A Light Show 300 Years in the Making

Early Stages
There’s been a lot of activity in the Domplein and around the Domtoren for the past month. Unfortunately, it’s all rather unattractive and currently has the walkway beneath the Domtoren completely blocked off while they dig deep trenches. Fortunately, the end result should be quite spectacular. You see, it’s all part of the latest Trajectum Lumen installation.

As I’ve mentioned before, Trajectum Lumen is a series of light art installations throughout the city. They’ve been going up gradually for the past few years as a lead-up to the celebration of the 300th anniversary of the Treaty of Utrecht, which is this April. The grand finale, so to speak, will be an impressive light show in the Domplein and in the Domtoren itself. That’s what all the construction is for right now.

Early Stages
There’s been a massive crane nearby, off and on, for the past month, as well. My photos are all from January, but it turns out the crane is back this week, because they’ve been using it to move lots of boxes of equipment up to the different levels of the Domtoren. The local news was there to see some of it and got an amazing view of it all as the cameraperson got to go up in the crane. You don’t need to understand Dutch to appreciate the view in the short video. (They don’t have it up on Youtube yet, but when they do, I’ll try to add it to the post.)

Domtoren and Crane
The crane and the Domtoren are both so massive that it’s hard to get a good angle to put it in perspective. I love the very bit at the end of the video where someone says, “Hoog hoor.” Hoog means high and hoor is one of those words that is hard to translate but acts as a form of emphasis.

The installation doesn’t open until April, but in the meantime, you can see a digital version of what it should look like once all 351 lamps are installed. If you can’t make it for the anniversary in April, it’s ok. The installation is supposed to be in place for the next five years!

10 thoughts on “A Light Show 300 Years in the Making

  1. I always translate “hoor” into the Southern-speak “ya hear”. As in, “Y’all come back now, ya hear?” LoL. It makes it easier for my friends in NC to understand that my husband isn’t calling me or anyone else a lady of ill repute when he says, “Ja, hoor!”

  2. Ah, yes, the end of the War of the Spanish Succession. Family myth on my father’s side is that a forebear left Scotland in the very early 18th century to fight in that war. He took service in the army led by the Duke of Marlborough and, after the war ended, in the army of the Elector of Saxony. He never returned to his home and native land ….

    Great photos. Go Utrecht!

  3. Fascinating view of the Dom from that perspective, I’m definitely looking forward to the light show in April! I laughed when one of the guys in the crane lift mentioned what he called the “spugers” (literally: the spitters), meaning they had to take care to not hit any gargoyles with the crane. It would be a shame if they got knocked off before they all appeared in your ongoing Gargoyle Saga 🙂

  4. The War of the Spanish Succession is not a war particularly well remembered by the Dutch though. We called it the Tachtigjarige Oorlog btw (literally The Eighty Years War)

    • Not really. The Eighty Years War lasted from 1568 to 1648, when the Treaty of Westphalia, known in the Netherlands as de vrede van Muenster, brought an end to the war and took the United Provinces out of the Holy Roman Empire. The War of the Spanish Succession, one result of which was that the Spanish Netherlands (now Belgium) became the Austrian Netherlands, began in 1702 (some say 1701) and ended with the Treaty of Utrecht in 1713. Sorry about the show of pedantry, but I’m a historian by profession.

  5. I’m supposed to be one too, though this is definitely not my area of expertise and I see I got confused there. Dutch history has never been my strong point for some reason… Thanks 🙂

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