Medieval Memoria Online

Description - Chapter

St. Maartenskerk (Domkerk) in Utrecht, Utrecht, NL

MeMO institution ID and name
MeMO institution ID 21
Name (Dutch) St. Maartenskerk (Domkerk)
Name (English) St Martin´s Church (Dom Cathedral)
Patron saint(s)
  • Martin of Tours
Additional remarks St Martin is the Patron Saint. The Domkerk was the only Cathedral in the Netherlands until 1559.
Location (according to current geography)
Province Utrecht, NL - Netherlands
Settlement Utrecht
Coordinates 137/456C
Diocese before 1559 Utrecht
Diocese after 1559 Utrecht
Parish Utrecht
Date of foundation <723
Type of chapter independent
Founder(s) or main benefactor(s) Bishop Willibrord (before 723).
Number of prebends 40
Phases in the institutional history Already in the beginning of the seventh century there was a small church in the Roman castellum Traiectum. After devastation by the Frisians, this was rebuilt by St Willibrord early in the eighth century, but the newly built St Salvator's [St Saviour's] Church (Oudmunster) functioned as his seat. Since in 777 Utrecht was definitively raised to be the see of a diocese, St Martin's Church functioned as cathedral. During these early centuries, both churches together were served by an undivided college of clerics, a monasterium, which is mentioned for the first time in 723. After the return of the bishop from exile in St Odilienberg and Deventer (ca. 925), the chapter of canons was divided in two. The provost, the dean and/or the chapter of St Martin's Church possessed a great number of parishes across the diocese. The provost functioned as archdeacon for the major part of Holland; one of the canons was archdeacon of Westfrisia. The chapter participated in the rule of the bishop as secular lord of Sticht. .
Date of transition (to secular management)
Date of dissolution 1811
Additional remarks In 1580, the date at which the Reformation was introduced in Utrecht, the five Utrecht chapters lost their function for the catholic liturgy. Remarkably, however, they were not dissolved but continued their existence as important foundations, whose prebends served to procure a livelihood to sons of Utrecht nobles and citizens (from 1640 onwards only protestants). Through the college of 'elected', the canons - new - style also continued their participation in the government of the province of Utrecht. Finally, by law of February 27, 1811, Napoleon abolished the chapters.
Extant memorial objects and/or texts concerning memoria
Memorial objects
Text carriers
Type of extant material institution archive/archival material
Storage in one place
Short description of the material collection identifier 216: Domkapittel te Utrecht
Holding institution(s)
Name Het Utrechts Archief
Settlement Utrecht, Utrecht, NL
Additional remarks
  • Engelbregt, G.M.J.; Terlingen, J.B.A., De Dom van Utrecht : symboliek in steen (Utrecht 2004)
  • Groot, A. de, De Dom van Utrecht in de zestiende eeuw. Inrichting, decoratie en gebruik van de katholieke kathedraal (Amsterdam 2011)
  • Haeringen-''t Hart, M.N. van ; Voogt, A.C., De Utrechtse Domkerk (Utrecht 1991)
  • Hoven van Genderen van den, Bram, Het kapittel-generaal en de Staten van het Nedersticht in de vijftiende eeuw (Zutphen 1987)
  • Joosting & Muller Hzn., J.G.C.& S., Bronnen voor de geschiedenis der kerkelijke rechtspraak in het bisdom Utrecht in de Middeleeuwen. I: S. Muller Hzn, De indeeling van het bisdom (The Hague 1915), 368-370
  • Kok, H.J., Proeve van een onderzoek van de patrocinia in het middeleeuwse bisdom Utrecht (Amsterdam 1958), 27-28
  • Kuys, J., Kerkelijke organisatie in het middeleeuwse bisdom Utrecht (Nijmegen 2004), 277
  • Vliet, Kaj van, In kringen van kanunniken. Munsters en kapittels in het bisdom Utrecht 695-1227 (Zutphen 2002)
  • Voogt, A.C.; Haeringen-''t Hart, M.N. van , The Dom Church of Utrecht (Utrecht 1992)
  • Vos (ed.), Nienke Marieke, 750 jaar Dom en rondom : vier publiekslezingen door Utrechtse kerkhistorici (Almere 2009)

Building history

General date of construction 1225-1275
Church or chapel(s)
Name St Martin's Church (Domkerk), Utrecht
Date of foundation <800
Date of consecration
Short history of the building stages Probably the only church in the Netherlands who could compete with the French cathedrals. Cathedral with ambulatory and numerous chapels. Ca. 754: Construction of the original church consecrated by St Willibrord. 1254: The first part of the current church (choir) was constructed under Bishop Hendrik of Vianden 1275-1300: Construction of the ambulatory with radiating chapels. 1300: Addition of a transept to the choir with chapels. 1300-1325: Addition the northern side-aisle to the choir with chapel of bishop Frederik van Sierck and sacristy. 1321: start of the construction of the tower (1321-1382). 1321-1382: Construction of the 'Dom' tower next to the Romanesque nave. 1386: Construction of the cope and southeastern portal of the choir. 1396-1475: Construction of the a part of the ambulatory and the (stair) tower (eastern façade of the northern transept). 1450-1500: Construction of the Gothic nave. 1495: Enlargement of the sacristy, addition of a (provost) chapel to the southern transept. 1580: Iconoclasm. 1630: Demolition of the (tower) steeple. 1674: a hurricane devastates the nave. Since then, the tower stands apart from the remaining part of the church. 1850: Restoration of the church from 1850 onwards. 1977 -1988: Restoration.
Additional remarks Numerous wall decorations, altars and sculptures (from the thirteenth century onwards) are part of the inventory. Also several wall-paintings, for example one of the crucifixion of Jesus Christ in the chapel of Avesnes (ca. 1430). Stones in the floor of the choir show where the intestines of Koenraad II (1039) and Hendrik V (1125) are buried. There are also memorials in memory of bishop Guy of Avesnes (1317), John of Arkel (1378) and George of Egmond (1549).
Burial ground
Date of consecration
Date of clearance
Extant building remnants
Additional remarks
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