An Ancient Church That Turns To Different Function, Maastricht, The Netherlands


Saint Dominicanen Church it is used to be a place of worship to honouring God, but now it turns to be a bookstore; at first glance, it was sceptical to what I saw outside the church people are keep coming and going. Also, many questions hover in into my head: What are people doing in this generation changing things inappropriate way? So why they are doing this kind of things especially the house of God? Some sort of question that only I can answer. Our world is changing rapidly nowadays and even a church we are using as a dense of a marketplace — a place whereby sacred within the eyes of many believers for Catholic people alike. However, please don’t get me wrong. Well, it is just my perception of what I see around this church.

Saint Dominicanen Bookstore

To give you a short history of the Selexyz Dominicanen Church in Maastricht the Netherlands. Built-in was dating back on 1294 in the heart of Maastricht. It had have changed immensely of use since the time of Napoleon when they invaded his group out of the country in 1794. Since then, it has succinctly used as a parish church, a warehouse, an archive, and a considerable bicycles parking stone shed, and undeniably now into a bookstore. The building consists of 1,200 square meters and shopping floor space of 750 square meters.

Merkx + Girod designed the construction and renovated the church, with the new establishment lofty three-story black steel book heap highlighted up to the stone cellar. The uppermost shelves are attainable by a lift or stationary stairs within the gleam. Plus the structure interior had have won the prize in the year 2007.

Photos of the church now a bookstore

The beautiful ceiling of the bookstore
The third floor of the bookstore
The nave of the bookstore
The children’s book corner
The customers of the bookstore
The magazines area
It used to be an Altar now coffee corner

Upon entering the church, I am in great surprised that I did not expect to see such a massive selection of books. I have visited many places of bookstores but none like this, it is different, and it was utterly amusing. My view had changed as I went farther inside the Dominican bookstore. A few thoughts that have lingered into my mind again answering my questions; I have so much respect to the people who come up to an idea of turning the church into a bookstore though it had have served into various functions in the past.

The entrance of the bookstore at the left side corner you will find choices of selected postcards the arrangement that was organised well while at the right corner you will see the magazine and newspapers section.

I walked around to have a vivid look at every shelf which on display are books lay on it. I noticed that it has a sizeable selection of books across all subjects and a wide selection in Languages. To think of is not just books but also magazines, newspapers and postcards which are available to purchase. I love the scenery of the surrounding inside it inevitability lead you the insight you have been searching.

At the back of the church where the Altar used to be, they installed a cross shape learning table at the centre and a few numbers of chairs along with a contoured bench in it also with a small round table and a stool. While, on the left side, it is used to be a choir area now coffee stand section wherein you can sit on a chair and flip a book while reading, and at the same time having a cup of coffee or tea. I find this area very alluring and eye-catching.

I noticed that most of the customers are a tourist who comes from different places including myself. This place is an exciting place to indulge oneself in learning what the bookstores can offer to all its visitors around the world since it is quite a few numbers of people who keep coming and going and it’s non-stop. I wandered a long time inside the bookstore scrutinizes each shelf in every corner. All books categorized into its distinct use. Impressively well organize.

The bookstore is open every day on Monday at 10:00 am-6:00 pm. Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday 9:00 am-6: 00 pm. Thursday 9:00 am- 9:00 pm and on Sunday noon – 6:00 pm.


© Leonie M.