There are so many churches in Europe that if you’ve been traveling for a while, you almost feel that when you’ve seen one church, you’ve seen them all. Well, the Dominicanenkerk in Maastricht is different.
That’s because this 13th century Gothic church has been deconsecrated and transformed into what is officially one of the world’s coolest bookstores. And I’m not exaggerating here.
I had seen this branch of the Dutch bookstore chain Selexyz on more than one list of the world’s coolest bookstores. I simply couldn’t miss the chance to see it for myself during our weekend visit to Maastricht.
Selexyz Dominicanen houses three floors of books in a structure that dates back to 1294. Before it found its calling as a bookstore, it served as a warehouse, archive and even (because this is the Netherlands) a bicycle parking lot.
You could say the booklover in me had a religious experience here.
Selexyz Dominicanen also has a cafe called Coffeelovers, where you can enjoy a cup of coffee with your book or magazine.
But I didn’t need coffee to savor my time at Selexyz Dominicanen. It was truly magical to be surrounded by all those books in such a unique, gorgeous atmosphere. In case you’re wondering, I didn’t just take pictures—I bought books too! Because gorgeous places like these need to stay open, right?