Flora's hof

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Domplein 0
3512 JC Utrecht
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Right in the heart of Utrecht’s medieval city centre, directly beneath the Dom, you will find Flora’s Hof – an almost-forgotten piece of history. This was once the site of the Episcopal palace. Later on, it became the location for a nursery; today it is one of the most stunning sites in the city centre.

History
Flora’s Hof is situated on what for hundreds of years was the location of Utrecht’s Episcopal Palace. After the public practice of the Roman Catholic faith was prohibited in Utrecht in 1850, the palace fell into neglect, only to be demolished altogether in 1803.

After the demolition, Hendrik van Lunteren created a nursery in the same spot. Greenhouses and an orangery were established on the site, in which fruit trees and exotic plants were grown. The Van Lunteren family continued to run the nursery for another two generations, but had to sell the business in 1911. In 1934, the nursery closed its doors for good.

In the years that followed, the small garden was forgotten and neglected. It was not until 2008 that the garden was fully replanted and restored to its former glory. Nowadays, it is maintained by volunteers.

The garden
The current garden was inspired by the style of 19th-century gardens, and pays homage to the nursery that was once located here. The tubs are a nod to the former orangery, and the garden is filled with historical flower varieties.

There is more to see in Flora’s Hof than just the plants and flowers. For example, there is an old photo that shows the nursery when it was run by the Van Gendt family, the successors to the Van Lunteren family. The photo gives a good impression of what the garden looked like in around 1925. The walls of the current courtyard are hung with reliefs with scenes from the life of St Martin, the patron saint of the cathedral and the city. Hendrik van Lunteren’s old house and orangery are now home to the Libris bookshop.

Flora’s Hof is open daily between 12 pm and 4:30 pm. Entry is free.

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