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Shoes and the City: Sightseeing in Utrecht with the Air Force Shadow

July 9, 2021 3:15 PM
Shoes and the City: Sightseeing in Utrecht with the Air Force Shadow

Dear Sneakerjagers, we have a new series for you and among other things we want to bring you a little closer to our headquarters, while combining all this with our passion for sneakers. We call it Shoes and the City and today we start with a guide to all the sights in beautiful Utrecht.

Our Sneakerjagers office is located in the heart of the city centre, surrounded by green spaces, restaurants and cafes. Moreover, it is not just any building where we have our office, but an old prison. Besides us, there are other companies there and you can imagine the creative atmosphere. From there, we start our tour through the Dutch city, which is probably less known than Amsterdam, but is in no way inferior to the capital in charm.

Utrecht Sneakerjagers Air Force 1 shadow

Mit diesen Shoes durch die City

Of course, we don't just visit the city with any kicks, but are out today with Nike Air Force 1 Shadows. The Shadow is an update of the classic Air Force that was first launched as a basketball shoe. The name comes from the several layers that have been added so important design elements have a shadow. These elements include the branding, the Swoosh and the eyelets. In addition, the midsole becomes chunkier, which gives the design an edgy look.

Nike Air Force 1 Shadow 'Pastel' | CU8591-104

Utrecht Sneakerjagers Air Force 1 shadow

Air Force 1 Shadow 'Cashmere' | CI0919-700

Utrecht Sneakerjagers Air Force 1 shadow

Nike Air Force 1 Shadow 'Coconut Milk' | CU8591-102

Utrecht Sneakerjagers Air Force 1 shadow

Walk and Visit

Domkerk: St. Martins Kathedrale

In the heart of Utrecht lies Domplein, where St. Martin's Cathedral is located. Usually referred to by locals as the Domkerk, this beautiful building is considered one of the most important churches in the Netherlands.

Utrecht Sneakerjagers Air Force 1 shadow

Originally built as a Romanesque church in 1254, the cathedral's present choir is 14th century and the transept with its two chapels 15th century. Initially much larger in size, the construction included the massive nearby cathedral doorway, which was removed after the nave was destroyed during a tornado in 1674. The ruins were not cleared until 1826, when the Domplein was laid out. Restoration was finally completed in 1988.

Highlights include numerous ancient tombs and a crypt said to contain the inner relics of Emperors Conrad II and Henry IV who died in Utrecht. Particularly worth seeing is the picturesque 14th century cloister that connected the cathedral with the university. Above the windows are scenes from the life of the patron saint St Martin, while in the middle of the beautiful cloister garden is a fountain with a bronze figure of a monk.

Utrecht Sneakerjagers Air Force 1 shadow

De Domtoren: The cathedral / dome tower

Towering high above the old town of Utrecht is the old Domtoren. The massive structure in 1674 was separated from St Martin's Cathedral by a devastating storm. Built between 1320 and 1382, it is just over 112 metres high and houses an impressive carillon with 50 bells, many of which are centuries old.

It is still the tallest church tower in the Netherlands and its viewing galleries offer a magnificent panoramic view of the old town and the Domplein - on a clear day you can see as far as Rotterdam and Amsterdam. The climb of 465 steps is worth it, but you can only do it with a tour.

Insider knowledge: The local architects abide by an old rule that no new structures may be built that are higher than the cathedral gate.

Utrecht Sneakerjagers Air Force 1 shadow

Cathedral / dome Square and DOMUnder

Like many historic cities in the Netherlands, Utrecht has many old public squares. By far the most important, however, is the Domplein. It is also particularly worth seeing because of the many magnificent houses that frame it.

Utrecht Sneakerjagers Air Force 1 shadow

Next door you will also find Utrecht University and the Tourist Office, whose staff will be happy to answer your tourist questions. There you will also find the new DOMUnder exhibition, which takes you underneath the Cathedral Square. On a self-guided tour, you can learn more about the city's more than 2,000-year history. A torch leads you to the remains of a former Roman fortress, Trajectum, where Utrecht's history began.

Utrecht Sneakerjagers Air Force 1 shadow

The Oudegracht

The heart of the city is the Oudegracht, the old canal that runs once around the city centre. In the south-eastern part of the city, the canal begins and partly follows the original route of a section of the Rhine. The northern part, on the other hand, was built as early as 1000 AD and connected the Rhine with the Vecht.

Utrecht Sneakerjagers Air Force 1 shadow

After the completion of the Utrecht lock network in 1275, the Dutch settled the canal banks with numerous quays, wharves and warehouses. Today, many of these old buildings and their cellars have been converted into restaurants, cafés, galleries and boutiques.

Utrecht Sneakerjagers Air Force 1 shadow

Green oases in Utrecht

The botanical garden of Utrecht University offers a fun pastime for anyone with a green thumb - or who simply wants to enjoy beautiful green spaces and gardens - is a visit to the botanical garden of Utrecht University. Utrecht actually has several green spots, so we also recommend Griftpark and Wilhelminapark.

Utrecht Sneakerjagers Air Force 1 shadow
Utrecht Sneakerjagers Air Force 1 shadow
Sneakerjagers - Sanne Molenaar

A selection of museums

1. Centraalmuseum

Spread between the remains of a former monastery and the city's old artillery stables, are Utrecht's outstanding municipal collections. Most of the works were created by locals over the centuries.

Founded in 1838 and housed in the city's Centraal Museum, the exhibits include the province's archaeological collections and works by Utrecht painters from the 15th century onwards. Among them are the Romanists, a group influenced by the Italian Renaissance and led by Jan van Scorel. Other schools represented are the Mannerists, represented by Abraham Bloemaert, who had a lasting influence on the Utrecht Caravaggisti (stylistic successors to Caravaggio).

The museum also has a collection of costumes from the 18th century to the present, as well as rooms furnished in style, sculptures, silverware and a collection of material on the history of the city. In addition, a rare 17th century doll's house with rooms decorated with chintz from the Dutch East Indies.

Also worth seeing is the famous 'Utrecht Ship', a 1,000-year-old ship discovered in 1930. Also of interest is an exhibition of art and artefacts related to the contemporary artist Dick Bruna, creator of the world-famous cartoon rabbit Miffy.

You can see even more of the world's cutest bunny at the Miffy Museum. This is one of the best destinations in Utrecht for families travelling with younger children. Of course, there's plenty of fun to be had here, from storytelling and dancing to games and lots of interactive playtime. By the way, Converse also has a few sneaker models with Miffy as a motif.

Sneakerjagers x Voices of Fashion Centraalmuseum Utrecht

The Centraalmusum makes our Sneakerjagers exhibition even more worth seeing. Together with Voices of Fashion, we have put together an exhibition that portrays several people and their passion for sneakers.

2. Railway Museum

Housed in the old Maliebaan railway station, the Utrecht Railway Museum or Spoorwegmuseum is the country's national railway museum and a must for railway fans. Founded in 1927, the museum shows a cross-section of the country's transport history, especially railways and trams, with many models and old vehicles.

Exhibits deal with the early years of the railway, including its heyday around 1900, and an operating workshop. In addition to the impressive collection of locomotives (including nine well-preserved steam locomotives) and rolling stock, children will love the model railway and playground. There is a shop and restaurant on site.

A special treat is the authentic shuttle train that runs between the central station (Utrecht Centraal) and the museum. Thematic events, such as Thomas the Tank Engine days, are also held regularly and guided tours are offered regularly.

Another related attraction - also about machinery, but this time with a focus on war - is the National Military Museum, Nationaal Militair Museum. Highlights include impressive collections of aircraft and vehicles, as well as fascinating exhibits about the various branches of the Dutch armed forces.

3. Museum Speelklok

One of the more unusual of Utrecht's most popular tourist attractions is the Speelklok Museum - or Musical Clock Museum in English - dedicated to music boxes, barrel organs and other devices and instruments. The unusual thing is that they are able to play music without human intervention. The museum was founded in 1956 and displays mechanical musical instruments from the 18th century to the present. But there are also instruments from the household: from tiny music boxes to massive fairground organs.

Other highlights include music boxes, pianolas and a tower clock with chimes, as well as the opportunity to take a look behind the scenes of the restoration work in the workshops. Free guided tours are offered in English and include demonstrations.

Another attraction related to machinery, albeit of a more scientific nature, is the interesting Sonnenborgh Observatory (Museum Sterrenwacht Sonnenborgh). One of the highlights of a visit is the observatory, which is still partly functioning.

How to Style: Dutch Edition

Stroll through the streets of our beautiful Utrecht and you'll immediately notice a certain fashion vibe. If you'd like to be inspired by the trend in the city right now, take a look at the following outfit and shop it easily via the links. Have fun shopping and discovering!