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The Dom Tower is by far the tallest building of Utrecht

Many bars sit at the wharfs of the Oude Gracht

The Oude Gracht canal is the life line of the city

Musicians in the beautiful gardens of the Dom church

The main canal Oude Gracht seen from the sky

The Dom Tower dominates the sky

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Utrecht, city of the mighty tower

 

Utrecht is one of the major student cities of the country. Of a total population of 250,000, approximately 20 percent are students. In the last couple of years, the city has had a boom of cool boutiques and restaurants, and is now also a top destination for shoppers and style lovers.

The centre of Utrecht is dominated by two things: the main canal “Oude Gracht” and the majestic church the “Dom”. From almost everywhere in the centre, you can see the 112 meter high Dom tower, being the tallest building of the city.

The construction of the Dom started in 1254 and it took almost three centuries to finish this large church. Then, in 1674, a great disaster hit the city. A tornado swept Utrecht and the middle piece of the church collapsed. Due to financial problems it was never rebuilt. This is why a street runs between the Dom tower and the rest of the church. And, strangely, another street runs through the ancient tower: even city buses pass through it! For an amazing view, climb the high tower. On clear days, you can almost see Amsterdam.  

The main canal “Oude Gracht” is these days one of the main shopping streets, with restaurants at the wharfs down by the water. It is very pleasant to stroll around along the canals and its side streets. You will find local boutiques of various sorts, from clothing to kitchen accessories.  For a break and a coffee, the Court Hotel is a great getaway. The hotel/restaurant is located very close to the Dom Tower and has a pleasant courtyard with trees providing shadow in summertime.

Right at the end of the Oude Gracht and then to the left you will find the Centraal Museum, a modern art museum known for its great exhibitions. The museum for instance had the first overview exhibition on the fashion of Victor & Rolf, the famous Dutch designer couple.

 

It is very easy to get around in Utrecht. The centre is not big, so you do not need a car or public transport. While walking around, just look for the Dom Tower and you will always find your way back!