A heavenly place on earth
Must-see in Maastricht: Dominican Bookstore
The Dominican Church in Maastricht is the oldest Gothic church in the Netherlands – it was actually established in 1294. However, it doesn’t serve as a classical church anymore. Since more than 200 years it has been used for other purposes and hosted, among others, a boxing ring and an automobile exhibition.
Since 2006 it houses a bookstore, which is considered one of the most beautiful bookstores in the world. Here you can find not only 25.000 titles and 50.000 books, but there’s much more to enjoy and to see: In the church’s choir visitors can sit down, relax and grab a coffee, according to the bookstore’s website the “best coffee in town”, and even have “a light Italian lunch, or lovely cakes”. The interior design is by the architects Merkx+Girod and provides a thrilling setting:
“The sacral elements such as the stained-glass windows, fresco’s, vaults and the incidence of light have been saved. To keep the view of the height of the church, a steel a-centric ‘book tower’ with two floors was erected (400qm). From the second floor the exposed fresco’s of saints, dating from 1619, are visible in the peak of the roof. On the northern wall you can see the oldest known wall painting (secco, not a fresco) depicting the life of St. Thomas Aquinas (Dominican and philosopher) from 1337,” we learn at the official website.
In addition, there are around 150 events organized every year in this very special ambience: Exhibitions, debates, interviews, readings, workshops, and music – and hopefully also a concert with international participants of the International Choir Competition Maastricht, which will be held from February 7-11, 2019. In cooperation with the Maastricht Convention Bureau INTERKULTUR will organize an international choir competition in Netherlands for the first time and invites to sing and explore Maastricht.
Amateur choirs from all over the world are welcome to join the competition in various categories ranging from Mixed and Equal Voices to Sacred Choral Music and Pop, and at the same time experience the vibrant cultural life in the host city.
Learn more about the International Choir Competition Maastricht here. Early Bird Registration is still running until June 11, 2018!