Summer 2012 - Utrecht
Even though I've called Holland my home base for a little over seven years, before this summer I had never been to Utrecht. Luckily, my friend Chris lived in Utrecht, and he is a Medieval historian, so he knew quite a few interesting places to visit.
One of the most famous sights in Utrecht is the Dom Tower. The tower is the tallest church tower in Holland, but it's not actually connected to the church. The construction for the church and tower began in the 1300s, but the church was never completed. A few hundred years later, a tornado (seriously) swept through Utrecht, and through the church, separating the tower from the nave. Eventually the nave was reconstructed but not reconnected to the tower. If you visit now, look at the church - there are still pieces of the broken wall visible on the outside. Also look at the ground in the square between the church and the tower - there are gravestones, like one would normally see on the floor in a church.
Just peeking out from behind the building on the left in the second photo is the Catholic Cathedral.
And in the bottom photo is what looks like another church - but also a bar. Yup. It is an old church converted into a pub! It looks like just a normal restaurant from outside, and that is because it was a hidden Catholic church - built inside a normal house but hidden from the Protestant officials.