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Utrecht Heritage Day, 9 September 2017

Since 1984, several European countries have organized yearly Heritage Days, or Open Door Days, to celebrate architectural and environmental heritage in their country. The Netherlands are proud to participate in this cultural tradition and organize a yearly nationwide ‘Open Monumentendag’ [Open Monuments Day]. The national foundation works together with several local committees. Utrecht is one of these local committees; one of the larger committees as there are over 5.000 monuments in the City of Utrecht and its direct surroundings.

The Open Monumentendag takes place every second weekend of September. Thousands of historical buildings and sites open their doors to the public, free of charge. Additionally, many locations organize on-site activities such as exhibitions, musical performances and guided tours. ATTENTION! Most activities are in Dutch. Translations cannot be provided.

This year the Open Monumentendag Utrecht [Utrecht Heritage Day] takes place on Saturday September 9th. Almost 70 monuments will open their doors to the public.

‘Farmers, citizens and provincials’

This year’s national theme is ‘Farmers, citizens and provincials’ after a Dutch saying ‘Boeren, burgers en buitenlui’. Furthermore, in Utrecht special attention is paid to Gerrit Rietveld and contemporaries as this year marks the 100th anniversary of the art movement known as ‘De Stijl’. Therefore this year has been declared the ‘Mondrian to Dutch Design’ Year by NBTC Holland Marketing.

‘Farmers, citizens and provincials’ refers to a time when the city and the countryside were strictly separated. Nonetheless they needed each other. In the city the farmers and citizens met to trade, for entertainment and in church. In the 19th century the city walls lost their function; cities expanded, farmers became citizens and ever more citizens became provincials.

This movement provided opportunities for artistic and architectural development. One of the people who made their mark in Utrecht was Gerrit Rietveld, icon of ‘Het Nieuwe Bouwen’ and  ‘The Stijl’. In honour of the ‘Mondrian to Dutch Design’ Year, Rietveld and contemporaries, such as Dudok and Van Ravesteijn.

The complete programme is available on our website: www.openmonumentendagutrecht.nl or our special Utrecht Heritage Day Newspaper which will be distributed all over town and will be available at our information centre on Dom Square.

Highlighted Monuments 2017

In this leaflet we would like to introduce you to 10 highlights in the city centre of Utrecht.

The #numbers correspond to the numbers of the monuments, as shown on the map in the accompanying Utrecht Heritage Day Newspaper which will be distributed all over town and will be available at our information centre on Dom Square.

Academiegebouw (‘Academy Hall’), Domplein 29 (#1)
Open from 10.00h till 17.00h

uilt in the style of the Dutch Renaissance after a design of E. Gugel, this richly decorated building from the 1891-1894s was a gift to Utrecht University from the middle class. The current grand hall was used as chapter house of the Dom church in the 15th century. In this hall the Union of Utrecht was signed in 1579, marking the start of the Republic of the Seven United Netherlands. From 1634 onwards the hall was used by the Illustre School, the predecessor of Utrecht University. Of particular interest is the Senate Hall decorated with portraits of Utrecht professors.

Special programme during Utrecht Heritage Day:
• Guided tours
• Society De Constructieve presents ‘History on the spot’: lectures on the Senate Hall, the Utrecht Nobel Prize winners and the Gobelin tapestries in the Assembly hall at 13.00h, 14.00h and 15.00h

Domkerk (Dom Church & inner courtyard), Domplein 31 (#19)
Open from 10.00h till 17.00h

In 1253 a large fire destroyed the Romanesque style church built at the spot of the current Domkerk. Between 1254 and 1517, a new church was built in Gothic style, the tower of which was already completed in 1382. After the year 1580, the Calvinists took over the church and changed its decoration. The nave collapsed during a hurricane in 1674 and the ruins remained visible for 150 years. The nave was never rebuilt.

In the inner courtyard, the Pandhof garden, an ornamental herb garden can be found surrounding a fountain with a statue. The garden has 60 different kinds of herbs and matching ornamental plants. The fountain was designed by goldsmith Blom, from 1913, and the statue, a gift from the Municipality of Utrecht to Utrecht University, shows a writing Domkanunnik. In 1962 the garden was developed to its current fashion.

Special programme during Utrecht Heritage Day:
Guided tours at 10.30h, 11.00h and 11.30h
• 15.30h-16.30h hours: Organ recital by students of the Royal Conservatoire in The Hague

Paushuize (‘Pope’s house’), Kromme Nieuwegracht 49 (#21)
Open from 10.00h till 17.00h

Before being elected to pope in 1522, cardinal Adriaan Florisz. Boeijens ordered the building of this house in late gothic style in 1517. Unfortunately, the cardinal passed away before its completion and was never able to see it. In 1633, a gateway and bridge were added to the house. Paushuize has long been used to house the Queen’s commissioner. Between 2009 and 2011 the building was completely renovated, during which archaeological finds from the Roman empire and 19th century ‘Pompeian’ wall paintings surfaced. This year marks the 500th anniversary of Paushuize.

Special programme during Utrecht Heritage Day:
Every 15 minutes: guided tours through the salons and the ballroom (last tour starts 16.15h)
• 11.00h, 13.00h and 15.00h: lecture on Pope Adrian VI by biographer Twan Geurts
• Coffee and music in the inner courtyard
• Society De Constructieve presents ‘History on the spot’: lectures on the history of Paushuize from 1360 till 1996 at 12.00h, 14.00h and 16.00h

Pieterskerk (‘Pieter’s church’), Pieterskerkhof 3 (#17)
Open from 10.00h till 17.00h

Red brick stone columns, a crypt under the high choir and 12th century relief near to the staircase, the interior from the 1048 Roman Pieterskerk (‘Pieter’s church’) is quite remarkable. From 1656 onwards, the church was used as a safe house by Walloon protestants. The Baroque chapter house dates back to 1649. Although the inner court yard (access from church) has partly disappeared over time, it still has a large garden with Biblical decoration, amongst which a large fig tree. The Pieterskerk is the oldest – still functioning – church in Utrecht.

Special programme during Utrecht Heritage Day:
Guides from ‘Looking at Churches in Utrecht’ available for information
• 15.00h and 15.30h: music program, Capella con Sensus

St. Willibrordkerk (‘Church of St. Willibrord’), Minrebroederstraat 21 (#16)
Open from 10.00h till 17.00h

A location with a long history. Used as guesthouse, party hall and barracks in the 17th century and as a catholic orphanage from 1835 onwards, the building of St. Willibrord’s church, after a neo-gothic design by architect A. Tepe, started in 1876. The church’s interior is richly painted by members of the St. Bernulphus guild, who were strongly inspired by the Middle Ages.

Special programme during Utrecht Heritage Day:
Guides available for information and short tours

Winkel van Sinkel (‘Sinkel’s shop’), Oudegracht 158 (#3)
Open from 10.00h till 17.00h

The Winkel van Sinkel was built in 1837-1839 after a design of P. Adams and is one of the oldest department stores in The Netherlands. The neo-classical façade is supported by four, cast iron female statues. On the inside, the central hall has been preserved, decorated with carvings and stucco. Currently in use as hospitality and cultural establishment.

Special programme during Utrecht Heritage Day:
12.00, 14.00 and 15.00 hours: historical guided tours by director Maryse François, gathering place Anton’s Bar, max 25 people

Stadhuis (City Hall), Korte Minrebroederstraat 2 (#4)
Open from 10.00h till 17.00h

In 1343 the aldermen of Utrecht, the city court, moved to the Hasenberg House on what is currently known as Stadshuisbrug (‘City Hall bridge’). Two centuries later, the members of the Council moved to the adjoining house. Under pressure of emperor Karel V, the two buildings were joined into one City Hall, behind a façade designed by city architect Willem van Noort. The current façade dates back to 1824. In the year 2000 the City Hall was completely renovated. The new design is by the architect Miralles (EMBT Arquitectes).

Special programme during Utrecht Heritage Day:
Guided Tours by our Junior Guides, children from a local primary school tell all about the City Hall!
• 14.00-14.30h: Lecture by Réne de Kam on Food in Utrecht through the ages
• 15.00-15.30h: Lecture by Bettina van Santen on provincials becoming citizens

St. Eloyen Gasthuis (‘Guesthouse from St. Eloyen’), Boterstraat 22 (#42)
Open from 10.00h till 17.00h

In 1440 the Utrecht Smiths Guild, dedicated to Saint Eloyen, moved into the oldest guesthouse of Utrecht. Here, the needy smith brothers were taken care of. In medieval times the City of Utrecht was known as a centre of the European arms trade. The guild played a central part in this trade. In order to relax the smiths frequently played kolf (a miniature golf game). From the year 1730 onwards, they used their own course, one that was soon covered with a roof and is still in use today.

Special programme during Utrecht Heritage Day:
Society De Constructieve presents ‘History on the spot’: lectures on ‘Trade-unions in Utrecht, especially the blacksmith union’ at 13.00h, 14.00h and 15.00h

Flora’s hof | Restauratieatelier Museum Speelklok (‘Flora’s Courtyard | Restoration Atelier Museum Speelklok’), between Servetstraat 5 and 7 (#20)

Open from 10.00h till 17.00h

In 1803, the well-known garden architect Hendrik van Lunteren, started a nursery garden in the former garden of the episcopal palace. The patio was transformed into a 19th century show garden by the non-profit foundation Friends of Flora’s Courtyard. The canopies (sculptures above the windows) were designed by P.J.H. Cuypers and were actually meant for the Dom Tower’s inner courtyard, the Pandhof garden (see nr. 2). However the type of tone that was used turned out to be faulty and they were moved to Flora’s Courtyard. The sculptures show various scenes from Saint Maarten’s life. Flora’s Courtyard is adjacent to an old auction-house, which now accomodates the restoration atelier of Museum Speelklok.

Special programme during Utrecht Heritage Day:
From 12.00h till 17.00h the Restoration Atelier by Museum Speelklok is open to visitors

Kleine Vleeshal (‘Small Meatmarket’), Lange Nieuwstraat 34 (#27)
Open from 10.00h till 17.00h

This 15th century building used to host the former Butcher’s Guild of Utrecht. Remarkable is the Oxen’s Head on the front. The building was used as public slaughter house and as butcher’s shop. At the start of the 15th century the guilds in Utrecht had quite some power as well as their own laws. It was determined that only members of the Butcher’s Guild were allowed to carry long knifes in town. Besides the Small Meatmarket, there was also the Large Meatmarket, at the current Voorstraat 19.

Special programme during Utrecht Heritage Day:
Guide available for information and short tours
• Society De Constructieve presents ‘History on the spot’: lectures on ‘The History of Meat market The Oxhead’ at 13.00h, 14.00h and 15.00h