The Missing Nave


This is a different view of the St. Martin’s Cathedral than I usually get, but it does give you a better sense of just how big the cathedral was when it was complete (or close enough). The part that remains is the transept (the part that essentially forms the arms of the cross of many churches) and the apse (the usually rounded bit at the top of the cross/church). As I’ve explained before, the nave (or main body of the cathedral) was destroyed in a storm in the 1600s. It reached all the way to the Domtoren, which is just out of sight on the far left of the photo. Seeing the church from this angle really does give a better sense of just how big it was and just how much was lost in the storm.

Plus, bonus bakfiets (the sort of wheelbarrow bike) on the right!

Gothic Revival

Ghost in the Sunshine
The cathedral of Utrecht, built in the classic Gothic style, has a beautiful and atmospheric cloister garden next to it. The tracery and the lancet windows framing the walkway around the garden seem to transport visitors back in time.
Occasionally, you may even see someone there who adds to the feeling of the shifting mists of time. Hooded cloaks still show up with some regularity, moving along the walkways or pausing for reflection and contemplation.
Hooded Figure
It’s not hard to imagine monks, scholars and scribes rustling along the flagstone floors, or nuns with their robes whispering around them as they head to prayers.
Snapping the Snapper
But then you see the photographer and the light umbrellas and all the other tourists milling about, and the man-made sheen to the robes, and you come rushing back to reality. Fortunately, with some cropping and editing, at least a bit of the mystery and daydream can be regained.