1581.
Paul's Abbey, built on the initiative of Bishop Bernold. The oldest parts, including the abbey church in the same Romanesque style as the Pieterskerk and the Janskerk, were built in 1050. Paul's Abbey gradually disappeared after the Reformation. In the Hofpoort (dead-end side alley of the Nieuwegracht) one arrives at the rear of the former courthouse, in which a piece of wall from the abbey church from 1050 has been incorporated.
The Mariakerk, collegiate church built in the 11th and 12th century, as well as the two slightly older collegiate churches, the Pieterskerk and the Janskerk, in Romanesque style. However, the architecture of this church was clearly different from that of the Pieters and Janskerk. Italian (Lombard) influences are clearly discernible, as can be seen from the well-known painting by Pieter Saenredam, which shows the wide western front with the towers of the Dom and the Buurkerk in the background. Mary's Church fell into disrepair when no more church services were held. In 1813 it was largely demolished. Only the choir of the church remained in use as a concert hall until 1844, when this too was demolished to make way for the Building for Arts and Sciences. The only thing that has been preserved of this church is a part of the cloister, which can be seen and entered from the Mariaplaats.
Lofen Palace, in 1040 Emperor Henry III had this palace built, it
stood between the current Domplein and the Oudegracht.
The De Utrecht building of the insurance company of the same name, an example of Jugendstil architecture. The building was designed by J. Verheul and was completed in 1902. In 1974 it was demolished for the construction of the Hoog-Catharijne shopping center. Various elements of the demolished building have been stored.
The former Central Station by architect Sybold van Ravesteyn, replaced by the Hoog-Catharijne shopping center.
Cemeteries / crematoriums
In terms of modern cemeteries / crematoria, the Soestbergen Cemetery was built in the first half of the 19th century. Sint Barbara Cemetery was designed around 1870 by Alfred Tepe and includes various graves of Roman Catholic archbishops. Kovelswade dates back to the early 20th century. Tolsteeg cemetery was built in 1931 to a design by Krijn Perk Vlaanderen, landscaper and park master of the municipality of Utrecht; there is an auditorium designed by architect Gosse van der Gaast in the style of the New Objectivity. Cemetery / crematorium Daelwijck from around 1967 has an auditorium designed by architect H. Dam.
Jewish monument with 1239 names of Jewish people from Utrecht.
To the west of the center is the station with the attached shopping and office complex Hoog Catharijne, which has been controversial since its existence, both for its architecture and the deterioration that occurred, making it a sanctuary for drug users. However, since the beginning of 2000 a lot of time and money has been spent to improve this living environment. In 2006 they won a Dutch and European prize for this. A major overhaul of the entire station area started in 2008 (see CU2030). For example, the canal around Utrecht will be restored and Vredenburg will be radically renovated. There will also be a small harbor on the Smakkelaarsveld that will reconnect the canal with the Leidse Rijn.
Since the early 1980s, Woonboulevard Utrecht has been located on the south side of the city, an area where 63 shops are located.
There are various markets in Utrecht such as:
Breedstraat on Saturday morning from 8:00 am - 1:00 pm (the 'cloth market')
Jacobskerkhof on Saturday from 9:00 am - 4:00 pm
Janskerkhof on Saturday from 7:00 am - 5:00 pm (the flower market)
Plantage on Wednesday morning from 9:00 am - 1:00 pm
Oudegracht / Bakkerbrug on Saturday from 8:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Smaragdplein/ Emerald Square on Tuesdays from 9:00 AM - 3:00 PM
Van Starkenborghhof on Friday from 9:00 am - 2:00 pm
Vredenburg on Wednesday from 10:00 AM - 5:00 PM, Friday from 10:00 AM - 6:00 PM and Saturday from 8:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Zamenhofdreef on Thursday morning from 9:00 AM - 1:00 PM