Welcome to Museum Catharijnecovent, where you can take knowledge of the present and past of Christianity in the Netherlands. Come to Utrecht and experience this fascinating history in a beautiful medieval monastery.
The permanent collection
The permanent collection of Museum Catharijneconvent comprises unique historical and art-historical exhibits ranging from the early mediaeval period to the 21st Century. This collection offers an insight into the Christian art and cultural history of the Netherlands and its influence on Dutch society.
It includes richly illuminated manuscripts, jewelled book bindings, richly decorated images, unique paintings, altar pieces, ecclesiastical vestments and artefacts of gold and silver. Dutch art from the Golden Age of the 16th and 17th centuries is represented by Jan van Scorel, Rembrandt, Frans Hals and Pieter Saenredam. Of more recent vintage are works by Jan Toorop, Shinkichi Tajiri and Marc Mulders. The Museum Catharijneconvent collection contains both Protestant and Catholic artefacts, making it unique in the world.
Collection and Library Museum Catharijneconvent onlineMuseum Catharijneconvent exhibits the past and present of Christian heritage in the Netherlands, with centuries-old and contemporary art and artefacts. The more than 65,000 items in Museum Catharijneconvent's collection are all included in the database, now accessible on the internet. The museum library, with more than 40,000 books, articles, and periodicals on Christianity in the Netherlands, is also available online.
In the museumshop we present an English catalogue with highlights of the permanent collection:
Christianity in the Netherlands. Highlights of the Museum Catharijneconvent.
Saskia van Haaren, Babette Hellemans, Jeroen Koch, Tanja Kootte, Janneke Raaijmakers, Joost de Wal, Guus van den Hout (preface).
ISBN 904008175 1 (Dutch), ISBN 904008223 5 (English), 112 p. € 14,95
The history of the museum
Museum Catharijneconvent has a long and colourful history. Originally built in the 16th century as a monastery for members of the Order of the Knights of St. John, it was named after Saint Catherine of Alexandria. The monastery's infirmary eventually became Utrecht's first teaching hospital while the Catharijneconvent was subsequently used for a wide variety of purposes.
Having provided accommodation for the military, and for student fencing and acrobatics clubs, it was used for many years as a school gymnasium and has housed a number of museums. After a complete refurbishment, the current Museum Catharijneconvent was officially opened by the then Queen Juliana on June 9, 1979.
City Film Utrecht about Museum Catharijneconvent