Utrecht Heritage Day – Heritage for Everyone

September 11th 2021

This year the Open Monumentendag Utrecht will take place on Saturday September 11th. This 35th edition will be held with as little restrictions as possible. Most monuments are free to visit without measurements. Moreover, a number of basic rules still apply such as remaining a 1.5 meter distance. However, since in some buildings it is harder to practice social distancing some monuments as well as some activities can only be visited with a reservation through our reservation system.

More than 80 monuments will be open for visitors between 10.00 a.m. and 05.00 p.m. on Saturday. The theme of the Utrecht Heritage Day is ‘Heritage for Everyone’. We pay tribute to this theme in several ways. Firstly, we include monuments of charity and care; buildings such as retirement houses and orphanages as for example the Hieronymushuis and the Centraal Israelitisch Weeshuis. As well as almshouses and courtyards like the Hofje Protestantse Weduwen in Oudwijk and the 400 year old Bruntenhof where people were always welcomed to receive the help and guidance they need.

Secondly, monuments include those that are made accessible for everyone in order to let them remain a part of our everyday life. As time goes by the purpose of various properties change and therefore become available to larger audiences. As is the case for the former Agnietenklooster, once a monastery. As of today, it has been the home one of Utrecht’s most notable museums: Centraal Museum, for exactly 100 years now. Furthermore, the 700 year old Dom Tower was once a private property of the bishop. Which is unimaginable now, since the icon of Utrecht can be visited by everybody nowadays. And how about the Wolvenplein prison, a place that you could once only end up in when you had committed a crime. The prison will be reconstructed in the coming years and will serve several functions.

Lastly, we reach out to the districts where ‘young’ monuments are flourishing. For the last years, several post-war buildings have been labeled as monuments. Most of these are located outside the old city center. These monuments do not only have interesting stories themselves, they also say a lot about the districts in which these monuments are located. Examples include: the residential villas on the Breitnerlaan (including Rietveld design), the former LUBRO factory near Zijdebalen, the CAB building and the Van Ravesteyn house on the Cartesiusweg as well as the Eyüp Sultan Mosque in Kanaleneiland. Most neighbourhood residents may not even know these buildings are official monuments. However, by appreciating modern architecture heritage remains inclusive and available for everyone. Today, along these young monuments three themed routes are organised.

The complete program and reservation options can be found on this website or in the special Monument Newspaper (available on September 3, 2021).

Many locations also organize on-site activities such as exhibitions, musical performances and guided tours. Please note: most activities are in Dutch, translations cannot be provided.

The complete programme is available on our website: www.openmonumentendagutrecht.nl.

Our English leaflet introduced 23 highlights in the city center of Utrecht. The numbers correspond to the number of the sites on the map. You can download the English leaflet Utrecht Heritage Day or click on the images below. Please note: Janskerk (8), Geertekerk (16) and University Museum/Oude Hortus (17) are not open for visitors on Utrecht Heritage Day this year.