Historic cathedral converted into a bookshop? YES PLEASE!
The Boekhandel Dominicanen, is located in Maastricht, Netherlands.
Housed in a 700-year-old church, it is now a massive 3-story book store that is oft-cited as one of the most beautiful bookshops in the world.
It was constructed in the Gothic style for use as a Dominican Church & Monastery in the 13th-century and was consecrated in the year 1294.
Following the dissolution of the monastery, the church found a range of uses over the years. At various points in time, it was used as a city warehouse, an event center, a printing house, and even a bike storage shed!
The interior redesign was done by the Dutch firm Merkx+Girod.
Sacred elements of the cathedral such as the stained-glass windows, frescoes, and vaults were preserved for posterity.
Most extraordinary, are the exposed frescos of saints, dating from 1619, which are visible in the vaulted peaks of the roof. On the north wall is the oldest known wall painting (secco, not a fresco) depicting the life of St. Thomas Aquinas (Dominican and philosopher) from 1337.
Like any true bookstore, the cathedral also includes a coffee shop called: Coffeelovers.
The cafe features “the best coffee in town and you can enjoy breakfast, and have a light Italian lunch or lovely cakes”.
Around every corner is an awe-inspiring scene.
If you are a lover of books and an admirer of religious architecture, this divine place is a must-visit!