This video footage was taken by a drone as it explores the area around the 11 meter tall Dom Tower in The Netherlands. This is the tallest church tower in Europe.
History of the Dom Tower of Utrecht
Standing 368 feet, the Dom Tower of Utrecht looms over much of the city and is the tallest church building in the whole of the Netherlands.
Designed by John of Hainaut, construction of the stunning tower began in 1321 and took 61 years to complete due to funding problems. The tower’s size was supposed to demonstrate the power the Catholic Church held locally, but it wasn’t a popular structure amongst much of the clergy.
Indeed, Geert Groote, the local preacher and founder of the Brethren of Common Life, was particularly vocal in his opposition of its construction, arguing that it was too tall, too ostentatious and too expensive.
The tower now stands freely but originally it was attached to the Cathedral of St Martin. The nave of the cathedral was an ongoing building project for much of the medieval period and was still not fully completed when freak weather conditions struck in 1674.
A tornado ripped through the building and left it ruins, but somehow the tower itself managed to survive any major damage. It was left as a single structure while the debris was cleared and even though the cathedral was rebuilt during the 19th century, the tower remains free-standing.
The biggest threat to the future of the Dom Tower occurred in 1836 when a storm heavily damaged its top floor. There were some calls for the building to be demolished, but as it is the city’s main symbol, the decision was taken to restore it instead with work taking five years.
While no longer connected to a house of worship, it is still possible to get married inside its walls. However, it mainly serves as tourist attraction and has its own visitor centre and gift shop.
For a fee, tourists are able to climb its 465 steps and gain unrivalled views of Utrecht and beyond. You do not have to walk up all the steps at once thankfully as there are floors to stop off on, including the area where the tower’s 14 huge ringing bells are.
In Pure Spirit
Have you been able to tour any other impressive churches, cathedrals or temples? Which would you recommend? What’s worth going to see?