Photo Uploaded: May 04 2012 21:14:14 GMT Taken: 2008:04:19 06:35:15 Manufacturer: Canon Camera: Canon EOS DIGITAL REBEL XTi Aperture: F5.6 Shutter: 1/500 sec ISO: 200 Flash: No (Turned off)
UTRECHT - The Netherlands
DOMTOREN (The Dom Tower)
The current version of the cathedral has been in use for church services since 1382.
History of the Domtoren
In 750, Willibrord, the city�s patron saint, founded the Maartenskerk, which became Utrecht�s main church. In 929 bishop Balderik rebuilt the church as a cathedral on the site of the Domkerk. It became known as Balderik�s cathedral. In 1017, a fire seriously damaged the church, which was then restored in the popular Romanesque style. Bishop Balderik dedicated the church to St. Maarten. From then on, the church was known as the Domkerk.
In 1253, another fire broke out. The restoration led to the addition of a new doorway in 1308. In 1320, the old tower was demolished to make way for a new but controversial construction. The new tower was said to be too tall, too expensive and all but aesthetic. Nevertheless, the construction was carried through. At the same time a staircase was built on the south wall, leading to the 12.5m high chapel. The chapel was connected to the church by an ariel corridor enabling the bishop access to the church without having to leave the building.
In 1382, the tower was completed. At completion, its height was 106.75 meters, making it the tallest church tower in the Netherlands. Despite a financial crisis in 1505, work began on the belfry which should house a clock with 13 chimes for which 30,000 kilograms of bronze was required. The population was enraged, resulting in the iconoclasm of 1566.
In 1664, the carillon was installed with a mechanism consisting of 35 chimes. In 1674, the Domtoren was separated from the church during a fierce tornado. The tower and the church were never reconnected. In 1836, a storm seriously damaged the top floor of the tower. Demolition of the structure was seriously discussed but it was eventually restored. This restoration lasted five years. During the restorations of 1901 and 1932, the height of the tower increased to 112.5 meters, making it again the tallest church tower in the Netherlands.