Dutch church bookstore is a temple to the printed word
October 1, 2013 | 2:59 pm
One of the newest recruits to the global shortlist of world’s most striking/awe-inspiring bookstores must be Waanders In de Broeren in the historic city of Zwolle in the Netherlands, which recently relocated to the Broerenkerk, a former Dominican monastery dating from 1466. Deconsecrated since 1983, the church has retained its monumental character, and has now been completely converted as a bookshop.
As well as stained-glass windows and grand arches, other survivals of the building’s ecclesiastical past include its huge organ. One of the most remarkable things about the whole project is how well the church interior seems to suit a bookstore – perhaps there really is something to the old cliche of temples to literature. On the more secular side, though, the bookstore has a fully licensed restaurant and bar – another lesson bookshops elsewhere could learn from.