A church tower, how much would insurance cover that for? The Dutch RTV Utrecht discovered they valued the church tower of Utrecht at 96 million euro. Local government owns the building and insured it recently. Not a bad idea if you know a tornado (!) destroyed half of the church itself in 1674. You never know when the next one strikes.
Dom Church of Utrecht
That tornado caused for the tower to be separated from the church itself. You can still see the previous silhouette of the church marked in the pavement between the tower and the remaining part of the church. That part is still impressive. It has some large stained glass windows, a nice organ and monumental art. The style is late Gothic, which you can see by the shape of the windows. Those are pointy and tall, thanks to pillars carrying all the weight of the vaults. The height of the church (32 meters), very high for vaulted churches, also shows the church was completed late in the Medieval times. Even though the building had begun over 250 years before in the 13th century!
They actually never really finished building the whole church. They simply lost interest in the 16th century. On one side it had already cost so much money. And protestant Christians who now ruled within northern Europe didn’t see the point of pumping all that money in it. For them a church building is all about its function, not about riches, adornments, and important people. It didn’t have to impress anyone. After the tornado blew part of the church away, money and interest lacked to rebuild it. The last rubble was not taken away from the site until about 150 years later! By the way, you can still see damages done by Protestants during their “protests” against the Catholic church. They symbolically destroyed or covered up adornments in the church. That’s the reason some sculptures are lacking their faces: they were smashed.
The church tower
The tower is a symbol of Utrecht. It’s not open for visits, but it marks you view from all perspectives in the city center. It’s about 110 meters high and with that it must have seemed a skyscraper in the pre-skyscraper world. Since the historical center of Utrecht still rocks history and barely hosts any high towers, the church tower still rules town. Around the tower there’s an abundance of stores and bars.
Be careful crossing the streets, bikes consider these their highway!