In 2019 you could come and see 'At home in the Buurkerk' and we opened The Royal Room.

Doorkijkje naar de koninklijke Clay klok
Doorkijkje naar de koninklijke Clay klok

At home in the Buurkerk

In 2019, it was Utrecht’s Buurkerk, the home of Museum Speelklok, that was in the spotlight. The presentation At home in the Buurkerk, a thousand years of history under one roof responded to museum visitors’ great interest in the location; the beautiful centuries-old church and its wealth of stories.

Fascinating history

During a visit to At home in the Buurkerk, a thousand years of history under one roof, the fascinating history of the church was brought to life through historical stories and objects. From as early as the year 1000, the ordinary citizens of Utrecht were finding salvation here. The Buurkerk seems immortal, shrinking and growing, surviving fires, attacks and the Reformation. It was affectionately known as the ‘ecclesia civilis’ or neighbourhood church. As a pillar of strength in Utrecht, the Buurkerk was used in many different ways; as a traffic artery connecting the north to the south, as a cemetery, wedding venue, hay store, bakery and stable during the French occupation. It saw demonstrations against the Vietnam War and served as a hub for handing out ration coupons during World War II. A specially constructed cell was home to Sister Bertken who was walled in for 57 years.

Since the 1980s, the church has been home to Museum Speelklok.

The Royal Room

The Royal Room at Museum Speelklok was opened on 13 December 2019 as part of the Museum Expedition. Here, visitors can discover a majestic world full of gold and glamour, with an absolute masterpiece as the highlight: the 1738 Clay clock.

Precious clocks and ingenious engineering

The gleaming musical clocks and musical boxes on display in the Royal Room were used by those in positions of power to emphasise their status and power. Look at the most beautiful musical clocks steeped in symbolism. Admire the precious materials and ingenious engineering. Listen to gems by top composers such as Georg Friedrich Handel. The royal connections of these instruments speak for themselves: Marie Antoinette, Napoleon, Frederick the Great, Maria Theresa and our own Van Oranje family have links to these masterpieces. Come and see, listen and discover what kings and queens enjoyed in their palaces centuries ago!