Dom Church

In a city that was once home to 40 cathedrals, the Domkerk and its tower remain the most eye-catching historical sites in the city.

Climb to the top of the Dom Church (Domkerk) tower to enjoy breathtaking views over Utrecht. Admire the vibrant stained-glass windows of the church and relax in the tranquil Pandhof Garden in the courtyard. 

Construction of the Dom Church and tower began in 1254. For years a giant cathedral filled the center of Utrecht until a freak tornado in 1674 destroyed the nave and separated the main cathedral from the giant tower. Today you can see the original paving stones of the nave that once linked the two buildings together. 

Stand before the church and admire the splendid Gothic architecture. Grand arches frame exquisite stained-glass windows. Pointed spires reach high into the sky. Admire the intricate stonework around the windows and cast your eye toward the enormous cross at the very top. 

When you step through the tall wooden doorframe, you will be confronted by the 105-foot-high (32-meter) vault. Explore the vault’s long corridor and you will notice superb statues, many of which are damaged or beheaded. These act as a reminder of the Dutch Revolt of 1566 when Protestants rose up against Catholic rule, angered by the lavish wealth of the Church. 

Make your way through the cathedral into the Pandhof Garden. Breathe in the scent of fresh herbs and listen to water trickling from the fountain in the middle of the courtyard. A statue atop the fountain depicts Hugo Wstinc, a former bishop of Utrecht. 

Cross the square from the church to reach the Dom Tower. This is the tallest church tower in the Netherlands and stands at 367 feet (112 meters). Ascend the 465 steps to access the platform at the top and enjoy great views across the city. On a clear day, you can see Amsterdam.

Entry to the Dom Church itself is free. The admission fee for the tower includes a guided tour that is available in English.

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