This beautiful statue, in front of the Jacobikerk (St James church) in Utrecht, commemorates Alyt Ponciaens, a 15th century hermit. She lived in a small cell inside the Jacobikerk, filling her days with prayer and contemplation.
Hermits like Alyt were common in Holland (and indeed in large parts of Europe) at the time, many cities had one or more, often female, hermits. They were locked in a small cell inside the church, and could follow the mass through a small window. They also got their food trough the window, and people flocked to the window for religious advise or blessings from their hermit. Hermits were held in high esteem, and many were very influential in the local church community.
The statue was created in 2012 by sculptors Amiran Djanashvili and Dick Aerts.