The city of Utrecht, one of the oldest and most beautiful cities in the Netherlands was founded in AD 47 as a Roman garrison. Beginning in the 11th century Utrecht was a great spiritual center. and the biggest city in the Netherlands. The beautiful Domtoren, (Cathedral Tower), built in the 1300’s is the symbol of Utrecht. The Domtoren used to connect to the Dom cathedral until the hurricane of 1674. Now we are left with a beautiful Square between the Domtoren and the Cathedral. During the prosperous 16th and 17th centuries, magnificent canal-side houses were built. Two of Utrecht’s canals, dug in the 11th century, are unique in the world. The canals, lined with brick wharves and cavernous cellars at water level, connect to the houses above at street level. Many of the cellars and wharves have been turned into restaurants.