Utrecht is the capital and most populous city in the Dutch province of Utrecht and is the fourth largest city of the Netherlands with a population of 323,617 as of 1 May 2013. The city is run by mayor Jan van Zanen.
History of Utrecht
Utrecht’s historic city centre features many buildings and structures from the Early Middle Ages and has been known as a religious hub of the Netherlands since the 8th century. Utrecht was the most important city in the Netherlands until the Golden Age when Amsterdam became the focus of populist culture during that era.
As like most of the Netherlands, the city of Utrecht experiences a fairly cool climate. The summers are short and may include a few warm and sunny days. During the winter, the temperature can range from anywhere between -20 to +10 degrees Celsius and every winter may not always include snow. Expect many days of precipitation throughout the year and at any given moment.
Utrecht University is the largest university of the Netherlands having been founded in 1636. According to the results of the Shanghai Academic Ranking of World Universities in 2013, Utrecht University claimed first place in the Netherlands as the leading place to pursue higher learning.
Several other institutes for higher education also exist with their many names, sizes and reputations. The more popular ones that are most notably worth mentioning are the Hogeschool Utrecht and the University College Utrecht (if you ever thought it was possible for an educational institution to consist of both words).
Due to its central location within the country, it is an important transport hub for both the national railway and other institutions associated with road transport. Utrecht has the second highest number of cultural events in the Netherlands, after Amsterdam making it one of the most popular cities for students.