Nicolaikerk or Klaaskerk (church)
9 Nicolaaskerkhof, Utrecht, Netherlands
www.nicolaikerk.nl/ (in dutch) - 030 231 5734
Nicolaikerk or Klaaskerk (church) Utrecht Reviews
Cultural events at the Nicolaikerk or Klaaskerk Jul 09, 2009
Once a year a day is held where people from all over the country can sing together hymns and psalms in (obviously) a church, usually a gem amongst churches.
This year my daughter who is in a choir did participate in this event, so I decided to join her.
The church for this year was the Nicolaikerk, or sometimes called Klaaskerk, in the old townpart of Utrecht.
This church date back to the early 12th century.
This church has 3 organs; the major one has 3 manuals, contains 33 registers (sounds), and was build in 1956 by the Danish organbuilder Marcussen. The frontdesign of this organ has horizontal places pipes, as well as the traditional vertical ones.
The Sweelinck organ which is only a few years older has 2 manuals, and contains 16 registers (or sounds). This organ is property of the NCRV, a christian broadcasting company, the church got that organ on loan.
I heard both organs being played and believe me, it sounds great!
The third organ is the choir organ, and has 5 registers (sounds). This one is in the Nicolaichurch since 1979 after being in Amersfoort and 2 other Utrecht-churches.
The church also has a carillon (or chimes), this was crafted in 1649 by the Hemony brothers, and had at that time a reach of 2 octaves. In 1933 another 12 chimes (another octave) were added to it. These were made by the English chime-builder Taylor. However, while the new chimes were of good quality, the sounds of them did not harmonize with the Hemony chimes, so they were replaced by 12 new ones. In the eighties of the 20th century another 7 chimes were added.
On Sundays the carillon will be played from 14.00-15.00 (2PM - 3 PM) by Utrechts city carillon-player.
During the Summer months the church is open for public (July to first week of September: Tue to Sat: 12.00-17.00 hours, Sundays 12.00-16.00 hours)
January to March: Sundays 12.00-16.00
April to June and September to December: Sundays 12.00-16.00 and Wednesdays 13.00-16.00.
Inside the church there is an exhibition about the organs and the carillon.
The church is also used for concerts (more info here: http://www.nicolaikerk.nl/algemeen/alg_fs.htm), and like on the day I was there, a special event on churchmusic.
The towerclockwork can be seen in the church, there is an infopanel next to it. (still need to translate that to english)
In ancient times it was a custom in our country to bury the deaths inside the church (only if the deceased could afford it, it was cheaper outside on the churchyard). In this Nicolaichurch the old gravestones can still be seen, they act both as gravestone as floortile, like it has always been.
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