Dom Tower


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Utrecht's most important landmark

Published by Lucas Castelo

Utrecht's landmark

The Dom tower is the most recognizable landmark of the Dutch city of Utrecht. This monument has a huge historical context and has a vary wide range of rumours and urban legends related to it. It also functions as a meeting point, since it's visible from everywhere in the centrum, being the tallest building in the city.

The tower has been very important to me in my time in Utrecht, as it was a crucial for navigation in the city during my first weeks. I've spent a lot of time by its base, having a beer at one of the pubs around it or simply showing it to every friend that I made new to the city.

Inside the tower

Climbing the tower is one of my favourite attraction the city has. For only 7 euros if you are a student, or 10 otherwise, you can have a guided tour of the inside of the tower, learning all about its past and present. They will show you all the bells inside (which are not few nor small) and how they work. You will even be able to play around with a miniature version of the bells on the top and play some tunes with them!

Of course they will take you to the top of the tower so you can have a truly breathtaking view of the city... and beyond! You can even see Amsterdam from there if the skies are clear. However you should be warned! There is no elevator! You will have to pick up your lazy buttocks from your comfortable spot at ground level and climb around 500 steps to the peak.

A musical building

The tower bells play some pre-programmed tunes everyhour, but that's not what's interesting about them. They can also be played by a musician like a piano or an organ, which allows for beautiful city wide concerts for important dates and events. For instance, to conmemorate Michael Jackson's life, his music was played in the tower the day after he passed away.

History

The tower has an interesting history. Back when catholicism was in all its glory in the Netherlands, the construction of the Dom cruch began, starting from the back of the curch. However, before the main part of the building was finished, the Church decided to do the tower first. After a couple of centuries, the tower and the back of the edification were done, but the budget was poor, so the remaining part was rushed and finished without the proper reinforcements.

The construction held its place for years, until eventually, a great storm raged in the city, and powerful winds ran through the streets, finally converging in one road that lead straight to the newest part. Sadly, but non surprisingly, the middle part was fell to the ground.

The ruins were left there for a long time, and since they gave place to a great hiding place not many people frequented, they became a famous meeting point for the homosexual community of the city, until the Curch caught news about it and started persecuting them. Nowadays there's a monument at that place stating that the Netherlands is an open-minded land that accepts everyone as they are.

The ruins were eventually removed, but a square was built in their place, leaving a big space between the church and the tower that used to be together.

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