Museum Catharijneconvent

Museum Catharijneconvent


The Museum Catharijneconvent was founded in 1979 and is a state museum for Christian art and culture in the Netherlands. The main collection consists of several older episcopal, ecclesiastical and monastic exhibits.

The Museum is in the city centre of Utrecht, located in the middle of the Netherlands. The museum also holds responsibilities around the country, for example regarding the work of heritage specialists of the museum, who are also responsible for advising and assisting all churches and convents on their interior and movable religious heritage, therefore carrying out activities all around the Netherlands.

The Museum of religious art is in a former monastery. The museum has an extensive collection of historical and art-historical objects from the early Middle Ages to the present. The vast collection presents a picture of Protestant and Catholic art and cultural history of the Netherlands, and its impact on Dutch society. The collection includes richly illustrated manuscripts, book-bindings decorated with precious stones, richly-worked images, paintings, altarpieces, pieces of clothing and ecclesiastical objects in gold and silver. Among the highlights in the collection are the 9th-century chalice of Saint Lebuinus and carved ivories from the Lebuïnuskerk in Deventer.








Currently, the museum showcases exhibitions (Collection of approximately 80.000 items) on a variety of Christian themes, such as the virgin Mary, Martin Luther, miracles and relics. The heritage specialists draw up inventory lists of ecclesiastical collections throughout the country (approximately 800.000 items in 6.000 building), give out validations for this heritage and advise on the appointment of heritage in the case of the ceasing of religious functions. They are also the initiator of “The Largest Museum of the Netherlands” with cooperation with sixteen churches and synagogues in the country.


Museum Catharijneconvent, therefore, advises churches and monasteries with regard to management and preservation, cultural valuation, opening up and re-use of church interiors and movable religious objects.

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