It was a weekend away in the city of Utrecht …
My spouse was racing 150km Toerversie Utrecht (28 June 2015) while my kids and I did as many tourist things as possible. First on agenda: visit the Dom Tower.
The famous Dom Tower (Dutch: Domtoren) in Utrecht is the tallest church tower in the Netherlands. At 112.5 meters (368 feet) in height, this gothic-style landmark is the symbol of this city.
The Dom Tower was originally part of the Cathedral of Saint Martin, also known as Dom Church. The Cathedral’s nave was never fully completed and in 1674 a tornado destroyed this part of cathedral left the Dom Tower a free standing tower as it is today. Upon completion in 1382 the tower stood 109 meters tall. During restorations in 1910 its height was increased to 112.5 meters where it stands mighty tall till present day.
Climbing the Dom Tower is only possible under supervision of a guide. There are 2 types of tour; regular and kids friendly tour. The regular tour is conducted in Dutch and English while the kids friendly tour is only available in Dutch language. Tour intervals are frequent almost every hour every day. Purchase your tickets online or at VVV (Tourist Information Office) located at Domplein 9-10. Tickets are priced at €9.00 for adult and €5.00 for kids 4-12 years old (2015 pricing) http://www.domtoren.nl/page/domtoren-ticketshop
I have 2 Dutch speaking kids so I opted for kids friendly tour to keep them interested. The whole tour takes about 1 hour 15 minutes. It is 15 minutes longer than regular tours. So I was told.
The tour commenced inside the VVV store. All belongings must be removed and store them in the free locker provided before being allowed to enter the tower. Happily I obliged and only armed with a camera.
There was a quick introduction about the tower, the climb and some general rules. It is a known fact that Dom Tower has 465 steps to get to the top! There were 4 rest points along the way so I braced myself with positive thoughts.
Then off we went across the street and started climbing stairs.
First stop was Michaelskapel (chapel) followed by van Egmondskapel (chapel/museum room), belfry floor where 14 different sizes bells were located and further one floor higher was a viewing gallery with the magnificent 17th-century Hemony carillon. Regretfully, I did not have my jacket with me and I was cold from the strong wind at such height. After that, climbing the last section of stairs to the top was rather brutal. It was dark, narrow with a long spiral stairs what seemed like a never ending climb. Claustrophobic kicked in! I struggled mentally and physically. But once at the top (literally rooftop), I was free to enjoy the 360 degree view.
The decent from the tower was quite daunting. It is dingy with a straight 465 steps down on some uneven stairs height.
The experience was definitely enriching. My kids were really impressed by the tour. Not something I would do again in the foreseeable future. Nevertheless, highly recommended! Make sure you bring a jacket and wear proper foot wear for the climb.