The World’s Most Beautiful Bookstore
Completed in 2007 by Merkx + Girod Architecten, the Selexyz Dominicanen Bookstore in Maastricht in the Netherlands is an incredible church conversion that was originally consecrated in 1294. Located between Maastricht’s two major squares (the Markt and the Vrijthof), the bookstore is run by a large Dutch chain in collaboration with the city council of Maastricht.
The location has not been used as a church for over 200 years. Before becoming a bookstore it served as a bicycle storage, exam hall for students, a Christmas market and venue for various shows and events. While some may find this usage peculiar, there are actually a significant number of abandoned churches in the Netherlands, many of them hundreds of years old.
With land being a premium in the country, local governments have opted to convert and restore (just look at those ceilings!) rather than demolish these historic abandoned buildings. For those interested in more information, there’s a great write-up on this building at Crossroads Magazine.
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