Monday 18 June 2018

Celestial Stories // Dominicanen Church Bookstore, Maastricht

Booklovers, history nerds and adventurers, boy do I have a treat for you today! Following my whistle stop tour of Maastricht post I am here with you today to share one golden highlight from that trip which deserved an entire piece of its own- the world famous Domincanen Church... book shop!

Yes, you read that correctly. A breathtaking piece of Dutch history housing a vast collection of literature, book goodies and even sports a delicious spot for coffee and cake! This beauty pops up on all of those 'must see' bookstore lists and I have to tell you it lives up to the hype.

The Dominicanen Church is a Gothic monastery situated in the city centre and was built in the 13th century of marl stone, consecrated in 1294. This spectacular treasure has been restored and preserved and even the glass-stained windows, fresco's and vaults remain a spectacular vision upon entering the building.

From the second floor the exposed fresco's of saints, dating from 1619 are visible in the peak of the roof. The northern wall boasts the oldest known wall painting depicting the life of St. Thomas Aquinas (Dominican and philosopher) from 1337. The original choir pit offers the best coffee in town, scrumptious breakfasts or homemade treats and a fabulous view of the internal structure, the stunning light display through the windows and of course, all of the lovely books!

The Dominicanen receives around 700,000 visitors a year, many of which will be there for the history, but fellow worshippers of the written word will be pleased to learn that their collection includes new and second hand books in English, French, Spanish, German, Italian and naturally, Dutch.

It was such a treat to finally visit this wondrous place and I will be making a point of returning as soon as the opportunity arises. I highly recommend spending the day in Maastricht, grabbing a Belgium beer or enjoying a cheese board in one of the trendy pubs, strolling the cobbled streets camera in hand, but most definitely allowing a good amount of time to take in this awe inspiring building (and to browse the shelves with glee!).

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