Discover 2,000 years of Utrecht history with the Utrecht Time Machine

The Utrecht Time Machine brings to life the history of Utrecht in a very modern way. Since this summer, the interactive app offers a glimpse into the lives of the residents of Utrecht up to 2,000 years in the past. With this app, the University of Utrecht (UU) and UMC Utrecht celebrate 385 years of science in Utrecht.

Your smartphone, some provisions for the road and maybe something for the rain; You will need these for the time travel you will be running through the historic center of Utrecht. Along the way, you will encounter the most diverse places, people and events.

For example, in Catharijneconvent you will run into johannieters, in Drift you will be stopped by construction work by Napoleon Bonaparte and have to stop at the Dikke Dries pub. You can conjure up one historical artifact after another from the old streets of the various neighborhoods of Utrecht, some of which are up to 2,000 years old. And all this at the touch of a button on your smartphone.

virtual time machine

No, you don’t need a shovel to dig into the history of Utrecht. He had been ready to take over Dom City since June. The timing machine in Utrecht takes care of that. It is a virtual time machine, which you already own by installing a special smartphone app (the app is called UTM University Hall and can be downloaded for free from the App Store).

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You can start the time machine by scanning one of the corresponding QR codes. It can be found in various places of the city, in the form of orange tiles. It is located in thirty different historical sites. Whether you’ve entered a time machine once or more is up to you. There is no fixed path.

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History can be accessed
The Time Machine was developed in Utrecht by Utrecht University (UU). To this end, the UU has collaborated with other institutions: the UMC Utrecht, the municipality of Utrecht and several Utrecht heritage institutions, such as The Utrechts Archief and the Historical Association Oud-Utrecht. The various parties combined their experience, information, and purposes to build a time machine.

The purpose of the time machine is to make the rich history of Utrecht accessible to all; History is now, as it were, within the reach of anyone who passes through it. The Utrecht Time Machine is part of a European initiative called “Time Machine FET Flagship”. This project aims to map up to 2,000 years of diverse European history. Utrecht has been a part of this since this summer.

385 years of science
The app and historical path are part of the 77th anniversary of the founding of UU and UMC Utrecht. The university and university hospital are good for conducting 385 years of science in Utrecht. Even though the coronavirus pandemic is not quite over, organizations decided this was an opportunity to celebrate.

With the theme “We Make Tomorrow Together”, UU and UMC Utrecht want to invite students, staff, alumni and residents of Utrecht to think about the city’s future together. In this way they hope to strengthen the relationship between the residents of Utrecht, even in this “difficult time”.


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