Utrecht Stegenwandeling est un sentier en boucle de 5.6 kilomètres peu fréquenté situé près de Utrecht, Utrecht en Pays-Bas. Le sentier longe une rivière et sa difficulté est évaluée comme facile. Le sentier est principalement utilisé pour la marche.

Distance: 5.6 km Dénivelé: 44 m Type d'itinéraire: Boucle


voie aménagée


vue panoramique

fleurs sauvages

parcours urbain

site historique


Lanes largely determine the unique atmosphere in Utrecht. Their presence is related to the geographical location that dictated the street pattern when the city came into existence. Utrecht was an important port city in the Middle Ages. The Oudegracht formed a trade vein that was connected to the European hinterland. Via the Hollandse Ijssel, the Lek, the Vaartse and Kromme Rijn and the Vecht there was heavy shipping traffic, especially to England, the Rhineland and Scandinavia. The part of the Oudegracht north of the Bakkerbrug was dug around the year 1000 as a connection between the Rhine, which ran to the west from the Bakkerstraat, and the Vecht, which flowed to the northern outer city canal. The section between the Ganzenmarkt and the Bakkerbrug is a part of the Rhine. Around 1125, the southern part was buried, extending far beyond the city to Vreeswijk (Nieuwegein). For Amsterdam, which was still on the rise, Utrecht acted as an intermediate port on the route via the river Rhine to Cologne, the so-called Cologne Canal. This piece of history was lost during the construction of Hoog Catharijne (1973) and the dampening of the canal. Most alleys were created in the 12th century. From that time the Oudegracht was an important main and trade route. The alleys running down the Oudegracht formed the cross connections with the supply and discharge routes across the water. Even when the city grew strongly, use was made of the alleys: side arms between the Oudegracht and the streets behind, where craft, trade and pubs flourished. In the Middle Ages, the wooden houses in the city did not yet have gutters. The rain dripped directly down from the often still thatched roofs, which had a large overhang to keep the beams underneath dry and to protect against ingress. So there was a drip space, an ozone drop, between two neighboring houses. Ozing means eaves. When stone houses replaced the wooden houses, gaps remained. In the course of time, small houses were built on the heirs of the large houses. Initially, these houses were intended for staff, later on to accommodate the influx of residents from outside the city. The front doors opened onto the original gaps. This is how alleys were created. Large families used to live in the old small houses in the alleys. The plumbing was poor, the poverty high. The houses were usually small: one room with a box bed and an attic. Once outside walls, inside half walls, moisture, little fresh air, poor maintenance and poor hygiene. In the middle of the 1st century, liberal well-off citizens came into action against these abuses. Three Societies for the Improvement of the Homes of Workers and Minor Persons were established in Utrecht. They bought slums, fixed them up or demolished them for new construction. In general, the houses received decent quality. The Companies expect that better housing would bring about just about all socially desirable changes for the residents. Yet more than a hundred years later, the alleys were in bad shape again. In 1910 a new building line was established throughout the city. Everywhere two cars had to be able to pass each other. That led to general decay in the alleys, because permits for refurbishment were not given, because that was contrary to the building line. Until far into the 20th century, alleys fell prey to decay. This changed at the end of 1978 with the publication of the report 'Utrecht alleys in the slop'. The Restoration Liveability of Old Towns working group sounded the alarm about the drama that was taking place: the three hundred alleys and alleys, so characteristic of the city center, were threatened with massive losses. The municipality, housing associations and other 'players' in the real estate market changed their policy and became active to improve the quality of life in the city center. By making living and working in the historic city center attractive again, the social structure that has been lost in the past twenty-five years is given a new boost. New pavement and good lighting have been installed for pedestrians and cyclists. Furthermore, car use in the historical core is discouraged.

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