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Utrecht (// YOO-trekt, Dutch: [ˈytrɛxt] ⓘ, Utrecht dialect: Utreg [ˈytʁɛχ]) is the fourth-largest city of the Netherlands, as well as the capital and the most populous city of the province of Utrecht. The municipality of Utrecht is located in the eastern part of the Randstad conurbation, in the very centre of mainland Netherlands, and includes Haarzuilens, Vleuten en De Meern. It has a population of 361,699 as of December 2021[update].
Domstad (Cathedral City)
|• Body||Municipal council|
|• Mayor||Sharon Dijksma (PvdA)|
|• Municipality||99.21 km2 (38.31 sq mi)|
|• Land||93.83 km2 (36.23 sq mi)|
|• Water||5.38 km2 (2.08 sq mi)|
|• Randstad||3,043 km2 (1,175 sq mi)|
|Elevation||5 m (16 ft)|
|• Density||3,646/km2 (9,440/sq mi)|
|Time zone||UTC+1 (CET)|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC+2 (CEST)|
|Click on the map for a fullscreen view|
Utrecht's ancient city centre features many buildings and structures, several dating as far back as the High Middle Ages. It has been the religious centre of the Netherlands since the 8th century. In 1579, the Union of Utrecht was signed in the city to lay the foundations for the Dutch Republic. Utrecht was the most important city in the Netherlands until the Dutch Golden Age, when it was surpassed by Amsterdam as the country's cultural centre and most populous city.
Utrecht is home to Utrecht University, the largest university in the Netherlands, as well as several other institutions of higher education. Due to its central position within the country, it is an important hub for both rail and road transport; it has the busiest train station in the Netherlands, Utrecht Centraal. It has the second-highest number of cultural events in the Netherlands, after Amsterdam. In 2012, Lonely Planet included Utrecht in the top 10 of the world's unsung places.