These large, yet mobile, street organs show up in various spots around town, but this was one of the first times I’d seen them being moved into position. I see — and hear — them most commonly on some of the shopping streets near the Cetraal Station around Christmastime, but they do make occasional appearances throughout the year. In this case, the organ was making the rounds to celebrate stadsdag, the city’s 890th anniversary.
Utrecht has a museum dedicated to these kind of musical boxes that come in all shapes and sizes. The Speelklok museum is one of Utrecht’s most-recommended museums, and with good reason. If you take a guided tour, you can hear the variety of boxes and organs playing their lively tunes. I’ve been a few times now and I always enjoy it.
Legend has it that these particular street organs became particularly popular in the Netherlands because of the flat terrain. I certainly wouldn’t want to push one of these musical beasts up and hill, and I certainly wouldn’t want to have to control it going downhill! Pas op! (Beware!)
This one eventually came to rest in the Flora’s Hof, the site of the former bishop’s palace, which I’ve mentioned recently. Every time I hear one of these organs play, I get a craving for suikerspin (cotton candy/cotton floss), because of the carnival-like sound.