Museum & exhibitions

5x Open Monumentendag

Some 85 monumental Utrecht buildings will open their doors on Saturday 9 September, including six in Leidsche Rijn and nine forts along the Dutch Water Defence Line. Who used to live or work there? What went on within the walls of these ancient buildings? And what goes on now? The Inktpot and Villa Jongerius are probably at the top of your list of buildings to visit during Dutch Heritage Day. But we’ve got another five tips for addresses you’re less likely to know about, but which are definitely worth visiting.

Ridderlijke Duitse Orde, Balije van Utrecht
The Teutonic Order (Ridderlijke Duitsche Orde (RDO)) Bailiwick of Utrecht was formed during the crusades in the 13th century, when Catholic knights founded a hospital. The Netherlands became a Protestant country in the 17th century, and the Utrecht Order split from the Catholic Germans. The knights turned their attentions to helping people with a disability, the sick, young homeless people and people with an addiction. The Order was based in this building on Springweg.
> Springweg 25 (until 16.00)

Het Broodhuis (see main photo, by HUA/Arjan den Boer)
The Jewish community starting using a former clandestine church that stood on this spot in 1793, but in 1849 they were allowed to build a ‘real’ synagogue. In 1926, the synagogue underwent radical renovation work, including an art deco interior, designed by the architect H. Elte. The geometric shapes are a stylised representation of life and nature. The building has belonged to an evangelical community since 1983. The original interior, with authentic lamps and stained glass windows, was carefully preserved during latest restoration.
> Springweg 162 (from 12.30 to 16.15 uur)

Begraafplaats Soestbergen
This used to be part of the Soestbergen country estate, but in 1830, the municipality bought it to construct the city’s first public cemetery. It was designed by J.D. Zocher, who was also responsible for the Utrecht canal-side park. He designed the cemetery to resemble a park, with pleasant, winding paths, and was also responsible for the gate and burial mound in the middle (‘Zocher’s ring’), which houses dozens of tombs.
> Gansstraat 171

The life insurance company Concordia (intended for the Catholic working class) already had huge pre-war office premises on Oudenoord when in 1954, they expanded by adding this monumental building. It was designed by the Kraaijvanger brothers. At the time, the curved façade followed the bend in the road. The main entrance in the middle is embellished with a striking, limestone group statue made by René van Seumeren. The Christian symbolism is obvious, representing care for the family. The first thing you notice on entering the building is the stunningly high hall and beautiful spiral staircase.
> Oudenoord 330

De Syp
This block of flats designed by Oeverzaaier Architects, was completed in 2019. It’s the city’s third-highest building. The only remnant of the original façade that stood on this part of the Leidsche Vaart is the historical entrance. This entrance is part of a monument built in 1912 in a strict classicist style by the wealthy Verbeek-van der Sande, who ran a livestock transport business here.
> Van Sijpesteijnkade 25

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