Crowdsourcing a Cathedral

CathedralThe theme of this week’s Weekly Photo Challenge (for which I’m just scraping in under the wire) is Monuments. I had thought of doing something a little less obvious, but when I saw some news stories this week, I figured I’d go with the obvious monument here in Utrecht: the Domkerk or St. Martin’s Cathedral.

The best example of French Gothic church architecture in the Netherlands, the cathedral is a standout for a variety of reasons, including the fact that the nave of the cathedral was destroyed in a storm in the 1600s and never rebuilt. Various chapels and churches dedicated to St. Martin have stood there since around 700 AD. Construction of the current church began in 1254. As old as it is, and considering what it’s faced over the centuries, conservation and restoration are vital.

Currently, two of the buttresses (luchtbogen in Dutch) need to be repaired and restored. There is no government subsidy to help, so a crowdfunding campaign has begun, with the hopes of raising the €50,000 necessary for the work. If you want to make a donation, go to the Draag de Dom website. As well as doing something good to help maintain this beautiful symbol of Utrecht, you also receive various rewards, depending on the size of the donation.
Inner GlowApse

7 thoughts on “Crowdsourcing a Cathedral

  1. Good initiative to involve the public, bt how sad at the same time that there is no government funding to maintain one of the most well-known and beautiful cathedrals in the country… I hope they raise what they need!

    Btw, I seem to remember a “buttress”is een “steunbeer” in Dutch. Could be wrong though.

    • I’m not sure if there’s no money from the government at all or if there’s just not enough to cover this project. That was a bit unclear from some of the articles. Either way, hopefully they raise enough money!

      I just looked it up and steunbeer is buttress. I saw luchtbogen in one of the Dutch articles. Perhaps luchtbowen is more specifically flying buttress, which makes some sense.

      • Yes I’ve heard of both buttress and flying buttress in English. I’ve looked it up; a “luchtboog” is the name for the stone arch between the main wall and a buttress. A “steunbeer” is the entire collumn structure that provides support to the main wall, whether it has an arch or not (some are built directly against the wall, without an arch. I think the added arch is specifically Gothic).

      • Funny I seem to remember all sorts of vague terms from Gothic architecture all of a sudden, had to learn them in art class in secondary school. Useful words such as “gehogelde wimbergen” and “kruisribgewelven” 🙂

        • I couldn’t find luchtbogen in my van Dale, but saw it translated as buttress elsewhere online and with the individual parts of the word, I figured it was at least part of a flying buttress. Since the cathedral doesn’t have full-on flying buttresses, it makes sense that the arches it does have are what they are referring to. So yes, it all makes sense and now I’ve learned a few more Dutch terms, as well. There are so many specific terms for Gothic architecture, which makes sense, as they were introducing a lot of new elements to make these grand structures!

    • Thank YOU! I hoped it would inspire someone else to give, if possible. Still sorry our travel schedules didn’t match up better, but so glad you enjoyed Utrecht (and everywhere else). 🙂

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