Maastricht, Netherlands Dominikanen Kerk

Between the Vrijthof and the market in Maastricht there is one of the most beautiful bookstores in the Netherlands - in a former Dominican church.

It has been about 14 years since a bookstore was established in the Gothic church. However, for the past two hundred years the church has not been used for religious services. The church building finally was used as Fietsenstalling, a guarded bicycle garage with a repair workshop. Boxing fights and automobile shows have also taken place here. Even carnival sessions have been held in the church building.

The fact that the Dominicanen bookshop is one of the most beautiful bookshops in the world not only has to do with the impressive architecture of the Dominican monastery church from the 13th century but also with the outstanding presentation of around 55,000 books. In the longitudinal axis of the church there is a huge steel construction with two floors full of books. Thanks to the unusual combination of old and modern architecture, the bookshop is a magnet even for people who do not read books in Dutch. In the former priest's choir, there is also a café where regular lectures and discussions are held.

In mid-2018, a new basement in the left aisle was added to the bookshop. The new floor integrates inconspicuously into the existing architecture and offers sufficient space for the Dominicanen bookshop's music department, which currently comprises over 9,000 CDs and 900 LPs, and also provides visitors with new insights. It is located exactly between the other two floors on the opposite side. So you can see the building in a completely different way.

The new basement and the columns of the left aisle are illuminated by pendant luminaires from Lightnet's Ringo Star series. Thanks to the opal diffuser made of satinised acrylic glass, they ensure perfect, uniform illumination of the floor. The Ringo Star luminaires are additionally equipped with movable, dimmable spotlights from the Midpoint series.

During the modification in June 2018, 80 Matric surface-mounted luminaires were integrated into the bookshelf and the church ship was fitted with a tailor-made Liquid Line luminaire.

Photography: Serge Technau (
Light planning: Greaselighting