Utrecht (/ˈjuːtrɛkt/; Dutch pronunciation:
[ˈytrɛxt] ( listen)) is a city and municipality in the
Netherlands, capital and most populous city of the province of
Utrecht. It is located in the eastern corner of the Randstad
conurbation and is the fourth largest city in the
Netherlands with a
population of 345,080 in 2017.
Utrecht's ancient city centre features many buildings and structures
several dating as far back as the High Middle Ages. It has been the
religious centre of the
Netherlands since the 8th century. It lost the
status of prince-bishopric but remains the main religious centre in
Utrecht was the most important city in the Netherlands
until the Dutch Golden Age, when it was surpassed by
Amsterdam as the
country's cultural centre and most populous city.
Utrecht is host to
Utrecht University, the largest university in the
Netherlands, as well as several other institutions of higher
education. Due to its central position within the country, it is an
important transport hub for both rail and road transport. It has the
second highest number of cultural events in the Netherlands, after
Amsterdam. In 2012,
Lonely Planet included
Utrecht in the top 10 of
the world’s unsung places.
1.1 Origins (until 650)
1.2 Centre of Christianity in the
1.2.2 Clerical buildings
1.2.3 City of Utrecht
1.2.4 The end of independence
1.3 Republic of the
1.4 Modern history (1815–present)
3.3 Population centres and agglomeration
5.1 Public transport
5.1.1 Heavy and light rail
5.3 Road transport
8.3 Music and events
9 Notable people from Utrecht
10 International relations
10.1 Twin towns
10.2 Other relations
11 See also
14 External links
See also: Timeline of Utrecht
Origins (until 650)
Willem Blaeu's 1652 map of Utrecht
Although there is some evidence of earlier inhabitation in the region
of Utrecht, dating back to the
Stone Age (app. 2200 BCE) and settling
Bronze Age (app. 1800–800 BCE), the founding date of
the city is usually related to the construction of a Roman
fortification (castellum), probably built in around 50 CE. A series of
such fortresses was built after the
Claudius decided the
empire should not expand north. To consolidate the border, the Limes
Germanicus defense line was constructed along the main branch of
the river Rhine, which at that time flowed through a more northern bed
compared to today (what is now the Kromme Rijn). These fortresses were
designed to house a cohort of about 500 Roman soldiers. Near the fort,
settlements would grow housing artisans, traders and soldiers' wives
In Roman times, the name of the
Utrecht fortress was simply Traiectum,
denoting its location at a possible
Rhine crossing. Traiectum became
Dutch Trecht; with the U from
Old Dutch "uut" (downriver) added to
distinguish U-trecht from Maas-tricht. In 11th-century
official documents, it was Latinized as Ultra Traiectum. Around the
year 200, the wooden walls of the fortification were replaced by
sturdier tuff stone walls, 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. Little is known
about the next period 270–650.
Utrecht is first spoken of again
several centuries after the Romans left. Under the influence of the
growing realms of the Franks, during Dagobert I's reign in the 7th
century, a church was built within the walls of the Roman fortress.
In ongoing border conflicts with the Frisians, this first church was
Centre of Christianity in the
The Dom tower seen from downtown. The remaining section of the
Cathedral of Saint Martin is not connected to the tower since the
collapse of the nave in 1674 due to a storm.
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. The tenure of
Willibrordus is generally
considered to be the beginning of the Bishopric of Utrecht. In 723,
the Frankish leader
Charles Martel bestowed the fortress in Utrecht
and the surrounding lands as the base of the bishops. From then on
Utrecht became one of the most influential seats of power for the
Roman Catholic Church
Roman Catholic Church in the Netherlands. The archbishops of Utrecht
were based at the uneasy northern border of the Carolingian Empire. In
addition, the city of
Utrecht had competition from the nearby trading
centre Dorestad. After the fall of
Dorestad around 850, Utrecht
became one of the most important cities in the Netherlands. The
Utrecht as a centre of Christianity is illustrated by
the election of the Utrecht-born Adriaan Florenszoon Boeyens as pope
in 1522 (the last non-Italian pope before John Paul II).
Main article: Bishopric of Utrecht
When the Frankish rulers established the system of feudalism, the
Utrecht came to exercise worldly power as
prince-bishops. The territory of the bishopric not only included
the modern province of
Utrecht (Nedersticht, 'lower Sticht'), but also
extended to the northeast. The feudal conflict of the Middle Ages
heavily affected Utrecht. The prince-bishopric was involved in almost
continuous conflicts with the Counts of
Holland and the Dukes of
Veluwe region was seized by Guelders, but large
areas in the modern province of
Overijssel remained as the Oversticht.
Several churches and monasteries were built inside, or close to, the
city of Utrecht. The most dominant of these was the Cathedral of Saint
Martin, inside the old Roman fortress. The construction of the present
Gothic building was begun in 1254 after an earlier romanesque
construction had been badly damaged by fire. The choir and transept
were finished from 1320 and were followed then by the ambitious Dom
tower. The last part to be constructed was the central nave, from
1420. By that time, however, the age of the great cathedrals had come
to an end and declining finances prevented the ambitious project from
being finished, the construction of the central nave being suspended
before the planned flying buttresses could be finished. Besides the
cathedral there were four collegiate churches in Utrecht: St.
Salvator's Church (demolished in the 16th century), on the Dom square,
dating back to the early 8th century. Saint John (Janskerk),
originating in 1040; Saint Peter, building started in 1039 and
Saint Mary's church building started around 1090 (demolished in the
early 19th century, cloister survives). Besides these churches,
the city housed St. Paul's Abbey, the 15th-century beguinage of
St. Nicholas, and a 14th-century chapter house of the Teutonic
Besides these buildings which belonged to the bishopric, an additional
four parish churches were constructed in the city: the Jacobikerk
(dedicated to Saint James), founded in the 11th century, with the
current Gothic church dating back to the 14th century; the
Buurkerk (Neighbourhood-church) of the 11th-century parish in the
centre of the city; Nicolaichurch (dedicated to Saint Nicholas), from
the 12th century and the 13th-century Geertekerk (dedicated to
Saint Gertrude of Nivelles).
City of Utrecht
Its location on the banks of the river
Utrecht to become
an important trade centre in the Northern Netherlands. The growing
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 ever more canalized; and the wharf system
was built as an inner city harbour system. 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 2] The relations
between the bishop, who controlled many lands outside of the city, and
the citizens of
Utrecht was not always easy. The bishop, for
example dammed the
Kromme Rijn at
Wijk bij Duurstede
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 bishop lost secular power over both Neder- and Oversticht
– which included the city of
Utrecht – to Charles V, Holy Roman
Emperor. Charles V combined the
Seventeen Provinces (the current
Benelux and the northern parts of France) as a personal union. This
ended the prince-bishopric of Utrecht, as the secular rule was now the
lordship of Utrecht, with the religious power remaining with the
bishop, although Charles V had gained the right to appoint new
bishops. In 1559 the bishopric of
Utrecht was raised to archbishopric
to make it the religious centre of the Northern ecclesiastical
province in the Seventeen Provinces.
The transition from independence to a relatively minor part of a
larger union was not easily accepted. To quell uprisings, Charles V
struggled to exert his power over the city's citizens who had
struggled to gain a certain level of independence from the bishops and
were not willing to cede this to their new lord. The heavily fortified
castle Vredenburg was built to house a large garrison whose main task
was to maintain control over 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
Prince Maurits in Utrecht, 31 July 1618
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 archbishopric of Utrecht. The stadtholders disapproved
of the independent course of the
Utrecht bourgeoisie and brought the
city under much more direct control of the republic, shifting the
power towards its dominant province Holland. This was the start of a
long period of stagnation of trade and development in Utrecht. Utrecht
remained an atypical city in the new republic with about 40% Catholic
in the mid-17th-century, and even more among the elite groups, who
included many rural nobility and gentry with town houses there.
The fortified city temporarily fell to the French invasion in 1672
(the Disaster Year); where the French invasion was stopped just west
Utrecht at the Old Hollandic Waterline. In 1674, only two years
after the French left, the centre of
Utrecht was struck by a tornado.
The halt to building before construction of flying buttresses in the
15th century now proved to be the undoing of the cathedral of St
Martin church's central section which collapsed, creating the current
Dom square between the tower and choir. In 1713,
Utrecht hosted one of
the first international peace negotiations when the Treaty of Utrecht
settled the War of the Spanish Succession. Beginning in 1723, Utrecht
became the centre of the non-Roman
Old Catholic Churches in the world.
Modern history (1815–present)
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. Growth of the city increased when, in
1843, a railway connecting
Amsterdam was opened. After
Utrecht gradually became the main hub of the Dutch railway
network. With the industrial revolution finally gathering speed in the
Netherlands and the ramparts taken down,
Utrecht began to grow far
beyond its medieval centre. When the Dutch government allowed the
Utrecht to be reinstated by Rome in 1853,
the centre of Dutch Catholicism once more. From the 1880s onward,
neighbourhoods such as Oudwijk, Wittevrouwen, Vogelenbuurt to the
East, and Lombok to the West were developed. 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
Rietveld Schröder House (1924), and Dudok's construction of the city
During World War II,
Utrecht was held by the Germans until the general
German surrender of the
Netherlands on 5 May 1945. British and
Canadian troops that had surrounded the city entered it after that
surrender, on 7 May 1945. Following the end of World War II, the city
has grown considerably when new neighbourhoods such as Overvecht,
Kanaleneiland, Hoograven (nl) and
Lunetten were built. Around
Leidsche Rijn housing area was developed as the next
extension of the city to the west.
The area surrounding
Utrecht Centraal railway station
Utrecht Centraal railway station and the station
itself were developed following modernist ideas of the 1960s, in a
brutalist style. This development led to the construction of the
shopping mall Hoog Catharijne (nl), 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
undergoing change again. The redeveloped music centre TivoliVredenburg
opened in 2014 with the original Vredenburg and Tivoli concert and
rock and jazz halls brought together in a single building.
Utrecht experiences a temperate oceanic climate (Köppen climate
classification Cfb) similar to all of the Netherlands.
Climate data for De Bilt
Record high °C (°F)
Average high °C (°F)
Daily mean °C (°F)
Average low °C (°F)
Record low °C (°F)
Average precipitation mm (inches)
Average precipitation days (≥ 1 mm)
Average snowy days
Average relative humidity (%)
Mean monthly sunshine hours
Source #1: Royal
Netherlands Meteorological Institute (1981–2010
normals, snowy days normals for 1971–2000)
Source #2: Royal
Netherlands Meteorological Institute (1901–present
Source: Lourens & Lucassen 1997, pp. 87–88 (1400–1795)
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 392,000 by 2025.
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. About 52% of the population is female, 48% is male. The
majority of households (52.5%) in
Utrecht are single-person
households. About 29% of people living in
Utrecht are either married,
or have another legal partnership. About 3% of the population of
Utrecht is divorced.
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). Some of the city's boroughs have a relatively high
percentage of originally non-Dutch inhabitants – i.e. Kanaleneiland
Overvecht (57%). Like Rotterdam, Amsterdam,
The Hague and
other large Dutch cities,
Utrecht faces some socio-economic problems.
About 38% percent of its population either earns a minimum income or
is dependent on social welfare (17% of all households). Boroughs such
Overvecht and Hoograven consist primarily of
high-rise housing developments, and are known for relatively high
poverty and crime rate.
Utrecht population by country of origin (2017)
Utrecht has been the religious centre of the
Netherlands since the 8th
century. Currently it is the see of the Metropolitan Archbishop of
Utrecht, the most senior Dutch Roman Catholic leader. His
ecclesiastical province covers the whole kingdom.
Utrecht is also the see of the archbishop of the
Old Catholic church,
titular head of the Union of Utrecht, and the location of the offices
of the main Protestant church.
As of 2013, the largest religion is Christianity with 28% of the
population being Christian, followed by Islam with 9,5% and Hinduism
Roman Catholic (13.4%)
Protestant Church in the
Other Christian denominations (4.4%)
Population centres and agglomeration
The city of
Utrecht is subdivided into 10 city quarters, all of which
have their own neighbourhood council and service centre for civil
Utrecht is the centre of a densely populated area, a fact which makes
concise definitions of its agglomeration difficult, and somewhat
arbitrary. The smaller
Utrecht agglomeration of continuously built-up
areas counts some 420,000 inhabitants and includes Nieuwegein,
IJsselstein and Maarssen. It is sometimes argued that the close by
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.
Oudegracht (the 'old canal') in central Utrecht
Oudegracht in the 1890s
View on the
Oudegracht from the Dom Tower
Aerial view of
Utrecht from the Dom Tower
Utrecht's cityscape is dominated by the Dom Tower, the tallest belfry
Netherlands and originally part of the Cathedral of Saint
Martin. An ongoing debate is over whether any building in or near
the centre of town should surpass the Dom Tower in height (112 m
(367 ft)). Nevertheless, some tall buildings are now being
constructed that will become part of the skyline of Utrecht. The
second tallest building of the city, the Rabobank-tower, was completed
in 2010 and stands 105 metres (344 feet) tall. Two antennas will
increase that height to 120 metres (394 feet). Two other buildings
were constructed around the Nieuw Galgenwaard stadium (2007). These
buildings, the 'Kantoortoren Galghenwert' and 'Apollo Residence',
stand 85.5 metres (280.5 feet) and 64.5 metres (211.6 feet) high
Another landmark is the old centre and the canal structure in the
inner city. The
Oudegracht is a curved canal, partly following the
ancient main branch of the Rhine. It is lined with the unique
wharf-basement structures that create a two-level street along the
canals. The inner city has largely retained its Medieval
structure, and the moat ringing the old town is largely
intact. Because of the role of
Utrecht as a fortified city,
construction outside the medieval centre and its city walls was
restricted until the 19th century. Surrounding the medieval core there
is a ring of late 19th- and early 20th-century neighbourhoods, with
newer neighbourhoods positioned farther out. 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 middle of the 20th
century on the east side of the city.
Due to the past importance of
Utrecht as a religious centre, several
monumental churches were erected, many of which have survived.
Most prominent is the Dom Church. Other notable churches include the
romanesque St Peter's and St John's churches; the gothic churches of
St James and St Nicholas; and the Buurkerk, now converted into a
museum for automatically playing musical instruments.
Because of its central location,
Utrecht is well connected to the rest
Netherlands and has a well-developed public transport network.
Heavy and light rail
Utrecht Centraal railway station
Utrecht Centraal is the main railway station of Utrecht. There are
regular intercity services to all major Dutch cities; direct services
to Schiphol Airport.
Utrecht Centraal is a station on the night
service, providing 7 days a week an all-night service to (among
others) Schiphol Airport,
Amsterdam and Rotterdam. International
InterCityExpress (ICE) services to
Germany (and further) through
Arnhem call at
Utrecht Centraal. Regular local trains to all areas
Utrecht also depart from
Utrecht Centraal; and service
several smaller stations:
Utrecht Vaartsche Rijn;
Utrecht Leidsche Rijn;
Utrecht Terwijde; Utrecht
Zuilen and Vleuten. A former station
Utrecht Maliebaan closed in 1939
and has since been converted into the Dutch Railway Museum.
Utrecht sneltram is a light rail scheme running southwards from
Utrecht Centraal to the suburbs of IJsselstein, Kanaleneiland, Lombok
and Nieuwegein. The sneltram began operations in 1983 and is currently
operated by the private transport company Qbuzz. In 2018 the new
extension to the
Uithof will start operating, creating a direct mass
transit connection from the central station to the main Utrecht
Utrecht is the location of the headquarters of Nederlandse Spoorwegen
(English: Dutch Railways) – the largest rail operator in the
Netherlands – and
ProRail – the state-owned company responsible
for the construction and maintenance of the country's rail
The main local and regional bus station of
Utrecht is located adjacent
Utrecht Centraal railway station, at the East and West entrances.
Due to large-scale renovation and construction works at the railway
station, the station's bus stops are changing frequently. As a general
rule, westbound buses depart from the bus station on the west
entrance, other buses from the east side station. Local buses in
Utrecht are operated by
Qbuzz – its services include a
high-frequency service to the
Uithof university district. The local
bus fleet is one of Europe's cleanest, using only buses compliant with
the Euro-VI standard as well as electric buses for inner city
transport. Regional buses from the city are operated by
Utrecht Centraal railway station
Utrecht Centraal railway station is also served by the
pan-European services of Eurolines. 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.
Like most Dutch cities,
Utrecht has an extensive network of cycle
paths, making cycling safe and popular. 33% of journeys within the
city are by bicycle, more than any other mode of transport. (Cars,
for example, account for 30% of trips). Bicycles are used by young and
old people, and by individuals and families. They are mostly
traditional, upright, steel-framed bicycles, with few or no gears.
There are also barrow bikes, for carrying shopping or small children.
As thousands of bicycles are parked haphazardly in town, creating an
eyesore but also impeding pedestrians, the City Council decided in
2014 to build the world's largest bicycle parking station, near the
Central Railway Station. This 3-floor construction will cost an
estimated 48 million
Euro and will hold 12,500 bicycles. Completion is
foreseen in 2018.
Utrecht is well-connected to the Dutch road network. Two of the most
important major roads serve the city of Utrecht: the A12 and A2
motorways connect Amsterdam, Arnhem,
The Hague and Maastricht, as well
as Belgium and Germany. Other major motorways in the area are the
Breda A27 and the Utrecht–
Groningen A28. Due to the
increasing traffic and the ancient city plan, traffic congestion is a
common phenomenon in and around Utrecht, causing elevated levels of
air pollutants. This has led to a passionate debate in the city about
the best way to improve the city's air quality.
Utrecht has an industrial port located on the
Amsterdam-Rijnkanaal. The 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, fertiliser and
fodder. Additionally, some tourist boat trips are organised from
various places on the Oudegracht; and the city is connected to
touristic shipping routes through sluices.
'De Inktpot (nl)' (The Inkpot) with fake UFO
Production industry constitutes a small part of the economy of
Utrecht. The economy of
Utrecht depends for a large part on the
several large institutions located in the city. It is the centre of
the Dutch railroad network and the location of the head office of
ProRail is headquartered in The De
Inktpot (nl) (The Inkpot) – the largest brick building in the
Netherlands (the "UFO" featured on its façade stems from an art
program in 2000). Rabobank, a large bank, has its headquarters in
A large indoor shopping centre Hoog Catharijne (nl) is located
Utrecht Centraal railway station
Utrecht Centraal railway station and the city centre. The
corridors are treated as public places like streets, and the route
between the station and the city centre is open all night. In
20 years from 2004, parts of Hoog Catharijne will be redeveloped
as part of the renovation of the larger station area. Parts of the
city's network of canals, which were filled to create the shopping
centre and central station area, will be recreated. The Jaarbeurs, one
of the largest convention centres in the Netherlands, is located at
the west side of the central railway station.
View on the
Uithof campus of
Utrecht University. The building in the
centre is the library.
Utrecht hosts several large institutions of higher education. The most
prominent of these is
Utrecht University (est. 1636), the largest
university of the
Netherlands with 30,449 students (as of
2012[update]). The university is partially based in the inner city as
well as in the
Uithof campus area, to the east of the city. According
to Shanghai Jiaotong University's university ranking in 2014, it is
the 57th best university in the world.
Utrecht also houses the
much smaller University of Humanistic Studies, which houses about 400
Utrecht is home of one of the locations of TIAS School for Business
and Society, focused on post-experience management education and the
largest management school of its kind in the Netherlands. In 2008, its
MBA program was rated the 24th best program in the world by
the Financial Times.
Utrecht is also home to two other large institutions of higher
education: the vocational university Hogeschool
students), with locations in the city and the
Uithof campus; and
Utrecht School of the Arts
Utrecht School of the Arts (3,000 students).
There are many schools for primary and secondary education, allowing
parents to select from different philosophies and religions in the
school as is inherent in the Dutch school system.
Miffy statue at the Nijntjepleintje in Utrecht
Rietveld Schröder House
Rietveld Schröder House from 1924
Utrecht city has an active cultural life, and in the
second only to Amsterdam. There are several theatres and theatre
companies. The 1941 main city theatre was built by Dudok. In addition
to theatres, there is a large number of cinemas including three
Utrecht is host to the international Early Music
Festival (Festival Oude Muziek, for music before 1800) and the
Netherlands Film Festival. The city has an important classical music
hall Vredenburg (1979 by Herman Hertzberger). Its acoustics are
considered among the best of the 20th-century original music
halls. The original Vredenburg music hall has been
redeveloped as part of the larger station area redevelopment plan and
in 2014 gained additional halls that allowed its merger with the rock
club Tivoli and the SJU jazzpodium. There are several other venues for
music throughout the city. 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.
There are many art galleries in Utrecht. There are also several
foundations to support art and artists. Training of artists is done at
Utrecht School of the Arts. The
Centraal Museum has many
exhibitions on the arts, including a permanent exhibition on the works
Utrecht resident illustrator Dick Bruna, who is best known for
Miffy ("Nijntje", in Dutch). Although street art is illegal
in Utrecht, the Utrechtse Kabouter, a picture of a gnome with a red
hat, became a common sight in 2004.
Utrecht also houses one of the
landmarks of modern architecture, the 1924 Rietveld Schröder House,
which is listed on UNESCO's world heritage sites.
Every Saturday, a paviour adds another letter to The Letters of
Utrecht, an endless poem in the cobblestones of the Oude Gracht in
Utrecht. With the Letters,
Utrecht has a social sculpture as a growing
monument created for the benefit of future people.
To promote culture,
Utrecht city organizes 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. There
are also initiatives for amateur artists. 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
Triton rowing club (nl) team pauses with their coach by the
Muntbrug, a rotating bridge built in 1887.
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 in the
members), SV Kampong. Kampong features field hockey, association
football, cricket, tennis, squash and boules. Kampong's men and women
top hockey squads play in the highest Dutch hockey league, the
Utrecht is also home to baseball and softball club
UVV, which plays in the highest Dutch baseball league: de Hoofdklasse.
Utrecht's waterways are used by several rowing clubs. Viking is a
large club open to the general public, and the student clubs Orca and
Triton compete in the Varsity each year.
In July 2013,
Utrecht hosted the European Youth Olympic Festival, in
which more than 2,000 young athletes competed in nine different
olympic sports. In July 2015,
Utrecht hosted the Grand Départ and
first stage of the Tour de France.
Duitse Huis in April 1982
Utrecht has several smaller and larger museums. Many of those are
located in the southern part of the old town, the Museumkwartier.
Aboriginal Art Museum (nl), located at the
closed since 15 June 2017, this museum had a small exhibit of
Australian Aboriginal Art
Centraal Museum, located in the MuseumQuarter, this municipal museum
has a large collection of art, design, and historical artifacts;
Dick Bruna huis (nl), art of
Centraal Museum on this separate
location is dedicated to
Miffy creator Dick Bruna.
Duitse Huis has a collection of historical items including many
charters with seals dating from as far back as the early 13th century
and a collection of medieval coins.
Museum Catharijneconvent, Museum of the
Catholic Church shows the
history of Christian culture and arts in the Netherlands;
Museum Speelklok National Museum in the centre of the city, displays
several centuries of mechanical musical instruments;
Railway Museum (Nederlands Spoorwegmuseum) Railway sponsored museum on
the history of the Dutch railways;
Utrecht Archives, are located at Hamburgerstraat 28 in Utrecht;
Utrecht university museum (nl)
Utrecht University museum
includes the ancient botanical garden;
Volksbuurtmuseum Wijk C (nl)
Sonnenborgh Observatory observatory and museum that regularly
hosts lectures on astronomy, located at Zonnenburg 2 in Utrecht;
Betje Boerhave Museum (nl) museum for the grocer's shop where
you can still buy old-fashioned food and non-food items, located at
Hoogt 6 in Utrecht.
Music and events
The city has several music venues such as TivoliVredenburg, Tivoli De
Helling, ACU, EKKO, DBs and RASA.
Utrecht hosts the yearly Utrecht
Early Music Festival (Festival Oude Muziek). In
Jaarbeurs it hosts
Trance Energy. Every summer there used to be the Summer Darkness
festival, which celebrated goth culture and music. In November the
Le Guess Who?
Le Guess Who? festival, focused on indie rock, art rock and
experimental rock, takes place in many of the city's venues.
There are two main theaters in the city, the Theater
Kikker (nl) and the Stadsschouwburg Utrecht (nl) De
parade, a travelling theatre festival, performs in
Utrecht in summer.
The city also hosts the yearly Festival a/d Werf which offers a
selection of contemporary international theatre, together with visual
arts, public art and music.
Notable people from Utrecht
Pope Adrian VI
Main article: List of people from Utrecht
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:
Pope Adrian VI
Pope Adrian VI (1459–1523) – head of the Catholic Church
Louis Andriessen (1939) – composer
Marco van Basten
Marco van Basten (1964) – football player
Dick Bruna (1927-2017) – writer, illustrator (Miffy)
C.H.D. Buys Ballot
C.H.D. Buys Ballot (1817–1890) – meteorologist (Buys-Ballot's law)
Theo van Doesburg
Theo van Doesburg (1883–1931) – painter, artist (De Stijl
Karel Doorman (1889–1942) – Rear Admiral (Battle of the Java Sea)
Paul Fentener van Vlissingen
Paul Fentener van Vlissingen (1941–2006) – businessman and
Anton Geesink (1934–2010) – judoka, first non-Japanese
Rijk de Gooyer
Rijk de Gooyer (1925–2011) – actor, writer, comedian and singer
Sylvia Kristel (1952–2012) – actress Emmanuelle
Gerrit Rietveld (1888–1964) – designer, architect (De Stijl
Herman van Veen
Herman van Veen (1945) – actor, musician, singer-songwriter and
author Alfred J. Kwak
Dafne Schippers (1992) – sprinter/heptathlon Olympian
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See also: List of twin towns and sister cities in the Netherlands
Utrecht is twinned with:
Brno, Czech Republic
previously Hannover, Germany, between 1970 and 1976
Portland, Oregon, as a friendship city
Wikimedia Commons has media related to
List of mayors of Utrecht
Utrecht sodomy trials § Legacy for the history of these
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See also: Bibliography of the history of Utrecht
Lourens, Piet; Lucassen, Jan (1997). Inwonertallen van Nederlandse
steden ca. 1300–1800. Amsterdam: NEHA. ISBN 9057420082.
Wikivoyage has a travel guide for Utrecht.
CU 2030, redevelopment of the
Utrecht Central railroad station area
Populated places in the municipality of Utrecht
Utrecht consists of 10 city parts
List of cities, towns and villages in
Municipalities of Utrecht
De Ronde Venen
Wijk bij Duurstede
Capital cities of the Kingdom of the Netherlands
National capital: Amsterdam
Seat of government: The Hague
Philipsburg, Sint Maarten
's-Hertogenbosch, North Brabant
Haarlem, North Holland
The Hague, South Holland
The Bottom, Saba
Oranjestad, Sint Eustatius
See also: List of cities in the
Netherlands by province
ISNI: 0000 0004 1794 7