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Boekhandel Dominicanen (Polare Maastricht) was voted the most beautiful bookstore in the world in 2008 by the British newspaper The Guardian. Since then, it continues to appear every year as the reader’s favorite bookstore.The impressive book palace opened its Gothic doors in 2007 in the city of Maastricht, in the Netherlands. Its unique location was the site of a former Dominican church, established in 1294.
To complement the renewed vaulted ceilings, decorative frescoes, and ornate arches, the architects chose black steel for all of the shelves and furniture. A separate two-story building, with spectacular views of the church, was built to accommodate the large collection of books.
There is a chic café located in the Apse, highlighted by a huge table in the shape of a cross, where customers can read a magazine, books or daily newspapers. Lists of new arrivals are announced by signs hanging from the tall stone columns throughout the bookstore. One of the most successful decorative elements, according those that have been inside the bookstore is the lighting, which resembles a candle-lit interior.
The Polare group of bookstores, which organizes literary activities such as interviews with writers, book signings, and lectures, currently operates Boekhandel Dominicanen. Those who haven’t had the privilege of visiting this Maastricht landmark can shop online at the bookstore’s website. But the real treat is visiting the old church bookstore and wandering around in this timeless space. For many, leafing through those wonderful objects called books, is still the ultimate luxury. ■
Frequently Asked Questions:
Q. What hotels are near the Polare Maastricht Bookstore?
A. (0.50 mi) The Dutch, (0.28 mi) Kruisherenhotel Maastricht, (0.11 mi) Urban Residences Maastricht, (0.47 mi) Beaumont Maastricht, (0.39 mi) The Student Hotel Maastricht
Q. What restaurants are near the Polare Maastricht Bookstore?
A. (0.07 mi) SoupBros., (0.09 mi) TiramiSu, (0.11 mi) Restaurant 55, (0.08 mi) Vers., (0.12 mi) Livin’ Room
Q. What attractions are near the Polare Maastricht Bookstore?
A. (0.01 mi) Boekhandel Dominicanen, (0.22 mi) Onze Lieve Vrouw Sterre der Zee Basiliek, (0.18 mi) Basilica of St. Servatius, (0.07 mi) Vrijthof, (0.37 mi) Helpoort
Q. Where is the Polare Maastricht Bookstore located?
A. Dominicanerkerkstraat 1, 6211 CZ Maastricht, Netherlands
Q. What are the operating hours of the Polare Maastricht Bookstore?
A. Monday 10AM–6PM, Tuesday 9AM–6PM, Wednesday 9AM–6PM, Thursday 9AM–9PM, Friday 9AM–6PM, Saturday 9AM–6PM, Sunday 12–6PM