Time Travel: Voetiusstraat

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I thought I’d try to get at least one last Time Travel post in, even though I really should be writing for work, or packing, or doing dishes. I don’t even have a really good comparison photo, but it’s close enough.

What you see in the older photo is a view of a couple around 1900 walking along the north side of the cathedral, along what is Voetiusstraat. It’s a strange view if you’re used to the street now, because while the buildings on the right hand side of the photo remain (the one with the writing is now the delicious Carla’s Condoterie), the left has changed dramatically. I think it was around 1910 that the street was widened and the buildings on the left were constructed, particularly Voetiusstraat 2-4, which is a fairly impressive building done in the neo-Renaissance style. It was used as a public reading hall/library.

For the record, the street gets its name from Gisbertus Voetius, a 17th century professor of theology, whose house once stood there.

What is interesting about this section of street where Domstraat intersects with Voetiusstraat and the cathedral is the new herringbone brickwork that has gone down. It’s all more even and in an earthier, tawnier color. It really does look quite nice. I wish I knew how far it’s going to spread.

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In this slightly different view, you can’t see the buildings as clearly, but you can see the step into the cathedral that is visible in the old photo. The street levels do change a bit over the years, but the lamps remain much the same!
North Side

 

black and white photo via Het Utrechts Archief

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A Watery World

People are always surprised when I say that the Netherlands and Florida are similar in many ways. Both are flat, lots of water, lots of humidity, and as the past few days have proven, the weather can change in a flash and you can have sunshine and rain all at once.

Today I was out running a few errands and trying to enjoy a bit of a wander around the city, as I rarely seem to do these days. Unfortunately, I should have checked the buienradar app before heading out, as I managed to get hailed on twice. But like Florida, these little bursts of precipitation were over quickly. Sure, I looked a bit scraggly by the time I got home, but otherwise it wasn’t too bad. In between outbursts, I even managed to get a few photos of items reflected in the puddles. The brick streets may be a pain sometimes, but they do add a certain charm to puddle pictures.

The first that caught my eye was simply the reflection of a lamp in a puddle on a little side street I ducked down to check out some wall art.
Lamp
Next up was the Stadhuis (city hall) with its grand neoclassical style and central pediment.
Stadhuis
Having felt a bit unlucky with all the rain and hail, suddenly Lady Luck decided to give me a break. I had been hoping to get a shot of the Domtoren reflected in a puddle, but wasn’t sure I’d be able to find a conveniently placed puddle. Score! And as you can tell from the raindrop, just in time!
Domtoren

Out of Darkness, Utrecht

Donker UtrechtIf you follow me on Twitter or Facebook, you’ve probably come across some of the posts and tweets I’ve shared about Merijn van der Vliet, AKA Donker Utrecht. His photographs of Utrecht taken at dusk or dark capture the beauty, history, and vibrancy of the city.

For the past month, an exhibit of his work has been on display in the upper level of the Stadhuis. The collection is mesmerizing and it’s easy to get lost in each and every photo, studying the details and the colors that are so richly visible, despite the time of day at which the photos are taken. Equally arresting are the viewpoints from which many of the photos are taken, such as the one above of the top of the Domtoren.

The exhibit at the Stadhuis has been one of the most popular they’ve ever had, with record numbers of visitors. If you’re in the area, you’ve got one more day to see the exhibit (February 28 is the last day). If you can’t make it to the Stadhuis, you can find postcards and other sizes of his work at the VVV offices at Domplein 9, and you can certainly find more pictures in multiple sizes for sale at Werk aan de Muur. I pretty much want them all. Time to start playing the lottery, I guess! Oh, and if you’ve ever admired the official photos for Trajectum Lumen, then it will probably come as no surprise that he’s the photographer behind those, as well.
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