Happy Birthday, Nijntje!

Birthday Girl
On this day in 1955, Nijntje made her debut. Drawn by Utrecht native, Dick Bruna, she’s gone on to feature in numerous books and cartoons and has become well-known around the world. She’s better known as Miffy to most of the world, since Nijntje is a bit of a puzzle for those not familiar with Dutch. For what it’s worth, Nijntje is a shortened, diminutive form of the word konijn, which means rabbit.
Nijntje Pleintje
She’s got quite the presence here in Utrecht. She has her own square (Nijntje Pleintje as seen in the above photo). She’s also the symbol used for some of the walk/don’t walk lights here in town. She’s being used on some directional signs here in Utrecht, and of course, she plays a huge part in the Dick Bruna Huis, which is a part of the Utrecht Centraal Museum.
Dick Bruna Huis
MuseumWeekend [Day 102/365]
She’s a charming little bunny and a nice thing to have associated with Utrecht. Gefeliciteerd met je verjaardag, Nijntje!

Peace Is Possible

Yesterday was the International Day of Peace. Events were held around the world, some private, some public. Here in Utrecht, there were various lectures and performances taking place at the Cathedral, the Academiegebouw, and out in the Domplein. I stopped by briefly in the afternoon to see a bit of the balloon event taking place on the Domplein.

The logo on the balloons was designed by Dick Bruna, an Utrecht native, and creator of Nijntje/Miffy.

The Academiegebouw (one of the original buildings of the University of Utrecht) was the site of some of the lectures and presentations. It was festooned, as were many of the buildings around the Domplein (Dom Square) with the rainbow Vrede (Peace) flags.

A few of the volunteers hanging out before giving out the balloons.

Somewhat appropriately, this statue is a memorial specifically in memory of WWII, but now serves as an unofficial memorial for all victims of the World Wars. The statue stands where the nave of the cathedral used to stand before it was destroyed in a storm.