Monday, September 17, 2012

Domtoren in Utrecht

Photos of the Domtoren, as promised.  We didn't actually take a photo of the entire tower, but the last photo shows the top third of it.  It's currently the tallest structure in Utrecht, and has been since 1382 when it was finished, though there is currently a proposal for an apartment building that's causing some controversy because it would be taller than the tower.  In the late 1600's a really bad storm took out the back half of the church, so now there's a gap between the tower and the rest of the church.  You don't really see how odd it looks from the ground, but it's clear from when you look down from the tower that part of the church is missing.
The bells ring every 15 minutes, and we got to be in the bell ringing room (I don't know what it's actually called) when the 5pm bells rang.  It actually wasn't as loud as I was expecting, though the floor vibrated nicely.  The large bell near the bottom is for the ringing of the quarter hour and the smaller bells above are for playing tunes on the hour.  On Saturdays at noon there's always a longer song played by a special bell ringer.  Our guide told us her repertoire includes everything from Bach to Michael Jackson, so that would definitely be interesting to hear.

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