A bit of history of Utrecht

Utrecht Dom 1674

Above is (my photo of) a painting of what the Utrecht Dom presumably looked like in 1674, just prior to the big storm that knocked down a good portion of it. The Dom was built on a bit of high ground that was earlier marked out by the Romans in around year 50. Here is a graphic map of the area around the Dom with markers of buildings and walls that existed at various times.

Utrecht Dom Map

The outside border with the rounded corners marks the Roman settlement, called Castellum Trajectum. I live near the upper right corner of the map. The Dom tower is marked by the two rectangles over toward the left side. The portion in the middle marks the area that was destroyed in 1674. Next is a representation I found today of the Dom built out of sand!

Utrecht Dom Tower in sand

Utrecht Dom in sand

This view is from the north-west, of the back side of the Dom. The portion on the right side of the photo is where the damage occurred. And here’s what some of this looks like today:

Utrecht Dom today

The border visible in the street at the bottom marks the boundary of the old Roman settlement (this is a view from the north), and by next year they will be putting that marker in place all around the Dom area. Here are a couple more then and now shots; first a photo from about 100 years ago along the old canal, with the Dom tower.

Utrecht Oudegracht (old)

And a shot today from a bit closer to the tower.

Utrecht Oudegracht (today)

Update: a couple days ago I finally climbed the tower – it’s about 96 meters high, which translates into some 460 steps. You can go all the way to the top – the level right at the top of the photo above! It’s quite a view over the whole area. I also learned a bit more of the history of the tower – it was actually built over 60 years from 1320 to 1380, after the rear part of the church was built. It was only a couple hundred years later that the rest of the church was finished.

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