Despite the light rain, Pippo and I went for a quick walk through a bit of town today, including a stop at the Domplein. As we approached, we could hear music and eventually located the source. It was a trio of street performers playing beneath the Domtoren. Not exactly the typical tunes you hear on the street when an accordion is involved, but absolutely perfect for the setting!
It’s that time of year again. Time for Summer Darkness, the dark alternative festival that comes to Utrecht every year. Considering Goth is a part of the festival, and Utrecht has its very own half-standing Gothic cathedral, it’s a match made in heaven. Or Hades. Depending on your perspective. All I know is that the little Goth girl in me of my teen years would have LOVED this festival. As it is, I’ve been tempted to go see Nitzer Ebb or Killing Joke when they perform this week as part of the festival.
As I’ve done the past couple of years, I will definitely head over to the Domplein to check out the fashion shows and outdoor market they set up for the weekend. It’s always fun for people watching, especially some of the visual contrasts that pop up.
As I said, the cathedral in Utrecht, which is located at the Domplein, is one of the best examples of French Gothic architecture in the Netherlands, so it’s an ideal setting for many of the festival attendees, as well as for all the photographers who swarm the Domplein to get some interesting photos of the visitors. It’s quite common to see photographers approaching some of the more interestingly dressed people to then head to the cloistered gardens for a Gothy photoshoot. It’s not just photographers, either. Lots of interviews take place there, as well.
I don’t really the look the part anymore, and my Bauhaus t-shirt is a bit too snug now, but maybe I’ll buy one of the purple wigs they have each year in the market. It wouldn’t be the first time I’ve had purple hair.
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.
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.
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.