Utrecht (Dutch pron. nearly Ee'trehht; Oude trecht, 'old ford;' Lat. Trajectum ad Rhenum), the capital of a province of the Netherlands, on the 'Old' Rhine (q.v.), 23 miles SSE. of Am-sterdam and 38 ENE. of Rotterdam. The walls were levelled in 1830, and formed into shady promenades, the present fortifications consisting of strong forts. St Martin's Cathedral, founded by St Willibrord about 720, and rebuilt in 1251-67, had its nave destroyed by a hurricane in 1674, so that the choir and the tower (321 feet high) now stand separate. The famous university, founded in 1634, numbers over 1000 students, and has a library of 260,000 volumes. Other edifices are the 14th-century Roman Catholic Cathedral, the town-hall (1830), the 'Pope's House' (built by Adrian VI., who was born here in 1459), the palace (in 1807) of Louis Bonaparte, etc. Utrecht since 1723 has been the headquarters of the Jansenists. The manufactures include tobacco and cigars, woollen fabrics and carpets, salt, furniture, chemicals, machinery, etc. Pop. of the town (1869) 59,299; (1901)106,800. Here was formed the famed union of the northern provinces for the defence of political and religious freedom in 1579; and at Utrecht nine distinct treaties were concluded in 1713, which brought to a close the war of the Spanish succession.


Utrecht, capital of a district in Natal, transferred in 1902 from the Transvaal, 30 miles NE. of Newcastle. Pop. 4000.