The Catharijnesingel in 1974, photo by W. Meijnen/Het Utrechts Archief

These days, it’s difficult to imagine filling in large parts of an old canal to make way for a four-lane road through the middle of the city. But in the early 1970s, the Catharijnebaan underpass was built to create room for the ever-increasing flow of traffic. The original plan was to pump the entire canal full of asphalt and extend the road to form a bypass. Fortunately, this plan never materialised, and in 2010, Catharijnebaan was closed to traffic to bring the water back. As from 12 September, you’ll be able to make a complete circuit of the city centre in boat again, something that the people of Utrecht have been dreaming of for thirty years.

> In collaboration with Het Utrechts Archief. You can visit the archives at Hambugerstraat 38