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Utrecht
—  Municipality  —
View from the Dom Tower

Flag

Coat of arms
Coordinates: 52°05′36″N 5°7′10″E / 52.09333°N 5.11944°E / 52.09333; 5.11944
Country Netherlands Netherlands
Province Utrecht (province) Utrecht
Government
 - mayor Aleid Wolfsen
Area (2006)
 - Total 99.32 km2 (38.3 sq mi)
 - Land 95.67 km2 (36.9 sq mi)
 - Water 3.64 km2 (1.4 sq mi)
Population (12 January 2009)
 - Total 300,030
 Density 3,068/km2 (7,946.1/sq mi)
  Source: Gemeente Utrecht[1]
Time zone CET (UTC+1)
 - Summer (DST) CEST (UTC+2)
Area code(s) 30

Utrecht (Dutch pronunciation: [ˈytrɛxt]  ( listen)) city and municipality is the capital and most populous city of the Dutch province of Utrecht. It is located in the eastern end of the Randstad, and is the fourth largest city of the Netherlands, with a population of 300,030 in 2007.[2] The smaller Utrecht agglomeration including adjacent suburbs and annexed towns is home to some 640,000 registered inhabitants, while the larger region contains up to 820,000 inhabitants.[3]

Utrecht's ancient city-centre features many buildings and structures from its earliest origins onwards. It has been the religious centre of the Netherlands since the eighth century. Currently it is the see of the Archbishop of Utrecht, the most important Dutch Roman Catholic leader.[4][5] Utrecht is also the see of the archbishop of the Old Catholic church, titular head of the Union of Utrecht (Old Catholic), and the location of the offices of the main Protestant church. Until the golden age, Utrecht was the city of most importance in the northern Netherlands (the present-day country of the Netherlands, excluding Belgium and Luxembourg), until Amsterdam became the cultural and populous centre of the Netherlands.

Utrecht is host to Utrecht University, the largest university of the Netherlands, as well as several other institutes for higher education. Due to its central position within the country it is an important transportation hub (rail and road) in the Netherlands. It has the second highest number of cultural events in the Netherlands, after Amsterdam.[6]

Contents

History

Origins (Until 650)

Although there is some evidence of earlier inhabitation in the region of Utrecht, dating back to the Stone Age (app. 2200 BCE) and settling in the Bronze Age (app. 1800–800 BCE),[7] the founding date of the city is usually related to the construction of a Roman fortification (castellum), probably built in around 50 CE. These fortresses were designed to house a cohort of about 500 Roman soldiers. Near the fort a settlement would grow housing artisans, traders and soldiers' wives and children. A line of such fortresses was built after the Roman emperor Claudius decided the empire should not expand further north. To consolidate the border the limes Germanicus defense line was constructed.[8] This line was located at the borders of the main branch of the river Rhine, which at that time flowed through a more northern bed compared to today, along what is now the Kromme Rijn.

In Roman times the name of the Utrecht fortress was simply Traiectum denoting its location on the Rhine at a ford. Traiectum became Dutch Trecht. The U comes from Old Dutch "uut" meaning downriver. It was added to distinguish from the other Tricht, Maas-tricht.[9][10] In 11th century official documents it was then Latinized as Ultra Traiectum. Over time the two parts of the name would merge and evolve into the current name "Utrecht".[11] In the second century, the wooden walls were replaced by sturdier tuff stone walls,[8] remnants of which are still to be found below the buildings around Dom Square.

From the middle of the 3rd century Germanic tribes regularly invaded the Roman territories. Around 275 the Romans could no longer maintain the northern border and Utrecht was abandoned.[8] Little is known about the next period 270-650. Utrecht is first spoken of again in the 7th century when the influence of the growing realms of the Franks led Dagobert I to build a church devoted to Saint Martin within the walls of the Roman fortress.[8] In ongoing border conflicts with the Frisians the church was however destroyed.

Centre of Christianity in the Netherlands (650-1579)

The Dom tower, with to the left behind it the remaining section of the Dom church. The two parts have not been connected since the collapse of the nave in 1674.

By the mid 7th century, English and Irish missionaries set out to convert the Frisians. The pope appointed their leader, Willibrordus, bishop of the Frisians; which is usually considered to be the beginning of the Bishopric of Utrecht.[8] In 723, the Frankish king bestowed the fortress in Utrecht and the surrounding lands as the base of bishops. From then on Utrecht became one of the most influential seats of power for the Roman Catholic Church in the Netherlands. The see of the archbishops of Utrecht was located at the uneasy northern border of the Carolingian Empire. Furthermore it had to compete with the nearby trading centre Dorestad, also founded near the location of a Roman fortress.[8] After the downfall of Dorestad around 850, Utrecht became one of the most important cities in the Netherlands.[12] The importance of Utrecht as a centre of Christianity is illustrated by the appointment of the Utrecht-born Adriaan Florenszoon Boeyens as pope in 1522 (the last non-Italian pope before John Paul II).

Prince-Bishops

When the Frankish rulers established the system of feudalism, the Bishops of Utrecht came to exercise worldly power as prince-bishops.[8] The realm of the bishopry included not only the land of the modern province of Utrecht (Nedersticht, 'lower Sticht'), but also extended to the northeast. However, the feudalist system resulted in conflict between the different lords. The prince bishopry had its conflicts with the Counts of Holland and the Dukes of Guelders.[13] The Veluwe region was soon taken by Guelders, but large areas in the modern province of Overijssel remained as the Oversticht.

Clerical buildings

The clergy built several churches and monasteries inside, or close to, the city of Utrecht. Most dominant of these was the gothic Cathedral of Saint Martin, inside the old Roman fortress. The construction of this cathedral started in 1254 after an earlier romanesque cathedral had been badly damaged by fire. When the choir and transept were finished from 1320 the ambitious Dom tower was built.[8] The central nave was the last part to be constructed from 1420. By that time, however, the time of the great cathedrals had ended and declining finances prevented this ambitious cathedral from being finished, resulting in the construction of the central nave being suspended before finishing the planned flying buttresses.[8] Besides the cathedral there were four additional collegiate churches in Utrecht: St. Salvator's Church (demolished in the 16th century), on the Dom square, dating back to the early 8th century.[14] Saint John (Janskerk), originating in 1040;[15] Saint Peter, building started in 1039[16] and Saint Mary's church building started around 1090 (demolished in the early 19th century, cloister survives).[17] Besides these churches the city housed Saint Paul abbey.[18] The 15th century beguine monastery of Saint Nicholas, and a 14th century chapter house of the Teutonic Knights.[19]

Besides these buildings which were part of the hierarchy of the bishopric; an additional four parish churches were constructed in the city: the Jacobichurch (dedicated to Saint James), founded in the 11th century, with the current gothic church dating back to the 14th century;[20] the Buurkerk (Neighbourhood-church) of the 11th century parish in the centre of the city; Nicolaichurch (dedicated to Saint Nicholas), from the 12th century[21] and the 13th century Geertekerk (dedicated to Saint Gertrude of Nivelles).[22]

City of Utrecht

The location on the banks of the river Rhine allowed Utrecht to become an important trade centre in the Northern Netherlands. The growing town Utrecht was granted city rights by Henry V. in 1122. When the main flow of the Rhine moved south, the old bed, which still flowed through the heart of the town became evermore canalized; and a unique wharf system was built as an inner city harbour system.[23] On the wharfs storage facilities (werfkelders) were built, on top of which the main street, including houses was constructed. The wharfs and the cellars are accessible from a platform at water level with stairs descending from the street level to form a unique structure.[nb 1][24] The relations between the bishop, who controlled many lands outside of the city, and the citizens of Utrecht was not always easy.[8] The bishop, for example dammed the Kromme Rijn at Wijk bij Duurstede to protect his estates from flooding. This threatened shipping for the city and led the city of Utrecht to commission a canal to ensure access to the town for shipping trade: the Vaartse Rijn, connecting Utrecht to the Hollandse IJssel at IJsselstein.

The end of independence

In 1528 the worldly powers of the bishop over both Neder- and Oversticht, including the city of Utrecht, were transferred to Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor, who became the Lord of the Seventeen Provinces, (the current Benelux and the northern parts of France). This transition was not an easy one and Charles V wanted to exert his power over the citizens of the city, who had achieved a certain level of independence from the bishops and were not willing to give this power to their new lord. Charles decided to build a heavily fortified castle Vredenburg to house a large garrison whose most important task would be to maintain order in the city. The castle would last less than 50 years before it was demolished in an uprising in the early stages of the Dutch Revolt.

Republic of the Netherlands (1579–1815)

Many of the features in Blaeu's 1652 map of Utrecht can still be recognised in the city center

In 1579 the northern seven provinces signed the Union of Utrecht, in which they decided to join forces against Spanish rule. The Union of Utrecht is seen as the beginning of the Dutch Republic. In 1580 the new and predominantly Protestant state abolished the bishoprics, including the one in Utrecht, which had become an archbishopric in 1559. The stadtholders disapproved of the independent course of the Utrecht bourgeoisie and brought the city under much more direct control of the Holland dominated leadership of the republic. This was the start of a long period of stagnation of trade and development in Utrecht, an atypical city in the new state, still about 40% Catholic in the mid-17th century, and even more so among the elite groups, who included many rural nobility and gentry with town houses there.[25]

The city, which was held against its will in the states of the Republic, failed to defend itself against the French invasion in 1672 (the Disaster Year)

The lack of structural integrity proved to be the undoing of the central section of the cathedral of St Martin church when Utrecht was struck by a tornado in 1674.

The Treaty of Utrecht in 1713 settled the War of the Spanish Succession.

Since 1723 (but especially after 1870) Utrecht became the centre of the non-Roman Old Catholic Churches in the world.

Modern history (1815-now)

In the early 19th century the role of Utrecht as a fortified town had become obsolete. The fortifications of the Nieuwe Hollandse Waterlinie were moved east of Utrecht. The town walls could now be demolished to allow for expansion. The moats remained intact and formed an important feature of the Zocher plantsoen, an English style landscape park that remains largely intact today.

1960s style architecture at the Jaarbeursplein

Growth of the city increased when, in 1843, a railway connecting Utrecht to Amsterdam was opened. After that, Utrecht gradually became the main hub of the Dutch railway network.

In 1853 the Dutch government allowed the bishopric of Utrecht to be reinstated by Rome, and Utrecht became the centre of Dutch Catholicism once more.

With the industrial revolution finally gathering speed in the Netherlands and the ramparts taken down, Utrecht began to grow far beyond the medieval center from the 1880s onward with the construction of neighbourhoods such as Oudwijk, Wittevrouwen, Vogelenbuurt to the East, and Lombok to the West. New middle class residential areas, such as Tuindorp and Oog in Al, were built in the 1920s and 1930s. During this period, several Jugendstil houses and office buildings were built, followed by Rietveld who built the Rietveld Schröder House (1924), and Dudok's construction of the city theater (1941).

During World War II, Utrecht was held by the Germans until the general German surrender of the Netherlands on 5 May 1945. Canadian troops that surrounded the city entered it after that surrender, on May 7, 1945.

Since World War II, the city has grown considerably when new neighbourhoods such as Overvecht, Kanaleneiland, Hoogravenand Lunetten were built. Additionally the area surrounding the central station, and the station itself have been developed following modernist ideas of the 1960s, in a brutalist style. This led to the construction of the shopping mall Hoog Catharijne, music centre Vredenburg (Hertzberger, 1979), and conversion of part of the ancient canal structure into a highway (Catherijnebaan). Protest against further modernisation of the city centre followed even before the last buildings were finalised. In the early 21st century the whole area is being redeveloped.

Currently the city is expanding once more with the development of the Leidsche Rijn housing area.

Geography

Climate

Utrecht experiences an oceanic climate (Köppen climate classification Cfb) similar to almost all of the Netherlands.

Climate data for Utrecht
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °C (°F) 5
(41)
6
(43)
9
(48)
13
(55)
17
(63)
20
(68)
22
(72)
22
(72)
19
(66)
15
(59)
9
(48)
6
(43)
14
(57)
Average low °C (°F) -1
(30)
-1
(30)
1
(34)
3
(37)
7
(45)
10
(50)
12
(54)
12
(54)
9
(48)
7
(45)
3
(37)
1
(34)
5
(41)
Precipitation mm (inches) 68.6
(2.7)
48.3
(1.9)
66
(2.6)
53.3
(2.1)
61
(2.4)
71.1
(2.8)
76.2
(3.0)
71.1
(2.8)
66
(2.6)
73.7
(2.9)
81.3
(3.2)
83.8
(3.3)
820.4
(32.3)
Source: [26] 2009-09-11

Demographics

Inhabitants of Utrecht are called ‘Utrechter’ or more rarely, usually by mistake, ‘Utrechtenaar’ as the latter is also a known Dutch euphemism for homosexual.[nb 2]

Utrecht city had a population of 296,305 in 2007. Utrecht is a growing municipality and projections are that the city's population will surpass 350,000 by 2017.[27]

In Utrecht 52% of the population is female, 48% is male. Utrecht has a young population, with many inhabitants in the age category from 20 and 30 years, due to the presence of a large university.

Population in Utecht[27]
Female Age Male
22761 15% 0-14 23994 17%
44732 30% 15-29 36165 26%
36444 24% 30-44 39434 28%
15574 10% 45-54 15996 11%
11899 8% 55-64 11484 8%
8317 6% 65-74 7457 5%
9374 6% 74+ 4764 3%

The majority of households (52.5%) in Utrecht is a single person household. About 29% of people living in Utrecht are either married, or have another legal partnership. About 3% of the population of Utrecht is divorced.[27]

About 69% of the population is of Dutch ancestry. Approximately 10% of the population consists of immigrants from Western countries, while 21% of the population is of non-Western origin (9% Moroccan, 5% Turkish, 3% Surinamese and Dutch Caribbean and 5% of other countries).[27]

With 9% of its population being of Moroccan heritage, Utrecht contains the largest proportion of people of Moroccan descent of any Dutch municipality.

Like Rotterdam, Amsterdam, The Hague and other large Dutch cities, Utrecht faces social problems. About 38% percent of its population either earns a minimum income or being dependant on social welfares (17% of all households). Boroughs such as Kanaleneiland, Overvecht and Hoograven consist primarily of high-rise housing developments, and are known for relatively high poverty and crime rates, as well as a high percentage of originally non-Dutch inhabitants (Kanaleneiland: 83%, Overvecht: 57%).

Population centres and agglomeration

Besides the city of Utrecht, the municipality of Utrecht also includes Vleuten-De Meern, which was a separate municipality until 2001. Vleuten-De Meern in turn included the villages of Haarzuilens and Veldhuizen. Thus the municipality of Utrecht includes several population centres:[28]

Utrecht is the centre of a densely populated area, which makes concise definitions of its agglomeration difficult, and somewhat arbitrary. The smaller Utrecht agglomeration counts some 420,000 inhabitants and includes Nieuwegein, IJsselstein and Maarssen. It is sometimes argued that the municipalities De Bilt, Zeist, Houten, Vianen, Driebergen-Rijsenburg (Utrechtse Heuvelrug), and Bunnik should also be counted towards the Utrecht agglomeration, bringing the total to 640,000 inhabitants. The larger region, including slightly more remote towns such as Woerden and Amersfoort counts up to 820,000 inhabitants.[3]

Cityscape

Oudegracht, the 'old canal' in central Utrecht
The Oudegracht ca. 1890.

Utrecht's cityscape features the Dom Tower, belonging to the former cathedral (Dom Church).[29] An ongoing debate is if any building in or near the centre of town may surpass the Dom Tower in height (112 m). Nevertheless, some tall buildings are now being constructed that will become part of the skyline of Utrecht. The second highest building of the city, the Rabobank-tower, will be completed in 2010 and will stand 105 m (344.49 ft) tall.[30] Two antennas will increase that height to 120 m (393.70 ft). Two other buildings were constructed around the Nieuw Galgenwaard stadium (2007). These buildings, the 'Kantoortoren Galghenwert' and 'Apollo Residence', stand 85.5 and 64.5 metres high respectively. Finally, there are controversial plans for a 262 m (859.58 ft) high skyscraper in the newly built neighbourhood of Leidsche Rijn: the 'Belle van Zuylen' tower.[31]

Another landmark is the old centre and the canal structure in the inner city. The Oudegracht is a curved canal, partly following an old arm of the Rhine. It is lined with the unique wharf-basement structures that create a two-level street along the canals.[32] The inner city has largely retained its Medieval structure,[33] and the moat ringing the old town is largely intact.[34] Because of the role of Utrecht as a fortified city,which restricted construction outside the walls, until the 19th century the city has remained very compact. Surrounding the medieval core there is a ring of late 19th and early 20th century neighbourhoods, with newer neighbourhoods positioned farther out.[35] The eastern part of Utrecht remains fairly open. The Dutch Water Line, moved east of the city in the early 19th century required open lines of fire thus prohibiting all permanent constructions until the mid of the 20th century on the east side of the city.[36]

Due to the past importance of Utrecht as a religious centre, several monumental churches have survived.[37] Most prominent is the Dom Church. Other notables churches include the romanesque St Peter's and St John's churches, the gothic churches of St James and St Nicholas, and the so-called Buurkerk, now converted into a museum for automatically playing musical instruments .

Transport

Because of its central location Utrecht is well connected to the rest of the Netherlands, and has a well-developed public transport network.

Utrecht UFO on the top of the ProRail HQ

Public transport

Rail connections

Utrecht Centraal is the main railway station of Utrecht. There are also some smaller stations in the suburbs:

There is also a museum station for the Dutch Railway Museum, at Utrecht Maliebaan railway station.

From Utrecht Centraal there are:

Utrecht Central Station

A light-rail line runs from Utrecht Centraal station, through the neighbourhoods of Lombok and Kanaleneiland to Nieuwegein and IJsselstein. This line is operated by Connexxion.[38]

Besides being an important node in the transportation system Utrecht hosts the headquarters of both the Nederlandse Spoorwegen (Dutch Railroads), the most important train company in the Netherlands, and ProRail, the state owned company that is responsible for building and maintenance of railroad tracks throughout the Netherlands.[39]

Bus transport

Utrecht Central railway station also operates as the main local and regional bus station.[40] The bus network of Utrecht includes

Utrecht Centraal's bus station is the busiest in the Netherlands.

The Utrecht Central railway station is also frequented by the pan-European Eurolines bus company. Furthermore, it acts as departure and arrival place of many coach companies serving holiday resorts in Spain and France and during winter in Austria and Switzerland.[41]

Other transport

Roads

Utrecht is well connected to the main roads in the Netherlands. Two of the most important major roads cross near Utrecht: The A12 [The Hague - Arnhem - Germany] and the A2 [Amsterdam - Maastricht - Belgium]. Other roads are the A27 [Almere - Breda] and the A28 [Utrecht - Groningen].[42] Due to the increasing traffic, traffic congestion is a common phenomenon in and around Utrecht. This has led to the city being seriously contaminated with particulate dust.[43]

Shipping

Utrecht also has a medium-sized industrial port, located on the Amsterdam-Rhine Canal, which is connected to the Rhine river.[44] The CTU container terminal has a capacity of 80,000 containers a year. In 2003, the port facilitated the transport of four million tons of cargo; mostly sand, gravel, fertilizer, and fodder.[45]

Additionally some tourist boat trips are organised from various places on the Oudegracht.[46]

Economy

The economy of Utrecht depends for a large part on the several large institutions located in the city. Production industry has a relatively small influence in Utrecht. Rabobank, a large bank, has its headquarters in Utrecht.

The Inkpot

Utrecht is the center of the Dutch railroad network and the location of the head office of the Nederlandse Spoorwegen (Dutch Railways). NS's former head office 'De Inktpot' in Utrecht is the largest brick building in the Netherlands (the "UFO" featured on its facade stems from an art program in 2000). The building is currently used by ProRail.

A large indoor shopping center called Hoog Catharijne (nl) is located between the central railway station and the city center. The corridors have been considered public places like streets, and the main route from station to city center is therefore open all night. Over the next 20 years (counting from 2004), parts of Hoog Catharijne will disappear as a consequence of the renovation of the Station-area.[47] Parts of the city's network of canals, which were filled to create the shopping center and central station area, will be recreated.

At the west side of the central railway station can be found the Jaarbeurs, one of the largest convention centers of the Netherlands.

One of Europe's biggest used car markets is located in the Voordorp district. It is open every Tuesday except on official holidays. With thousands of second-hand vehicles on sale the market is a special point of interest for customers from Eastern European countries who even organize special one-way bus tours for shopping there.

Education

View on the Uithof campus of Utrecht University

Utrecht is well known for its institutions of higher education. The most prominent of these is Utrecht University (est. 1636), the largest university of the Netherlands with 26,787 students (as of 2004). The university is partially based in the inner city as well as in the Uithof campus area, on the east of the city. According to Shanghai Jiaotong University's university ranking in 2009 it is the 52nd best university in the world.[48] Utrecht also houses the much smaller University of Humanistics (estimated at a few hundred students).

Utrecht is home of one of the locations of TiasNimbas, focused on post-experience management education and the largest management school of its kind in the Netherlands. In 2007, its executive MBA program was rated the 11th best program in the world by the Financial Times.[49]

Utrecht is also home to two other large institutions of higher education: the Hogeschool Utrecht (30,000 students), with locations in the city and the Uithof campus, and the HKU Utrecht School of the Arts (3,000 students).

There are many schools for primary and secondary education; allowing for different philosophies and religions as is inherent in the Dutch school system. There is some concern about segregation in the primary schools (which is a common problem in many large cities in the Netherlands). This is caused by Dutch parents wanting to send their children to schools with a large proportion of other Dutch children, ending in a spiral where schools with a large proportion of immigrant children attract fewer and fewer Dutch children.

Culture

Miffy statue at the Nijntjepleintje in Utrecht.

Utrecht city has an active cultural life, in the Netherlands second only to Amsterdam.[6] Utrecht aims to become cultural capital of Europe in 2018.[50]

There are several theatres and theatre companies. The 1941 main city theater was built by Dudok. Besides theatres there is a large number of cinemas including three arthouse cinemas. Utrecht is host to the Netherlands Film Festival. The city has an important classical music hall Vredenburg (1979 by Herman Hertzberger), which acoustics are considered among the best of the 20th century original music halls. Young musicians are educated in the conservatory (a department of the Utrecht School of the Arts). There is a specialised museum of automatically playing musical instruments. Located at the OudeGracht is the rock club Tivoli (which has a second location just outside the centre). There are several other venues for music throughout the city.

There are many art galleries in Utrecht. There are also several foundations to support art, and artists. Training of artists is done at the Utrecht School of the Arts. The Centraal Museum has many exhibitions on the arts, including a permanent exhibition on the works of Utrecht resident illustrator Dick Bruna, who is best known for creating Miffy.

Utrecht also houses one of the landmarks of modern architecture, the 1924 Rietveld Schröder House, which is listed on UNESCO's world heritage sites.

1924 Rietveld Schröder House

To involve the city population as a whole (rather than the elite alone) in the cultural riches of the city, Utrecht city, in collaboration with the different cultural organisations, regularly organise cultural Sundays. During a thematic Sunday several organisations create a program, which is open to everyone without, or with a very much reduced, admission fee. Furthermore there are many initiatives for amateur artists; e.g. in the performing arts, painting and sculpture. The city subsidises an organisation for amateur education in arts aimed at all inhabitants (Utrechts Centrum voor de Kunsten), as does the university for its staff and students. Additionally there are also several private initiatives. The city council provides coupons for discounts to inhabitants who receive welfare to be used with many of the initiatives.

Utrecht is home to the premier league (professional) football club FC Utrecht, which plays in Stadium Nieuw Galgenwaard. It is also the home of Kampong, the largest (amateur) sportsclub of the Netherlands (4,500 members), SV Kampong. Kampong features fieldhockey, soccer, cricket, tennis, squash and jeu de boules. Kampong's men and women top hockey squads play in the highest Dutch hockey league, the Rabohoofdklasse.

Museums

Utrecht has several smaller and larger museums. Many of those are located in the eastern part of the old town, which is called MuseumQuarter.

Music

Utrecht hosts the yearly Utrecht Early Music Festival - Festival Oude Muziek Utrecht

In Jaarbeurs it hosts Trance Energy too.

Theatre

There are two main theaters in the city which are the Theater Kikker and the Stadsschouwburg Utrecht. The city also hosts the yearly Festival a/d Werf wich offers a selection of contemporary international theater pieces, together with visual arts, public art and music.

Notable people from Utrecht

Birth place of Adrian Dedel, later Pope Adrian VI
See also the category People from Utrecht

Over the ages famous people have been born and raised in Utrecht. Among the most famous Utrechters are:

International relations

Twin towns — Sister cities

Utrecht is twinned with:

See also

Coordinates: 52°05′28″N 5°07′19″E / 52.091°N 5.122°E / 52.091; 5.122

External links

Maps

References

  1. ^ All other canal cities in The Netherlands (such as Leiden, Amsterdam and Delft) have the water in canals bordering directly to the road surface
  2. ^ The term ‘Utrechtenaar’ has become a profane expression for homosexual after the 1730-31 sodomy trials, and has fallen into disuse since. This distinction, however, is not always known by Dutch speakers from outside the region, who may use the term ‘Utrechtenaar’ without being aware of the specific connotation.

Notes

  1. ^ "Bericht". http://www.utrecht.nl/smartsite.dws?id=12564&persberichtID=281292&type=pers. 
  2. ^ Staatscourant (2007). "Kerngegevens gemeente Utrecht". Archived from the original on 2007-12-11. http://web.archive.org/web/20071211220532/http://www.sdu.nl/staatscourant/gemeentes/gem477u.htm. Retrieved 2008-01-05. 
  3. ^ a b CBS statline (2007). "Gemiddelde bevolking per regio naar leeftijd en geslacht / Gebieden in Nederland 2007". http://statline.cbs.nl/StatWeb/start.asp?KEYWORDS=agglomeratie+utrecht&BOOL=0&LA=NL&DM=SLNL&lp=Search/SResults. Retrieved 2008-01-05. 
  4. ^ in Dutch "Aartsbisdom Utrecht". http://www.aartsbisdom.nl/ in Dutch. Retrieved 2007-12-10. 
  5. ^ in Dutch "Katholiek Nederland". http://www.katholieknederland.nl/ in Dutch. Retrieved 2007-12-10. 
  6. ^ a b Gemeente Utrecht. "Utrecht Monitor 2007 (in Dutch)". http://www.utrecht.nl/images/Secretarie/Bestuursinformatie/Publicaties2007/UM2007/UtrechtMonitor2007.pdf. Retrieved 2008-01-06. 
  7. ^ "Gemeente Utrecht, Geschiedenis Utrecht voor 1528". http://www.utrecht.nl/smartsite.dws?id=163711. 
  8. ^ a b c d e f g h i j de Bruin, R.E.; T.J. Hoekstra, A. Pietersma (1999). Twintig eeuwen Utrecht, korte geschiedenis van de stad (Dutch). Utrecht, the Netherlands: SPOU & Het Utrechts Archief. ISBN 90-5479-040-7. 
  9. ^ Het ontstaan van de stad Utrecht (tot 100), Het Utrechts Archief (in Dutch)
  10. ^ Nicoline van der Sijs (2001), Chronologisch woordenboek. De ouderdom en herkomst van onze woorden en betekenissen, blz. 100, Uitgeverij L.J. Veen, Amsterdam/Antwerpen, ISBN 90-204-2045-3 (in Dutch)
  11. ^ "History of Utrecht". http://us.holland.com/e/8376/History%20of%20Utrecht.php. Retrieved 2008-01-06. 
  12. ^ van der Tuuk, Luit (2005). "Denen in Dorestad". in Ria van der Eerden, et al. (in Dutch). Jaarboek Oud Utrecht 2005. Jaarboek Oud Utrecht. Utrecht: SPOU. pp. 5–40. ISBN 90-7108-244. 
  13. ^ Janssen, H.P.H. (2002) (in Dutch). Geschiedenis van de Middeleeuwen (12th ed.). Utrecht: Aula. pp. 289–296. ISBN 90-274-5377-2. 
  14. ^ Stöver, R.J. (1997). De Salvator- of Oudmunsterkerk te Utrecht, Stichtingsmonument van het bisdom Utrecht (in Dutch). Utrecht, the Netherlands. 
  15. ^ "Janskerk Informatie". http://www.janskerkutrecht.nl/. Retrieved 2008-01-06. 
  16. ^ "Sint Pieterskerk Utrecht". http://www.planetware.com/utrecht/st-pieterskerk-nl-ut-piet.htm. Retrieved 2008-01-05. 
  17. ^ Haverkate, H.M. (1985). Een kerk van papier. De geschiedenis van de voormalige Mariakerk te Utrecht (in Dutch). Zutphen, the Netherlands. 
  18. ^ Broer, C.J.C. (2000). Uniek in de stad. De oudste geschiedenis van de kloostergemeenschap op de Hohorst sinds 1050 de Sint-Paulusabdij te Utrecht (in Dutch). Utrecht, the Netherlands. 
  19. ^ "Karel V (in Dutch)". http://www.karelv.nl. Retrieved 2008-01-06. 
  20. ^ "Jacobikerk". http://www.jacobikerk.nl. Retrieved 2008-01-06. 
  21. ^ "Nicolaikerk". http://www.nicolaikerk.nl. Retrieved 2008-01-06. 
  22. ^ "Geertekerk - Remonstrantse Gemeente Utrecht". http://www.geertekerk.nl. Retrieved 2008-01-06. 
  23. ^ "De Utrechtse Werven (Dutch)". Gemeente Utecht. http://www.utrecht.nl/smartsite.dws?id=168424. Retrieved 2008-01-27. 
  24. ^ "Historic wharf photos from the Utrecht City Archive". Utrecht City Archive. http://www.hetutrechtsarchief.nl/atlantis_treffers.asp?trefwoord=werven. Retrieved 2008-01-27. 
  25. ^ Wayne Franits, Dutch Seventeenth-Century Genre Painting, p.65, Yale UP, 2004, ISBN 0-300-10237-2
  26. ^ "Utrecht historic weather averages". Intellicast. http://www.intellicast.com/Local/History.aspx?location=NLXX0018. Retrieved 11 September 2009. 
  27. ^ a b c d Gemeente Utrecht. "Bevolkingspublicatie 2007". http://www.utrecht.nl/images/Secretarie/Bestuursinformatie/Publicaties2007/Bevolkingspublicatie2007.pdf. Retrieved 2008-04-20. 
  28. ^ Gemeente Utrecht. "Stad in Cijfers". Archived from the original on 2007-10-22. http://web.archive.org/web/20071022072026/http://www.utrecht.nl/smartsite.dws?id=15450&mw=1157&w=18&p=15304&parFrom=214&infFrom=15304#intern7. Retrieved 2008-01-06. 
  29. ^ "RonDom". http://www.domtoren.nl/. 
  30. ^ "Rabobank Groep". http://www.rabobankgroep.nl/asp/default.asp?node_id=15062&version_id=1. 
  31. ^ www.bellevanzuijlen.nl/
  32. ^ "Utrecht.nl - Cultuurhistorie en Monumenten - De Utrechtse werven". http://www.utrecht.nl/smartsite.dws?id=168424. 
  33. ^ "Utrecht.nl - Wijksite Binnenstad - De wijk Binnenstad". http://www.utrecht.nl/smartsite.dws?id=90241. 
  34. ^ "Utrecht". http://www.map21ltd.com/COSTC11/Utrecht/Utrecht.htm. 
  35. ^ Historische Atlas van de stad Utrecht. ISBN 90-8506-189-X
  36. ^ Wandelplatform-LAW. Waterliniepad (in Dutch) 1st edition, 2004. ISBN 90-71068-61-7
  37. ^ Kerken Kijken Utrecht | Home
  38. ^ UrbanRail.Net > Europe > Netherlands > Utrecht Sneltram / Light Rail
  39. ^ 404 Pagina niet gevonden › NS reizigers
  40. ^ "Utrecht.nl - Station area Utrecht - Facelift Utrecht Bus station". http://www.utrecht.nl/smartsite.dws?id=70924. 
  41. ^ "Travelling to (and inside) Utrecht". http://shakespeare.let.uu.nl/sheuropol.travel.htm#bus. 
  42. ^ "Autosnelwegen.nl". http://www.autosnelwegen.nl/. 
  43. ^ "MNP rapport 500037008 Fijn stof nader bekeken". http://www.rivm.nl/bibliotheek/rapporten/500037008.pdf. 
  44. ^ "Amsterdam-Rhine Canal, or Amsterdam-Rijnkanaal (canal, The Netherlands) - Britannica Online Encyclopedia". http://www.britannica.com/eb/topic-21914/Amsterdam-Rhine-Canal. 
  45. ^ "Container Terminal Utrecht". http://www.ctu.net/. 
  46. ^ http://vareninutrecht.nl/index.php?page=lp_rondvaart_utrecht http://www.schuttevaer.com/ http://www.inutrechtuit.nl/leuk_en_doen/lovers_rondvaart.html
  47. ^ "Utrecht.nl - Stationsgebied". http://www2.utrecht.nl/smartsite.dws?id=4537. 
  48. ^ ARWU. "ARWU2007-Top 500 World Universities". http://ed.sjtu.edu.cn/rank/2007/ARWU2007_Top100.htm. Retrieved 2008-01-06. 
  49. ^ Financial Times. "FT.com". http://rankings.ft.com/emba-rankings. Retrieved 2008-01-06. 
  50. ^ Ublad Online > Peter de Haan promoot Utrecht als culturele hoofdstad van Europa
  51. ^ "Brno - Partnerská města" (in Czech). © 2006-2009 City of Brno. http://www.brno.cz/index.php?nav02=1985&nav01=34&nav03=1010&nav04=1016&nav05=1249&nav06=1272. Retrieved 2009-07-17. 

Travel guide

Up to date as of January 14, 2010
(Redirected to Utrecht article)

From Wikitravel

For other places with the same name, see Utrecht (disambiguation).
pedestrian street
pedestrian street

Utrecht [1] is a central Dutch city with a long history. With 300,000 inhabitants it’s the fourth largest city in the Netherlands. The history of the city goes back to 47 AD when the Roman emperor Claudius ordered his general Corbulo to build a defensive line along the river Rhine which was the northern most border of the empire. One of the strongholds (or Castella) along the river was build at a crossing in the river and was called Traiectum (which means crossingplace). In the local language this became Trecht, Uut-Trecht (lower-Trecht) and later Utrecht. On the place where once the castellum stood now stands the Domchurch built in the 13th century.

Get in

By train

Utrecht Centraal Station forms the hub of the Dutch rail network, and is easily accessible directly, or with one change of train, from almost every station in the Netherlands. For instance, there are direct connections from Amsterdam and Schiphol Airport, both taking 30 minutes and for about €8 one-way. The high-speed train ICE to Cologne and Frankfurt stops in Utrecht. The train station is located at the western edge of the old city. A 5 minute walk through the Hoog Catharijne shopping center (follow signs to “Centrum”) will take you from the station to the city.

By bus

The bus station is located next to the train station. International buses depart from the western side of the train station ('Jaarbeurszijde'), while the regional and city buses depart from separate stations on the east side of the train station. The reqional buses are much slower than the trains. For information about the city buses, check the GVU website [2], this is the company that provides public transport services in and around the city of Utrecht. Buses to the smaller towns around Utrecht are run by BBA [3], Arriva [4] and Connexxion [5]. Time schedules for train and bus can be found at: [6].

By car

If you are coming in by car, park your car in one of the many parking garages around the city (follow the signs) and walk from there. Electronic signs display the number of parking spaces available in any given lot as well as directions to the lot, and if the sign says Vol it means the lot is full. Expect to pay around € 2 per hour at any of the garages in the center. It’s best avoided to drive into central Utrecht and to leave your car at the city perimeter and to take a bus or tram into the center.

By tram

Utrecht is connected to two neighboring towns by a high speed tram line. At the edge of the city, close to the A12 and A2 motorways, you will find Transferium Westraven [7]. It's a good idea to park your car there and to take the tram into town. The last two stops are both at Utrecht Centraal Station.

€4.00 will allow you to park your car all day and to travel into the city with a maximum of five people. Visiting Utrecht by car doesn't come cheaper than this.

Get around

Walking or renting a bike can get you a long way if the weather is on your side. Do make sure that you have good locks on your bike, as bike thefts are unfortunately quite common in the city centre.

By bus

A good alternative is taking the bus, which goes often and will take you nearly everywhere. Utrecht Centraal Station serves as the main bus hub for Utrecht as well as the main train hub for the Netherlands. To use the bus in the Netherlands, you can buy a strippenkaart. You can buy these on the central bus station (lower level of Utrecht Centraal Station) or at kiosks inside the central station. Bus travel within the city takes you 2 or 3 strips. Buying a busticket with the driver is significantly more expensive than using a strippenkaart bought beforehand. All busses in Utrecht also accept a OV chipcard. Most buses run from early morning (around 6am) until just after midnight.

In addition, there are several so-called nightlines [8]. These cost 5 to 6 euros and can’t be paid for using strips or chipcard.

By tram

In Utrecht there is a tram line from central station to southern suburbs Nieuwegein and IJsselstein. For tourists, only the the first stops will be interesting, Westplein and Graadt van Roggeweg. These are located next to the Turkish neighbourhood and the main convention centre respectively. For the tram one can pay using a strippenkaart.

By car

Seeing Utrecht by car is not recommended. The city planners have made it as difficult as possible to navigate the city center, to try and discourage cars there. Driving around can be frustrating as the center is fraught with bus-only lanes, one-way streets, traffic lights and terribly expensive parking spaces. If you want to come by car it is recommended to park at stadium Galgenwaard or one of the P+R (Park and Ride) [9] places, and take a cheap shuttle bus or tram service into town. There are also several parking garages closer to the center, but they are more expensive.

De Dom at Dawn
De Dom at Dawn
  • Dom church [10], Domplein, open Mo-Fr 10am-5pm (October-April 11am-4pm), Sa 10(11)am-3.30pm, Su 2pm-4pm. The Gothic Dom church (built between 1284 and 1520) is the major religious building in the city. When a hurricane hit the town in 1674, the badly constructed nave collapsed, which is the reason that today the Domtoren (Bell Tower) and the church itself are separated by the Domplein (Dom Square). The interior of the church was stripped down of every sculpture during Reformation, but the exterior remains a lavishly decorated example of Dutch Gothic architecture.
  • 112 meter tall Domtoren [11] is the highest church tower in the Netherlands. Climbing up the stairs to see the magnificent view on the top is highly recommended, but beware of the narrow, steep stairs. On clear days you can look as far as Amsterdam and Rotterdam. Open daily, climbing of the tower only through guided tour, admission charge.
  • Next to the Dom church, the cloister garden is ideal to sit down and relax, and listen to a Saturday morning carillon concert.
  • In addition, due to being the Netherland's centre of catholic religion for centuries, many very old churches (19+) are scattered around the city centre. You'll find a list of them at the Dutch Wikipedia.
  • Oudegracht – A canal going through the heart of the city, with shops and restaurants on both sides. This canal is unique because of its many picturesque cellars on water level. Centuries ago they were used for storage and commerce. Nowadays, many of them host fine restaurants and pubs. In the summer you can find nice terraces at the water here.
  • The Vismarkt (Fishmarket, a lovely street in the plain centre).
  • Stadsschouwburg [12], the city theatre.
Rietveld Schroder House
Rietveld Schroder House
  • The defining building of Utrecht is the 13th century Domchurch, part of a larger cathedral which was partially destroyed by a severe storm while under construction. The main tower is the highest building in the city by municipal mandate.
  • De Uithof, which is the campus of Utrecht University on the outskirts of Utrecht, near the stadium of FC Utrecht. De Uithof is a strange mix between grey concrete buildings and buildings here that are designed by famous modern architects, like the Minnaert building [13] designed by Rem Koolhaas. There is also a beautiful botanical garden [14] that is 8 acres big and houses 6 thousand different sorts of plants.
  • The Post Office is an outstanding and surprising building. The Utrecht main Post Office is a great example of Dutch Art Deco architecture. The Post Office, located on the Neude Square, was designed by the architect J. Crouwel and completed in 1924. The barrel-vaulted ceiling is made up of glazed yellow-brick ribs alternated with diagonal glass panes that fill the hall with natural light. The black-and-white floor is set off by five carved black statues set in the walls, each representing a continent. America is a stylized American Indian with two buffalo at his feet. Over the main entrance are magnificent stained glass windows.
  • Rietveld Schröder House Prins Hendriklaan 50 Tours organised by Centraal Museum for €16, which includes travel from Centraal Museum, Entry to Museum, Tour of House and Rietveld designed apartment, and a tea/coffee at museum. See website [15] for full details. The Rietveld-Schröderhuis, designed by Gerrit Rietveld, was built in 1923-1924 in Utrecht. The structure of the house is completely in line with the the ideas of the art movement De Stijl (The Style). The house was designed and built for Truus Schröder-Schräder, who lived there from 1924 till her death in 1985. It can only be visited under supervision of a tour guide. In 2000 the house was placed on the UNESCO World Heritage List.
  • Centraal Museum, Nicolaaskerkhof 10, [16]. 11-17, closed on mondays. The oldest municipal museum in the Netherlands. It has a large art collection including the world’s largest collection of Rietveld designs and a permanent exhibition on Dick Bruna. There are usually several temporary exhibitions as well, an overview of which you can find at their site. €9. (52.083607,5.125487) edit
  • Museum Catharijneconvent, Lange Nieuwstraat 38, [17]. 11-17. a large collection of historic Christian items. €11.50. (52.210973,5.122375) edit
  • Nederlands Spoorwegmuseum, [18]. Tue-Sun 10-17. the Dutch Railway Museum. It reopened in June 2005 after a intensive renovation. It is possible to go directly to the Spoorwegmuseum from centraal station with a special train. €14.50. (52.089329,5.13068) edit
  • Nationaal Museum van Speelklok tot Pierement, [19]. a museum on all kinds of mechanical music, including carillon clocks, musical boxes, pianolas, belly organs and much more.   edit
  • Aboriginal Art Museum, [20]. a fairly large museum dedicated exclusively to Aboriginal art.  edit
  • Moluks Historisch Museum, [21]. museum on the history of the Moluccas.  edit
  • Utrecht Universiteit Museum, [22]. the museum of Utrecht University.  edit
  • See FC Utrecht [23] play football at their home stadium.
  • Watch a movie at one of many cinemas. With the exception of some animated movies (and even those are usually available in the original language as well), all movies are subtitled and not dubbed, so you should be able to enjoy all the standard Hollywood fare in the original English.
  • Climb the Dom tower, a full 112 meters high. You can climb to near the top.
  • Take tour with the tour boat
  • Rent a canal bike and pedal your own way around the canals.
  • Try a locally brewed beer at Stadskasteel Oudaen [24], which is a 13th century city castle turned restaurant.
  • There is a public gym located in the center centre near the mall and along the canal (look for the "Workout" sign) that costs around 4 euros per session.
  • Parks. The Wilhelminapark, Park Lepelenburg or the Julianapark are nice places to chill out in summer.  edit
  • Utrecht University [25], which will soon celebrate its 370th anniversary, has developed into one of Europe’s largest and most prominent institutes of research and education. With 49 Bachelor’s programmes and 109 Master’s programmes in English, Utrecht University offers the broadest spectrum of English language disciplines available in the Netherlands and innovative research and liaises with universities and research centres all over the world. Recently ranked the Best University in the Netherlands, the 4th best University in Europe, and the 39th best in the world. Utrecht University has been home to many prominent academics, among whom Buys Ballot, Donders, Rudolf Magnus, Van Unnik and Freudenthal. Currently Nobel Prize Winner Gerard ’t Hooft (1999) is affiliated to the Faculty of Physics and Astronomy.

Work

A ton of service positions exist in the ancient city centre. However, they usually have low wages and require fluent Dutch.

Buy

Most shops are located in the city centre, concentrated around the Oudegracht, Vredeburg and Neude. There is also a large shopping centre extending east from the city centre in the direction of the Wilhelminapark. For general shop info and their openings hours you can visit openingstijden.nu [26] it shows an overview of the most popular shops.

  • Hoog Catharijne, [27] is a is large indoor shopping area connected to the central hall of Utrecht Centraal Station, the main railway station of Utrecht.
  • Books. Broese [28] is a large bookstore at Stadhuisbrug 5. They have a fair selection of English books. Nearby there is also De Slegte [29], at Oudegracht 121, which has a wide selection of second hand books. Bijleveld [30] at the Janskerkhof is an old bookstore with beautiful wooden show windows.
  • Music. Plato [31] at Voorstraat 35 has a fair selection at reasonable prices. Boudisque [32] at the Drieharingenstraat (near Vredenburg) the largest record store in Utrecht. Jazz, Classical music, Pop music and DVDs all have their own store. There are several stores operated by the large chain Free Record Shop [33] all over the shopping area. Near the Vredenburg the Revenge has a fair selection of vinyl, focusing on electronic music.
  • Markets. On Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays there is a large open air market on the Vredenburg square. On Saturdays you can find a plant market on the Janskerkhof and a flower market on the Oudegracht. The Breedstraat houses a large fabric market (lapjesmarkt) on Saturdaymornings (0900-1300).
  • At Stationsplein 7 there is a give-away shop, open Tuesdays 1400-1800 and Saturdays 1400-1700.
  • El Beso, [34] At Nobelstraat there is an excellent Wine, life and style shop, called El Beso (Spanish for Kiss). On Saturdays you can just walk in and try a wine, no buying obligations. International crowd.
  • Narcotics. Sarasani [35], opened in 1968, is the oldest coffee shop in the Netherlands. Located at Oudegracht 327 a/d werf, which means it is on the canal level, and physically sits under the main street. Sarisani is closed down at the moment(Sep 2007), let’s hope not for long. On Wednesdays and Saturdays Joepi [36] makes a round through the center of Utrecht to deliver food and beverages with a little ‘extra’, mainly psychedelics, cannabis and energetic herbs.
  • Used cars. The Utrecht Car Market [37] is one of the largest car markets in Europe, offering more than 2,000 second-hand vehicles every week and visited by buyers from all parts of the world. The market is open every Tuesday from 6 a.m. except on Christmas Day, Boxing Day or New Year’s Day if they fall on a Tuesday.

Geek gear

There are half a dozen stores at the part of the Oudegracht (Old Canal) south of De Dom that sell board games, card games, wargames, roleplaying games, fantasy and science-fiction books and/or comics (ie. Piet Snot, Elf Fantasy, the Joker and Neverneverland). Keep your eyes peeled; some of these stores are easy to miss.

  • Blunder [38] has a large collection of “mainstream comics” on street level and an even bigger collection of the newest American comics and Manga/Anime in the basement. The address is Oudegracht 203.
  • Piet Snot [39] is a normal comic shop. They also have a big collection of second hand comics. Vismarkt 3 (It’s a small part of the Oudegracht that for some dark reason has been given a different name...)
  • Strip & Lectuurshop [40]. Lots of comics located at Oudegracht 194
  • Labyrinth [41] is all about fantasy games. They have furniture, weapons, clothing, jewelry and lots of roleplaying books. It is located at Oudegracht 207.
  • The Joker. Games, games and (much) more games. From your normal family games to the German type games and the American wargames and everything in between. They also have lots of Collectible Card games and scenariobooks for RPGs. In the basement it’s possible to play the games. It is located at Oudegracht 230a.
  • Neverneverland, like The Joker, has a large selection of boardgames and RPGs. It is located at Oudegracht 202.
  • Subcultures [42] is well... about subcultures. Specialized in miniature wargames, RPGs and designer toys. The address is Oude Gracht 194, but the store is a werfkelder. This means that when on street level you have to take the stairs down to the canal.
  • Cafe ’T College, Mariastraat (Close to the dom), 030 2319136, [43]. mo: 10am-7pm,tu-th:10am-01am,fr-sa: 10am-2pm,su 12am-7pm. Cozy jazz-blues restaurant with good simple food: steaks, salads, sate. The kitchen closes at 9pm, but you can get bitterballen, spring rolls, etc. after that. Euro 14 for a main course.  edit
  • Stadskasteel Oudaen [44], at Oudegracht 99, is a 13th century city castle turned restaurant.
  • There are several Flemish snack bars outside of Hoog Catharijne that sell wonderful thick fries with mayonnaise. Try it; it’s not as bad as John Travolta’s character seems to think in Pulp Fiction.
  • Pancakes at ‘De Oude Muntkelder’
  • For great sandwiches visit Bigoli, Schoutenstraat 12
  • Excellent spare ribs at restaurant Broadway [45].
  • A hip and trendy dinner is Luce restaurant, located on Visschersplein. Very trendy atmosphere with exclusive and delicious food.
  • For cheap tapas go to El Mundo at Voorstraat or Mimadre at Oudkerkhof.
  • To try something dutch visit one of the snackbars and order a “Kroket”. A good one is behind City Hall, it is called “Broodje Plof”. A lot of Dutch people visit this place after a good night of binge drinking.
  • For a more multi-ethnic view of Utrecht, walk away from the old city from the bus station/central station, walk under the train tracks, and follow the bus route (straight ahead) about 200 meters. Try some affordable rotisserie style chicken on the left side of the Kanaalstraat, get a Moroccan style bagel across the street at one of the many middle eastern bakeries, and stock up on way-affordable (the cheapest in Utrecht) fruit and veggies at one of the many produce markets.
  • ACU, Voorstraat 71, [46]. In this squatters cafe cheap vegan food is served on tuesdays, wednesdays, thursdays and sundays.  edit
  • El Greco, Ganzenmarkt 28. This greek snackbar serves some of the best pita gyros sandwiches in Utrecht. (52.092442,5.119937) edit
  • mr. Jack's, Voorstraat 61, [47]. This greek/italian restaurant is one of the cheapest places to eat in Utrecht. Pizzas are €6-9, and a full plate of gyros is €10.  edit
  • Mario, Oudegracht 130-132. This place sells Italian rolls in Utrecht, simply called Broodje Mario. They are famous among people from Utrecht, there's even a rap song about it by the local band Stropstrikkers. 3.00.  edit
  • Ledig Erf, [48]. at the south end of the Oudegracht has a large outdoor seating area which is packed whenever the sun is shining.  edit
  • Stadskasteel Oudaen [49], at Oudegracht 99, is a 13th century city castle turned restaurant. They have their own theatre and more importantly their own brewery, where they brew the local beers Ouwe Daen, Jonge Daen en Linteloo Gold. Highly recommended.
  • Kafé België, on Oudegracht 196. Good music and a selection of 198 different beers of which 20 are draught. Try the Celis White if you like white beer and try the Trock Banaan if you want to try a beer that tastes just like the banana sweets you probably ate when you were a kid (Most likely you are going to get a question from the bartender like “Are you sure you want to have this??”).
  • Theatercafé De Bastaard [50], Jansveld 17. Students, artists, the occasional local celebrity. There is a pool table in the back.
  • Jan Primus, Jan van Scorelstraat 27 - 31. It’s a little out of the centre of the city near the Wilhelmina Park. No music, no slot machine, no nothing. Just 160 beers. 10 draught and 150 bottled.
  • Stairway to Heaven [51] is a large rockcafe at Mariaplaats 11-12.
  • Olivier at the Achter Clarenburg. A Belgian cafe with some thirty beers. Located in an old church.

Cinemas

As any large city, Utrecht has its share of cinemas showing Hollywood movies. More interesting are the three independent cinemas: Louis Hartlooper Complex [52], 't Hoogt [53] and Springhaver. These specialize in art house movies and also are ideal places to get a drink or have dinner.

  • The main venue for pop concerts and for dancing is Tivoli [54], or the smaller Ekko [55].
  • A smaller, more intimate venue, is political-cultural centre ACU [56]. They host a large variety of things, such as a small cinema (smoking allowed), art exhibitions, cafe literature, concerts, disco, gay events, and they serve vegetarian and vegan food.
  • Monza [57] is the biggest mainstream dance address of the city.
  • Derrick [58] is a (small) disco in the old meaning of the word. Only 70s, 80s, and 90s music.
  • SJU Jazzpodium [59] has been the jazzvenue of Utrecht for over 30 years. International groups, experienced national celebrities, up-and-coming jazz talent and intimate sessions; 5 days a week: live jazz, soul, funk & impro.

Sleep

Utrecht, like any fairly big town, has its fair share of business hotels of the big chains.

  • Grand Hotel Karel V, Geertebolwerk 1, +31 (30) 233 75 55 (, fax: +31 (30) 233 75 00), [60].  edit
  • Park Plaza Utrecht, Westplein 50, +31 (0) 30 29 25 200 (, fax: +31 (0) 30 29 25 199), [61].  edit , great location (city center), modern style with nice meeting rooms overlooking Utrecht.

For those on a budget:

  • Hostel Strowis[62], a lovely hostel run by a group of clever ex-squatters who bought their building to start this initiative.
  • Hostel B&B Utrecht[63], crazy place, free internet, free food (you cook on your own!), sometimes free beer (B&B = bread & bunk or bread & beer). 10 min walk from the Central Station. Enjoy your travels on the cheap!
  • Hostel Stayokay Bunnik [64] is located in the woods on the East end of town. Easy to reach by car or bike, but not recommended if you plan to go clubbing all night, in which case you’ll want to stay in the city centre.
  • Hotel Oorsprongpark, F.C. Dondersstraat 12, +31 (30) 271 63 03 (fax: +31 (30) 271 46 19), [65].  edit
  • Wzzrd [66] is located at Vismarkt 21 and open daily from 12:00 to 23:00 and friday and saturday until 01:00.
  • Some Internet browsing centers are available in the Kanaal street for affordable prices(1.5 euros per hour).It takes 10 minutes walk from the Utrecht central station.
  • At the Coffee Company (Vismarkt 5) you get free WiFi access with your coffee.

It is also possible to access the internet in the library which is situated at Oude Gracht 167.

Cope

Utrecht as a student city is quite safe, although there are some neighbourhoods in the outskirts that you probably don’t want to visit. As always, don’t flash your wallet at markets and have a natural caution for pickpockets in the city centre. Unfortunately, bike thefts are a common nuisance, so if you travel by bike, make sure you have good locks and try to bolt your bike to a lamp post or bridge railing if possible.

  • Soesterberg, home to the Dutch national air force museum [67].
  • Haarzuilens, a small village which is home to the castle De Haar [68].
  • Wijk bij Duurstede, a typically old dutch town on the Rhine river. Dikes galore!
  • Rhenen, played a key-role in the WWII Grebbelinie defense. Beautiful forests and a great zoo [69].
  • Rhijnauwen Take a walk in the forests between the uithof and Bunnik.
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Genealogy

Up to date as of February 01, 2010

From Familypedia

Utrecht is a municipality and the capital city of the province of the Utrecht, the Netherlands.


This article uses material from the "Utrecht (city)" article on the Genealogy wiki at Wikia and is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike License.

Simple English

Utrecht
—  Municipality  —
File:UtrechtCity COA.gif
Coat of arms
Coordinates: 52°05′36″N 5°7′10″E / 52.09333°N 5.11944°E / 52.09333; 5.11944
Country Netherlands
Province Template:Country data Utrecht Utrecht
Area (2006)
 - Total 99.32 km2 (38.3 sq mi)
 - Land 95.67 km2 (36.9 sq mi)
 - Water 3.64 km2 (1.4 sq mi)
Population (1 January, 2007)
 - Total 288,535
 Density 3,018/km2 (7,816.6/sq mi)
  Source: CBS, Statline.
Time zone CET (UTC+1)
 - Summer (DST) CEST (UTC+2)

Utrecht is a city in the Netherlands. It has about 290,000 inhabitants[1] and a university. It is the fourth largest city in the country. One of the main sights is the Domkerk, a cathedral that was built between 1321 and 1382[2]. In of a storm in 1674, part of the cathedral was destroyed. This part was never rebuilt, so now the tower is separate from the rest of the church.

References

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