Rediscover Your Faith At  Utrecht’s Catharijne Convent

Behold A Sacred Collection Of Christian Art And Artifacts

The Netherland’s Largest Religious Museum

Utrecht’s Museum Catharijneconvent is a repository of religious, cultural, and historical artifacts set within the walls of a medieval convent. It offers a glimpse into the profound Christian artistic heritage of the Netherlands over the centuries. As you wander through the archives, you are transported across time, from Christianity’s early days to the modern faith we know today. The institution’s vast collection includes an array of religious antiques, sacred spiritual paintings, and stunning holy altarpieces that help tell the story of faith’s role in shaping Dutch society.

One of the museum’s most captivating features is its artifact collection, a dazzling display of ecclesiastical treasures that include gold and silver heirlooms, ancient textiles, and rare manuscripts. These items not only reflect the artistry of their creators but also offer insight into their devotional practices.

The Building Itself is a Work of Art

Beyond the art, the Museum Catharijneconvent itself is a masterpiece of architecture. Serene cloisters and lush gardens provide a tranquil retreat from the urban environment, inviting you to reflect amidst the beauty of your surroundings.

In 1975, the architects at KAAN Architecten had a challenge when converting the nunnery into a museum showplace. But the firm breathed new life into the landmark with a vision that blends old and new, honoring tradition while embracing innovation. For example, the big Gothic window frames were retained but now feature energy-saving insulation as a step towards sustainability. Rooms were combined and streamlined, then reundant building features were removed for a more seamless experience.

Likewise the cloisters, once a place of silent contemplation, now blooms with color, movement, and life. The architects ensured accessibility to the courtyard from the cafe, inviting visitors to enjoy coffee and conversation in the sunshine. Four years later the two million euro renovation was completed and the Museum Catharijne Convent was re-opened in 1979.

Religious art museum
MAIN ENTRANCE
Religious museum Utrecht
MUSEUM CATHARIJNE CONVENT
Courtyard Cloisters
CLOISTER GARDEN
Stained Glass at the Catharijne Convent Museum
GOTHIC WINDOWS

A beautiful video overview of the collection to classical music

EXHIBIT HALL

Ticket Prices *

  • Children aged 0 to 17 years: Free.
  • University Students: €7.
  • Senior Citizens (65+): €13.50.
  • Adults: €15.
  • Museumkaart: Free

Open Tuesday thru Friday 10 am to 5 pm Saturdays and Sundays from 11 am – 5 pm *A surcharge may apply for temporary exhibitions

Getting There

By Foot or Bike : The museum is a 15 minute walk from Utrecht Centraal if you stroll through the mall or a seven minute bicycle ride from the back of the station.

By Public Transport : The infrequent #2 bus passes this location and can be boarded at the “A” bus platform on the east end of Utrecht Centraal Station.

By Car : Not recommended. Public parking is extremely limited in the city center. From the Vaartsche Rijn and Springweg parking garages, it’s a 10-minute walk to the venue. Also, consider using the Park & Ride facilities in Utrecht. A day ticket costs €5, and it’s valid for up to 5 people. Find more information at Goedopweg.nl.

Address: Lange Nieuwstraat 38, Utrecht 3512PH 030 231 3835

A Focus on Faith Means a Selective Audience

The Museum Catharijneconvent is a fine destination for anyone interested in religious art, history, and spirituality. But even if you’re not religious, the artwork and the history they offer are important to understanding Christianity’s far-reaching effects. Museum staff regularly create temporary exhibitions, which delve into topics that bridge religion with contemporary issues. These thought-provoking displays encourage people to reconsider the ongoing relationship between faith and modern life.

Over 160,000 guests visit the convent annually, but the very nature of the museum means it’s not suitable for everyone. Children might not enjoy or understand the experience so much.  Moreover, tourists without a good grasp of Dutch or English or on a tight schedule might consider other ways to spend their time in historic Utrecht, as the venue is large, time-consuming, and a bit expensive without a MuseumKaart.

Religious icons
CHRISTIAN ICONS ON DISPLAY