The Most Beautiful Bookstore Inside a Church in Maastricht

I love books, especially those in a beautiful setting. And this bookstore in Maastricht, the Netherlands is a reason in itself for booklovers to visit the city (without even mention of Andre Rieu and various other cultural attractions!).

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The bookstore, situated on the Andre Rieu Plein, is called Boekhandel Dominicanen and is owned by popular bookstore chain, Selexyz. The utterly modern appeal of the store contrasts beautifully with the ancient church facade from the 13th century. The building has an interesting history, being invaded by Napoleon in the 1700s and later being utilized as a parish, a warehouse, an archival centre and more recently as storage space for the city’s bicycles.

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And from the outside the bookstore looks like any other church in Europe…

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But the inside is truly awe-inspiring in every way. Plenty of books, CDs and DVDs and gifts are available (mostly Dutch writers but there are many English language books too).

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Top shelves can be reached by stairs or an elevator even! And the 14th century frescoes viewed over a cup of coffee at the cafe are the cherry on the top. Once a choir occupied this particular part of the church. Today the only singing comes from roasting beans and the buzzing of shoppers and those handling the books…

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In fact, the truly unique concept that is Boekhandel Dominicanen, received the Lensvelt de Architect Interior Prize, and The Guardian also gave it the title of “best bookstore in the world” in 2008.

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Do you agree? Have you been to Boekhandel Dominicanen and did you feel the same way? Let us know in the comments section below.

If you haven’t been to this famous church/bookstore in Maastricht, do pop by for a visit at Dominicanerkerkstraat 1, 6211 CP, Maastricht, The Netherlands. You won’t be disappointed. 

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Elizabeth Joss

Elizabeth Joss is the founder and main writer at The Museum Times. She is a content marketer and university lecturer by day and an avid travel blogger and arts and culture enthusiast by night. Elizabeth started The Museum Times out of the need to give smaller, lesser-known museums more exposure.

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