Utrecht is the fastest growing city in The Netherlands and with a population that is the youngest of any Dutch city it is considered by many to be the country’s beating heart. With a very walkable medieval city center small enough to explore on foot, Utrecht is still large enough to enjoy world class festivals, modern architecture and numerous quality museums. It is developing from a medium-sized provincial city into a regional capital of European importance. Public health first in all fields of public policy. Residents and stakeholders in the city are encouraged to take the initiative and to seek to forge partnerships that will help make Utrecht a healthier place to live. According to the United Nations, it is one of the most happy cities on earth.
St. Martin’s Cathedral, or Dom Church, is dedicated to Saint Martin of Tours. This Gothic church was the cathedral of the Diocese of Utrecht during the Middle Ages and is the country’s only pre-Reformation cathedral. It has been a Protestant church since 1580 when the Utrecht city government took the cathedral away from the Diocese of Utrecht and gave it to the local Calvinists. From then on only Protestant services were held in the building with one brief exception, in 1672 and 1673, during the Franco-Dutch War, when Catholic masses were again held in the cathedral. Following the Reformation, Catholics were legally obliged to worship discreetly in clandestine churches (schuilkerken).Over the subsequent centuries the cathedral fell into a pitiable state. Major renovations are ongoing.
During the 16th century, the influence of the Reformation was growing. The dissatisfaction over the abuses of the Church had become so strong that it resulted in a revolt during which statues, furniture, altar pieces and carvings in the churches were destroyed.
Wijnstraat aan de Werf
We are staying in a lovely little canal side apartment in the middle of the old city center. You literally have to walk down a small passageway and then along the canal to get here.
Our idyllic little shelter was rocked at 7:30am this morning when the construction crew arrived to begin work on the new canal wall directly in front of our window.