A church is more than a building where religions are held by Christians. Churches have the central place in the center of a city or village. They are (mostly) buildings rich in history and art. Many church buildings are even monuments. It is therefore not foolish that many people visit churches when they visit a city. But what are the most impressive churches in the Netherlands? Here are 10 in a row.
10. Sint Stevenskerk (Nijmegen)
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At Sint Stevenerkhof on a small hill (the Hundisburg) in Nijmegen stands Sint Stevenskerk. This Reformed Church is also called the Great Church or Steven Church. The building was built from the 13th to the 16th century. In the Sint Stevenskerk is a famous Königsorgel and the grave monument of Catharina van Bourbon. You reach the church from the Grote Markt via a ‘Kerkboog’. Not only are church services held, but also events, markets and other activities. The most important of these is the concert held during the (walking) Vierdaagse festivities in the summer.
Top 10 Famous Dutch Churches
9. Great Church (Breda)
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The Orange Nassau commissioned the construction of the Great Church in Breda in the 15th century.For this reason the building has a royal appearance. The Great Church is also called the Our Lady Church. The church features the Prince Chapel, a mausoleum of the ancestors of the Dutch (Nassau-Dillenburg) Royal Family. Also, the church has a 97 meter high tower, which you can climb on some days. The Great Church is seen as an example of the Brabant Gothic, but in this respect it is in the shadow of St. John’s Cathedral in Den Bosch (number 8 of this list). The Great Church is often used for exhibitions, concerts, fairs and fashion shows. There is also a restaurant in the church.
8. St. John’s Cathedral (Den Bosch)
Public Service for Cultural Heritage
The highlight of the Brabant Gothic, this is how the St. John’s Cathedral of Den Bosch is described. The church was built from the 14th to the 16th century. It was not only on the inside but also on the outside richly decorated with ornaments, such as reliefs above the windows and double air bows with 96 airbow figures. Inside you will find a heavy copper font that is richly decorated, a pulpit with wood-carved scenes and a three-piece altar table with wood carvings of Christ’s Passion. The St. John’s Cathedral is in the top 100 of Dutch monuments of the National Service for the Monument Care.
7. St. Janskerk (Maastricht)
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Top 10 Famous Dutch Churches
The Protestant Saint Janskerk stands next to the Roman Catholic Saint Servaas at Maastricht’s Vrijthof.It is therefore sometimes called ‘church devotion’. Saint Janskerk is a Gothic church from the 14th / 15th century. It features a 79-meter tower with a marlstone crown and a spire. In the tower is a 15th century wooden bell with a 17th century clock. In the church is a 14th-century three-legged basil ship and a choir. Striking to St. John’s Church is that he has changed color over the centuries. Thus the church has been white and yellow. Now the church has a red color. In addition to church services, the church is also used for concerts, fairs and festivals, such as the religious festival Musica Sacra.
6. Sint-Bavokerk (Haarlem)
The Roman Catholic Saint Bavo Basilica is located on the Grote Markt in Haarlem. This is a neo-gothic, neoromanian, Roman Catholic church. The church was built from the late 19th century to the early 20th century. It was founded by Caspar Bottemanne and dedicated to the Holy Bavo, the patron saint of the city. In the basilica is a majestic church organ, the Willibrord organ, transferred from the Sint-Willibrord church in Amsterdam to this church. There is also a church chess in the Saint Bavo Basilica.This consists of a large collection of liturgical objects, including church silver and church wads.
5. Hooglandse Kerk (Leiden)
Erik Soft / wikicommons
In the heart of Leiden, where the Old and New Rhine coincide, the Highlands Church stands. It is a late Gothic crucifixion. This Protestant church dates back to the early 14th century. Then a small wooden chapel was placed, which was expanded at the end of the 14th century with the construction of a Chapel church. During the 16th century imagery, the church was severely destroyed. At that time, the Catholic Church changed into a Protestant church. Striking at the Highlands Church is the combination of a high choir with a lower tower. Further viewers include three unique church organs, a fragment of St. Peter’s altar and the richly decorated graveyard in the high choir. In the evening and night, this church lights up in the darkness.
4. New Church (Delft)
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The New Church in Delft is known for its high tower of 108.75 meters. This is the tallest church tower in the Netherlands after the Dom tower in Utrecht (the number 2 of this list). The New Church dates back to the end of the 14th century. A century later, the church was dedicated to Mary in need and Ursula.The church is severely damaged during the Delft city fire in 1536 and through the Delft’s thunder in 1654, but was then refurbished in good condition. In the New Church there are the well-known graveyard of the Royal House and the grave of Willem van Oranje. The 16 stained-in stained-glass windows in the choir are also worth a visit. You can visit this church throughout the week, except Sunday, as there is a service twice a day.
3. Martinikerk (Groningen)
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The Grand Canal in Groningen is the Martinikerk with a 96.8 meter high tower. This is called in the Groningen dialect ‘d’Olle Grieze’. That means: ‘The old gray’. The Martinikerk is a hall church, which largely dates back to the 15th century. In the church is one of the largest baroque orchards in the world, a choir organ and beautiful wall and vault paintings. Do you want to climb the Martinitores and enjoy a spectacular view of the city? Then you have to get a coin (from € 3, -) at the nearby VVV.
2. The Dom (Utrecht)
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The highest church tower in the Netherlands (and also the tallest building in Utrecht) is the Dom tower in Utrecht. To reach the top of this tower you have to climb 475 stairs. It is possible to see from the tower on a clear day Rotterdam in the distance. Above the tower are 14 loudspeakers, the largest clocks of the Netherlands, all with their own unique name. Salvator is the name of the largest clock and Adrianus one of the smallest. The Dom dates from the 13th century and is a Gothic Protestant church.The church was dedicated to St. Maarten. Not only the tower of The Dom is spectacular. The church itself is also worth a visit. Some of the most important sights are: a 13th-century mosaic floor, a sculpture by Rudolf van Diepholt, the Holy Sepulcher with a statue of Christ in the tomb, fragments of a Renaissance choir chair and the cross in the minded chapel.
1. Old Church (Amsterdam)
The oldest building in Amsterdam is the Old Church. The building dates back to the 2nd half of the 13th century. This medieval monument is located in the middle of the Wallen. It not only serves as a church but also as a museum. The Old Church is in the Top 100 of the Dutch National Monuments. The building style of the church is an example of Dutch Gothic. It has several spectacular church orchards, wooden cross ribs and many well-known Dutchmen buried from the past, including mayors of Amsterdam, explorers, painters and lawyers.