Medieval churches in Netherlands

Buitenpost Church

The Protestant church of Buitenpost is a late Gothic church with a quintuple closed choir was built in the late 15th century. The tower of the church is much older and dates from c. 1200 it was heightened in the 16th century and has a tented roof. The monumental pipe organ was built in 1877 by L. van Dam & Zn.
Founded: c. 1200 | Location: Buitenpost, Netherlands

St. Walburgis Church

The largest and oldest church of the Zutphen is the St. Walburgis (Saint Walpurga) church, which originally dates from the 11th century. The present Gothic building contains monuments of the former counts of Zutphen, a 14th-century candelabrum, an elaborate copper font (1527), and a monument to the Van Heeckeren family (1700). The chapter-house of library contains a pre-Reformation library which includes some valuable ma ...
Founded: 11th century | Location: Zutphen, Netherlands

Rolduc Abbey

Rolduc is the name of a medieval abbey in Kerkrade, which is now a Roman Catholic seminary and an affiliated conferencing center. In 1104, a young priest by the name of Ailbertus of Antoing founded an Augustinian abbey in the Land of Rode, near the river Wurm. The abbey was called Kloosterrade, which later became 's-Hertogenrade, after the ducal castle that was built across the Wurm. Ailbertus died in 1111 and his bones w ...
Founded: 1104 | Location: Kerkrade, Netherlands

Basilica of St. Plechelm

The basilica of St. Plechelm is a Roman Catholic church dedicated to the 8th-century Irish monk Saint Plechelm, whose festival on 15 July has been on the calendar of the medieval diocese of Utrecht ever since his canonisation in the 10th century. The oldest parts of the existing building date from the middle and the second half of the 12th century, but the history of the church goes back to the 8th century, when the trav ...
Founded: c. 1150 | Location: Oldenzaal, Netherlands

Thorn Abbey Church

Thorn Abbey Church is a Gothic church built mainly in the 14th century. The Benedictian abbey was originally founded in 975 by bishop Ansfried. The oldest parts in the western part date from c. 1150. The abbey was closed in 1797 and after that its church has server as a parish church. It was restored in 1860-1881 by Pierre Cuypers. There is a famous mummy located in the glass sarcophagus in the church crypt. The rich int ...
Founded: 1150 | Location: Thorn, Netherlands

Nicolaïkerk

The Nicolaïkerk is a Romano-Gothic hall church built in 1225. It was enlarged several times during the following centuries. The current bell tower dates from 1835. The church has a rare organs built in 1744 by Albertus Antoni Hinsz. There are also medieval frescoes in the walls, which were revealed in the 1950s.
Founded: 1225 | Location: Appingedam, Netherlands

Broederenkerk

Broederenkerk is a Roman Catholic church built between 1335-1338 to the site of earlier abbey. In the 16th century it was moved as a Reformed church by Calvinists, but returned to Catholic in 1799.
Founded: 1335-1338 | Location: Deventer, Netherlands

Bolsward Church

The Protestant church of Bolsward was renewed and enlarged between 1446 and 1461. The tower of the church was built in the 15th century and the gabled roof was added in the 17th century.
Founded: 1446-1461 | Location: Bolsward, Netherlands

Den Burg Church

The Reformed church of Den Burg was built around 1400 on the boulder foundations of a Romanesque church. During the uprising of the Georgians at the end of the Second World War, the church was severely damaged. The striking building was restored immediately after the war.
Founded: c. 1400 | Location: Den Burg, Netherlands

Martinikerk

The Martinikerk tower is the 8th highest in the Netherlands at 94 metres. The church was built in the 15th century, but in 1547 it was struck by lightning, heavily damaging church and tower. The tower was again damaged by French troops in 1672. It was once more struck by lightning in 1717 and in 1783 became the first building in the Netherlands to be protected from lightning by a lightning rod. It was restored 1919&ndash ...
Founded: 15th century | Location: Doesburg, Netherlands

St. Peter's Church

St. Peter's Church (Petruskerk) was originally a wooden church, which was burnt down in 1202. The stone church was built in the 13th century. It has been enlarged and several times like in 1492-1509. After the Reformation in 1572 all sculptures and altars were removed from church. During the French Invasion 1672 the church was badly damaged by fire.
Founded: 13th century | Location: Woerden, Netherlands

Munsterkerk

Munsterkerk, built in the 13th century, is the most important example of Late Romanesque architecture in the Netherlands. It was built as part of Cistercian Munster Abbey, a nunnery founded around 1218 by count Gerard III van Gelre. The oldest part of the church is a choir which was influenced by German cathedrals in Cologne, Speyer etc. The nave was probably built between 1220 and 1244. The church was restored by Pierre ...
Founded: c. 1220 | Location: Roermond, Netherlands

St. Andreas' Church

St. Andreas" Church (Grote of Andreaskerk) was originally built in 1225. The tower is the only part remaining of this church. The current church was built in the early 15th century. The Gothic nave was completed around 1425. The church has been restored and enlarged later. The pulpit was made in 1635. The font from the 13th century dates from the first church.
Founded: 1407-1425 | Location: Hattem, Netherlands

St. Peter's Church

At an impressive 80m, Saint Peter"s spire is the tallest church tower in the south of Limburg and it"s also called the Grote Kerk, or Big Church, by locals. This Gothic cruciform house of worship was built in 1292 and boasts a prominent peak and layered walls made of brick and marlstone. Despite some adversity in its past, including a fire set by French troops in 1677 and a lightning strike in 1857, the church i ...
Founded: 1292 | Location: Sittard, Netherlands

Bovenkerk

The Bovenkerk (also known as the Church of St. Nicholas) is a large Gothic church and the most striking element on the skyline of Kampen. The interior of the church contains an early-Renaissance choir screen, a stone pulpit and a monumental organ. The church has 1,250 seats. It is a Reformed church. The construction of the church took place in several phases. The 12th century Romanesque church was modified as Early Gothi ...
Founded: 12th century | Location: Kampen, Netherlands

St. Peter and Paul Church

The church of Saints Peter and Paul (Petrus en Pauluskerk) was built in 1217. The single-nave Romanesque church was rebuilt several times during the next three centuries. The organs date from 1562 and pulpit from 17th century. There are also several tombs from the 16th and 17th centuries in the church. Walls were decorated with murals in the late 15th century.
Founded: 1217 | Location: Loppersum, Netherlands

Ter Apel Monastery

Ter Apel Monastery is the only monastery in the larger area of Friesland and Groningen that survived the Reformation in a decent condition, and the only remaining rural monastery from the Middle Ages in the Netherlands. The convent buildings house a museum for monastery and church history and for religious art, as well as two contemporary art galleries. The former lay church of the monastery still functions as a reformed ...
Founded: 1464 | Location: Ter Apel, Netherlands

Westerkerk

Westerkerk was first time mentioned in 1311. The building of current three-aisled church began around 1470. The free-standing wooden bell tower from the was built after 1533 and is one of the few survived in Netherlands. The pulpit was built in 1566, organs in 1549 and choir in 1547. There are also tombs under the floor.
Founded: 1470 | Location: Enkhuizen, Netherlands

Zuiderkerk

Zuiderkerk is a two-aisled late Gothic church founded around 1423. It was mainly completed in 1458 and 75m high tower in 1524.
Founded: 1423 | Location: Enkhuizen, Netherlands

St. Martin's Church

Like many churches in Friesland, St. Martin"s Church was built on a terp, a heightened piece of land to protect whatever was on it from floods. Several churches had been standing on this spot before this one, although the terp had been at least two metres lower when the first church was built. The current church dates from the early 15th century and was named St. Martinus until the Reformation of 1580, when it was co ...
Founded: 15th century | Location: Dokkum, Netherlands

Featured Historic Landmarks, Sites & Buildings

Historic Site of the week

Hochosterwitz Castle

Hochosterwitz Castle is considered to be one of Austria's most impressive medieval castles. The rock castle is one of the state's landmarks and a major tourist attraction.

The site was first mentioned in an 860 deed issued by King Louis the German of East Francia, donating several of his properties in the former Principality of Carantania to the Archdiocese of Salzburg. In the 11th century Archbishop Gebhard of Salzburg ceded the castle to the Dukes of Carinthia from the noble House of Sponheim in return for their support during the Investiture Controversy. The Sponheim dukes bestowed the fiefdom upon the family of Osterwitz, who held the hereditary office of the cup-bearer in 1209.

In the 15th century, the last Carinthian cup-bearer, Georg of Osterwitz was captured in a Turkish invasion and died in 1476 in prison without leaving descendants. So after four centuries, on 30 May 1478, the possession of the castle reverted to Emperor Frederick III of Habsburg.

Over the next 30 years, the castle was badly damaged by numerous Turkish campaigns. On 5 October 1509, Emperor Maximilian I handed the castle as a pledge to Matthäus Lang von Wellenburg, then Bishop of Gurk. Bishop Lang undertook a substantial renovation project for the damaged castle.

About 1541, German king Ferdinand I of Habsburg bestowed Hochosterwitz upon the Carinthian governor Christof Khevenhüller. In 1571, Baron George Khevenhüller acquired the citadel by purchase. He fortified to deal with the threat of Turkish invasions of the region, building an armory and 14 gates between 1570 and 1586. Such massive fortification is considered unique in citadel construction.

Since the 16th century, no major changes have been made to Hochosterwitz. It has also remained in the possession of the Khevenhüller family as requested by the original builder, George Khevenhüller. A marble plaque dating from 1576 in the castle yard documents this request.

A specific feature is the access way to the castle passing through a total of 14 gates, which are particularly prominent owing to the castle's situation in the landscape. Tourists are allowed to walk the 620-metre long pathway through the gates up to the castle; each gate has a diagram of the defense mechanism used to seal that particular gate. The castle rooms hold a collection of prehistoric artifacts, paintings, weapons, and armor, including one set of armor 2.4 metres tall, once worn by Burghauptmann Schenk.