Selexyz Dominicanen Bookstore
A bookstore in a church. An 800 year old Dominican church. I wanted to see it.
And it happens to be nearby in Maastricht, The Netherlands, which we drive to often because it has an English movie theater and an Argentinian steak house. For some reason I still hadn’t seen it even though we’ve walked very near it at least a few times. D and his sister stumbled upon it last September and in January we found it again. It’s only a block off the city plaza:
The building itself isn’t so very big, but it is tall, so the designers created space upward. The nave of the old church now holds three levels of steel bookshelves and aisles, all without changing the original building structure. Its conversion to a bookstore makes for an interesting mix of old and new:
There is a cafe and a children’s book section at the back. I was happy to find a selection of English books.
I did a little reading and it turns out this building hasn’t served as a church for a long time. For anyone who hasn’t seen so much of Europe – there are so many churches that it’s not so crazy that they aren’t all being used. It was busy on the Saturday afternoon we visited so I’m guessing business is good. If the building isn’t being used for its original purpose, a place filled with people and books isn’t such a bad fate.