Utrecht walk

Utrecht “Dom” tower, part of the Cathedral.

Join me for a fine day out in Utrecht. Our educational day trip, Utrecht, is situated some 30 KM southeast of Amsterdam, under half an hour by train. The city was founded after the middle ages on the remains of a Roman military fort. The beauty of the city center is the result of many centuries of organic growth. It boasts a well-preserved group of canals and ancient canal houses, with even one mediaeval castle-like building.

The Old Canal, seen from the Dom tower.

Uniquely in the Netherlands, the water table of the central canal in town is way down from street level, so that wharf and storage facilities have been built under street level, to the left and right of the main canal. This has also resulted in an area with many wharf cafes and restaurants down by the water, away from traffic.
We may walk the streets, discuss its history and look at historic monuments and we may even climb the tower of the Cathedral, the ‘Dom’ up to the 95 meter platform.
For those in love with the art of painting we will visit the Centraal Museum.

This tour is particularly rich in architecture topics: Private homes. Churches. Castle-like private residences. Drs Kees Kaldenbach has amassed a grand portfolio with maps, plans, elevations, architectural analysis.
Also: Modern architecture discussions include De Stijl era with, Gerrit Rietveld, the famous modern-style Truus Schröder-Schräder house and important adjacent buildings.

Dozens of restaurants are situated down by the water.

Utrecht has been and is the key religious center of Catholicism in the Netherlands, and it still is the seat of the Roman Catholic archbishop. Right in the center we find the large Cathedral / Duomo (Dom) with its 110 meter high tower – and close by we find the most important museum of Christianity in the Netherlands. Named Catharijne convent, it exhibits objects from various religious branches in well designed spacious galleries.

The other great museum is Centraal Museum; it has a variety of art and design objects. Strong on Caravaggio followers, painters from Utrecht. Nice variety of paintings.

 

Tour by Drs Kees Kaldenbach, a professional Art History scholar with excellent teaching skills. Specialist in Fine art and Design, Architecture and History. VIP entry.

Larger images are available on this old school site.

 

Ter Brugghen, Caravaggio follower.

Business card. The logo refers to Vermeer.

HOW TO GET THERE

Utrecht is easy to reach with public transport, by train in just 30 minutes from Amsterdam. I hold a Dutch Railways rebate card. For this train tour I can offer you a special rebate of 40% for three separate adult railway tickets. This makes it economical for you as clients. I can join you from your hotel or from the Amsterdam train station.

Various other options are open to you: a) You can hire a car and drive it yourself, and I will join you starting in Amsterdam and will advise you about the best route. b) We can hire a professional taxibus service at around E 70 per hour for about 4 to 5 hours. On top of that you will pay me as the specialist guide. This is the more expensive option.

Tranquil inner courtyard of the Catharijneconvent museum, a former nun’s convent.

Mediaeval ship, dating from around the year 1000, well conserved in the clay soil.

Behind the Duomo is the religious district, formerly off-limits, for the higher functionaries of the Roman Catholic church.

Early Rembrandt. Discovered in the home of an old lady.

Mediaeval manuscript. The Utrecht Psalter is late carolingian and one of the world treasures.

Caravaggists, painters having visited Rome, followers of Caravaggio.

Jan van Bylert, group of beggars. A unique portrait of poor people.

Jumping stone, now chained.

Sign explaining that the Devil Himself made this stone jump.

Map of ancient Utrecht.

Utrecht “Dom” tower, 110 meters high, part of the Cathedral.

After a serious climb: Looking down into the cloister.

Next to the Duomo. To the right the Jelling Stone, a copy from the one in Denmark, with Rune signs.