UNESCO declares Utrecht a city of literature

The FIFA World Cup is almost upon us and alas there is no Dutch interest this time around. We could all support Belgium I suppose, but that would take rather a leap wouldn’t it? What else can we do?

Well what about this news, did it pass you by? UNESCO declares Utrecht a City of Literature. Wow, who would have thought? Is there more than the wonderful Nijntje coming out of the city? The answer of course is a great big yes! Maarten Maartens, Suster Bertken, Anna Maria van Schurman, Belle van Zuylen,  Ronald Giphart, Dick Bruna of course and many more

Already Utrecht has the fabulous film festival the best University, the biggest poetry festival and appropriately the oldest bookshop. All these things add to what Utrecht has to offer and make it a go to destination in Holland. It was only recently that CNN said that Utrecht was more popular than Amsterdam and we can see why!

I know from personal; experience that the diversity of Utrechts bookshops is incredible. From LGBT at Savannah Bay to Broese; from  De Wijze Kater to Steven Sterk.

The moniker UNESCO City of Literature is an achievement indeed and it is gratifying to see all the events being put on to celebrate it. I hope that it leads to further links with other UNESCO cities of Literature as it is not a one off, but a permanent accolade. I know that cities in England who have achieved the tag have gone on to promote great things and if you cannot build a legacy from the achievement it would say a lot about the city and those involved. Building on its award will be key and I can already see that it is going to be an achievement with a legacy.

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Jon Wilkins

Jon Wilkins is Welsh and lives in England. He is a writer. A Europhile and Remainer, he is a regular visitor to Utrecht and has set his crime novel series in the city.

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