Medieval churches in Netherlands

Valkhof

The Valkhof is on a hill overlooking the river. It is the site of a former Charlemagne fortification and the surviving Carolingian elements are quite modest. There are two buildings with a Carolingian element. The first is an octogon chapel built in the style of Aachen in the 8th or 9th century. The initial building was constructed about 1000 and rebuilt about 1400. It used material from Charlemagne"s fortification a ...
Founded: c. 1000 AD | Location: Nijmegen, Netherlands

St. John's Church

Saint John’s Church is a Romanesque basilica was founded shortly after 1040 by Bishop Bernold and dedicated to John the Baptist. It was in the Middle Ages one of five collegiate churches of the city. Saint John’s Church was originally largely identical to the St Peter’s Church and the defunct church of Paul Abbey.
Founded: c. 1040 | Location: Utrecht, Netherlands

St. Eusebius' Church

St. Eusebius church is named after the 4th-century saint Eusebius, Bishop of Vercelli. On the site of the present building initially stood a church dedicated to St. Martinus but after some relics of St. Eusebius arrived in the town during the early part of the 15th century, it was decided to build a new church dedicated to the saint at the old site. This new structure gradually replaced the old building over the next cent ...
Founded: 1450 | Location: Arnhem, Netherlands

St. Michael's Church

St. Michael"s Church in Zwolle was first time mentioned in 765 AD and the Romanesque church was erected around 1200. The current three-aisled church was erected between 1406-1466. The massive tower collapsed in 1682. The church contains a richly carved pulpit, the work of Adam Straes van Weilborch (about 1620), some good carving and an exquisite organ (1721).
Founded: 1406-1466 | Location: Zwolle, Netherlands

Grote Kerk

The medieval Grote Kerk originates from the 11th century. It is a church in the Brabantine Gothic style with an unfinished tower and is the second oldest church in the city. The oldest part of the current church, St. Mary"s chapel, dates from 1285. The current church was built mainly between 1367 and 1504. The interior represents Renaissance style and dates from 1538-1541. The choir was built in 1744 and overwhelming ...
Founded: 1285 | Location: Dordrecht, Netherlands

St. Stephen's Church

St. Stephen"s Church dates probably from the 7th century AD, when bishop Kunibert of Cologne lead the campaign of spreading Christianity. It was enlarged and restored severaltimes during centuries, but the current exterior dates mainly from the 16th century. It was badly damaged in the Second World War but restored in 1969.
Founded: 16th century | Location: Nijmegen, Netherlands

Middelburg Abbey Church

The Premonstratensian abbey in Middelburg was founded in 1127. Most of the buildings were destroyed by fire in 1492 and 1568. Today there are two adjacent churches, Koorkerk and Nieuwe Kerk. The Nieuwe Kerk dates from the 16th century, with the nearby Koorkerk abbey church dating from the 14th century. The octagonal tower, known as Lange Jan (Tall John), also originally dating from the 14th century but unfortunately has b ...
Founded: 1127 | Location: Middelburg, Netherlands

Grote Kerk

The Grote Kerk was built between 1470–1498 by Anthonius Keldermans. It is dedicated to St Lawrence contains the tomb of Floris V, Count of Holland (d. 1296), a brass of 1546, and some paintings (1507). The mechanical clock has 27 bells by Melchior de Haze (1600s), and 8 modern bells. The tower bell was made by Jan Moer in 1525, with a diameter or 130 cm. The two organs are world-famous. The smaller one, called the ...
Founded: 1470-1498 | Location: Alkmaar, Netherlands

Lebuïnuskerk

The Great Church or St. Lebuinus Church is a Gothic hall church, built between 1450 and 1525. Originally consecrated to the English missionary Lebuinus, it was one of the most distinguished churches of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Utrecht. In 1580 the temple was taken by the Calvinists, who completely eliminated the interior decoration and renamed it the Great Church. Nowadays the temple belongs to the Protestant Chu ...
Founded: 1450-1525 | Location: Deventer, Netherlands

St. Nicholas Church

The Mountain Church or Saint Nicholas Church is a Romanesque basilica built between 1198 and 1209 and consecrated to Saint Nicholas. In the 15th century the Mountain Church underwent several renovations, which gave it a more late Gothic appearance. The two characteristic tower spires are built in that period. The lower part is still original. In 1580 the Dutch Reformed Church took the temple and renamed it the Mountain Ch ...
Founded: 1198-1209 | Location: Deventer, Netherlands

St. James' Church

The Jacobikerk is named after its patron saint St. James the Greater. The church is one of the medieval parish churches of Utrecht, along with the Buurkerk, the Nicolaïkerk and the Geertekerk. Today it is known as the starting place for Dutch pilgrims on their way to Santiago de Compostella along the Way of St. James. The current gothic church dates from the end of the 13th century, but was expanded in the 14th and 15th ...
Founded: 13th century | Location: Utrecht, Netherlands

Kloosterkerk

The Kloosterkerk (or Cloister Church) was originally a monastery first built for the Dominicans in The Hague in 1397. A thriving new center of arts was established in The Hague by the Court of Albrecht of Bavaria (1336–1404) and his second wife Margaret of Cleves. Some known artistic products to have been produced in this period are an important illuminated manuscript, the Hours of Margaret of Cleves commissioned be ...
Founded: 1397 | Location: Hague, Netherlands

Martinuskerk

The first written reference to St. Martin"s church in Weert dates from 1056. The current building originates from 1456. The construction of tower was started in 1528, but was completed much more later. The church was restored and altered in 1906 by architect Pierre Cuypers.
Founded: 1456 | Location: Weert, Netherlands

Onze Lieve Vrouwetoren

The Onze-Lieve-Vrouwetoren ("The Tower of Our Lady") is a Late Gothic church tower which is 98.33 metres tall and reaches high above the inner city. It"s one of the most eye-catching monuments in town and the third highest church tower in the Netherlands. The church that belonged to the tower was destroyed by a gunpowder explosion in the 18th century. The first chapel on site was constructed on this site i ...
Founded: 1444 | Location: Amersfoort, Netherlands

St. Gertrude's Church

St. Gertrude"s Church is he smallest and newest medieval parish church dedicated to the saint Gertrudis van Nijvel. It was built between 1248-1259. The choir and transept were added a century later and the tower around 1400.
Founded: 1248-1259 | Location: Utrecht, Netherlands

Gertrudiskerk

According the legend, the Gertrudiskerk was founded the church in 654 by Saint Gertrude of Nivelles, abbess of the abbey in Nivelles. The older part of the church consisting of the towers, dates to around 1370. These were later incorporated in probably the 14th and 15th century when changes were made to the church. The current church building, completed in 1477 was designed by Evert Spoorwater. He devised a new chancel wi ...
Founded: c. 1370 | Location: Bergen op Zoom, Netherlands

St. Christopher's Cathedral

In 1410 St.Christopher's church was moved to the market square, inside the new town wall. The church was badly damated during the Second World War. The tower was one day before the liberation blown up by the Germans and rebuilt after the war in modified form. On 13 April 1992 caused an earthquake in Roermond for significant damage. On top is a huge statue of St. Christopher watching over Roermond. Today the cathedral is ...
Founded: 1410 | Location: Roermond, Netherlands

Grote of Jacobijnerkerk

Grote of Jacobijnerkerk is the largest medieval church in Leeuwarden, built between 1275-1310. It was originally part of the Dominican abbey. It was badly damaged by fire in 1392. The large southern hall was added in the late 15th century and the nave enlarged in the early 16th century. The organs were made by famous Christian Müller in 1727.
Founded: 1275-1310 | Location: Leeuwarden, Netherlands

Maria Magdalenakerk

The Grote (Great) or Maria Magdalenakerk is a late-Gothic cruciform basilica replaced an earlier church built in the 12th century which probably stood at the location of the nave of the current church. In the 15th century, when Goes transformed from a village into a town, the church was extended to the east. Between 1455 and 1470 the choir was rebuilt. Originally a hall-choir seems to have been intended, consisting of thr ...
Founded: 15th century | Location: Goes, Netherlands

Great Church

The Great Church (Grote Kerk) dates from the 15th century. Prior to the Protestant Reformation it was named for St. Vitus. It survived the Spanish invasion of 1572 and the subsequent burning of the town. The church has numerous wooden vaults that are painted with scenes from the Old and New Testaments. These were hidden for many years and were only rediscovered in a recent restoration. The church is the venue for a number ...
Founded: 15th century | Location: Naarden, Netherlands

Featured Historic Landmarks, Sites & Buildings

Historic Site of the week

Het Steen

Het Steen is a medieval fortress in the old city centre of Antwerp. Built after the Viking incursions in the early Middle Ages as the first stone fortress of Antwerp, Het Steen is Antwerp's oldest building and used to be its oldest urban centre.

Previously known as Antwerpen Burcht (fortress), Het Steen gained its current name in around 1520, after significant rebuilding under Charles V. The fortress made it possible to control the access to the Scheldt, the river on whose bank it stands. It was used as a prison between 1303 and 1827. The largest part of the fortress, including dozens of historic houses and the oldest church of the city, was demolished in the 19th century when the quays were straightened to stop the silting up of the Scheldt. The remaining building, heavily changed, contains a shipping museum, with some old canal barges displayed on the quay outside.

In 1890 Het Steen became the museum of archeology and in 1952 an annex was added to house the museum of Antwerp maritime history, which in 2011 moved to the nearby Museum Aan de Stroom. Here you’ll also find a war memorial to the Canadian soldiers in WWII.

There are some beautiful plaques on the back side of the Steen Castle at Antwerp. Canadian visitors will especially want to see the plaques thanking the Royal Hamilton Light Infantry for their part in the liberation of Antwerp, in 1944.

At the entrance to Het Steen is a bas-relief of Semini, above the archway, around 2nd century. Semini is the Scandinavian God of youth and fertility (with symbolic phallus). A historical plaque near Het Steen explains that women of the town appealed to Semini when they desired children; the god was reviled by later religious clergy. Inhabitants of Antwerp previously referred to themselves as 'children of Semini'.

At the entrance bridge to the castle is a statue of a giant and two humans. It depicts the giant Lange Wapper who used to terrorise the inhabitants of the city in medieval times.