Domplein: Utrecht's only square

more than a year ago

Like every medieval town, Utrecht has its fair share of squares. But there’s only one that really matters: the Dom Cathedral Square. And that's not only due to the fact that it's the highest spire in the Netherlands at 112.34 meters. Whenever locals come back from holiday, they're often heard saying 'I don’t really feel like I’m back until I’ve seen the Dom.'

People who set foot on the Dom Cathedral Square for the first time are often left speechless at this place where the city’s long history is so very tangible. And it's hard to imagine that many years ago, it must have been even more spectacular. In the 11th century the Lofen imperial palace cast its splendour over this very spot, but in 1253 a massive fire, which lasted an amazing nine days, ruined many of the surrounding buildings, including Lofen. Therefore, there’s not much left of its original glory these days, although you can still see some magnificent fragments of its glorious past in the underground cellar of the Walden restaurant.

Roman soldiers
In 2010 the Dom Square Treasury was established among the ruins of Roman habitation underground. Where Roman soldiers used to guard the northern border of their empire at Castellum Traiectum (as Utrecht was known back then), the city's illustrious past is now brought to life. 2000 years of history can be experienced in the Dom Square Treasury, or Schatkamer Domplein, in the medieval cellars underneath the square. A stone wall tells its story in front of an audience with modern audio-visual techniques and visitors can browse through the past and the future of the square on their own. One of the attractions of this one and a half hour tour is the Roman wall, of which large parts were discovered during renovations. In 2013 a second Treasure Chamber will open underneath the square between the Tower and Dom Cathedral. Tickets to the Treasury Domplein are sold at the Tourist Information Office.


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