Utrecht is a Dutch city with a population of over 312 000 people. Utrecht is the capital of the homonymous province. Utrecht is among the Dutch cities that can provide tourists the overall impression of the country. Although it is a lot like other Dutch cities, Utrech, has a colorful uniqueness.
The first castle on the territory of the modern city was built in the first century BC. Today at the site of the castle rises the Dom cathedral and its tower, which was built in Gothic style, as if piercing the sky with the highest in the country church top. Utrecht received city status in the early twelfth century.
Even at the dawn of Christianity in the city was founded diocese, and today Utrecht is the capital of the Roman Catholic Church in the country. Trade flourished in the city, it becomes increasingly rich, which is due to the fact that it was acting as religious capital of the country. In the twenties of the sixteenth century, after the accession of Holland to Austria-Hungary, the bishop was deprived of his enormous power.
In 1579 in Utrecht was signed legendary peace agreement that ended the Spanish rule and united the Dutch provinces. In 1636, in the city was founded the University of Utrecht, which automatically turns the city into a university town, such as its reputation continues to this day. The university of Utrecht is the largest university in the Netherlands.
In 1713 in Utrecht were defined the territorial borders of Western countries - this event is known as the Utrecht treaty. The reason for signing the peace treaty was the fight for Spanish heritage. Several large countries - Spain, France, Portugal, Holy Roman Empire, the Netherlands, Britain and Savoy disputed inheritance. The war of Spanish Succession began in 1701 and ended with a peace treaty.
Gradually the city began to lose its leadership in trade and industry and failed to develop. With the passage of the railroad, the town again returned to its period of prosperity.
The medieval Inquisition passed Utrecht, so tourists can not see torture cells. But in the center of town one can feel like in the Middle Ages. In the center of Utrecht rise medieval buildings that were built near the tracks.
The city has many museums – the Central Museum of Utrecht, where there are collected art works from the seventeenth century, museum of history of the railway industry, museum of coins and the museum of science and art.
The city of Utrecht is a magnificent zoo - Dieren Park. On the territory of the zoo can be seen over fifteen hundred different animals. The animals are fenced in and large glass walls allow tourists to see the residents of Direnpark.
Hoog Catharijne is the largest shopping center in Utrecht, which is unique in that the country has very little like shopping centers built on the principle of American malls. Hoog Catharijne stretches over 93, 000 square meters.
Tourists must not miss to visit the ancient house of the fifteenth century, known as Bartholomeigasthuis. In it can be seen antique tapestries.
The city is home to the sacred Frisian stone, which is attached to a large chain and is associated with legends of the Devil.