The cold season has returned and with it comes the melancholy, stress and listlessness we all know. We prefer to stay at home, enjoy a hot cup of tea and snuggle into our sheets. This dream of pure relaxation gets often disturbed by work, university or other matters. There is no time to unwind. But what can we do, to let time stand still for a while?
Little House in Utrecht found a way.
There are different places in Utrecht where one can sit down and enjoy a moment of peace. Sometimes Home is just not the right place to sit down and have a moment for yourself. (even when it is decorated beautifully and in a way you enjoy it.) Sometimes we need to break out from the mundane and discover new places.
Besides the beautiful canals, parks and streets of the city, the Dom is one of these places that needs to get discovered. (Trust us this won’t be a religious post). People who live in Utrecht or have visited it know, that the Dom is the most famous landmark of the city. With its 112 meters its the tallest church tower of the Netherlands and famous for its stunning gothic architecture. Although both of us have seen many churches and cathedrals throughout the years (believe us a lot!), we can say that the Dom of Utrecht has its own beauty, by day, but especially by night.
Every third Saturday evening of the month is a special one for the Dom: the Night of Light. The cathedral opens its doors to visitors from everywhere to see the light installations of the Dom. You can light up a candle and enjoy a moment of peace. It is rather odd to believe that a visit to a small tourist attraction will give you the opportunity to relax, but trust us, you have to try it yourself.
When we went to visit the Night of Lights last month, both of us had some stressful weeks behind us and we didn’t expect that this would change. Without any expectations we walked through the streets of the city, until we finally reached the Dom. A man on the street gave us each a candle and told us to light it up, once we are inside. The light installations outside the tower were already beautiful but once we went inside the Dom we saw all the candles and knew it was a good decision to come.
During the Night of Light the cathedral is open for anyone to enter and exit between 20.30 p.m. and 11 p.m. We were obviously not the only ones there. Around thirty other people were also attending the event. You could hear a small choir singing and candles on the ground lead you to the altar of the church, where most of the candles were lit. People come and go, light a candle and go sit on the wooden benches. Some people were smiling and enjoying the event, others were crying, praying or just starring into the flames, but everyone was peaceful. After we had lit our candles and sat down, we felt all the stress and burdens disappear for a moment. The combination of the silence, the singing of the choir from time to time and the warmth of the flames just gave us a feeling of coziness.
Next to the candles at the altar there were wooden bowls containing pieces of paper. These pieces of paper had written verses from the bible on them.
We decided to stay a little longer to enjoy the atmosphere. On our way out we saw the reverend standing in one corner, offering blessings for those who wished for them.
When you come to the church by day light you can’t necessarily calm down and unwind. But the Night of Lights gives everyone the opportunity to do so, no matter where you are from, which religion you believe in or what concerns you in life at the moment. Once a month, there is the opportunity to leave all the problems behind and enter an area full of peace and warmth. Although the Night of Light is an all-year event, we would recommend you to go in the cold months. Because in these months we need love and light the most.
On our way home, we both tried to hold on to the atmosphere, which the Dom had created. We knew it was not only the candles that had given us light that night. The atmosphere, the people and the Dom itself, had all contributed to that beautiful feeling full of light and love. I know I will definitely go again.
Will you be visiting the Night of Light?
More information about the Night of Light
Visit their website for more information and to see when the next Night of Light takes place!