Medieval churches in 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

Hantumhuizen Church

Hantumhuizen Saint Anne"s church was built in the first half of the 13th century out of red brick in Romano-Gothic style. The tower dates from c. 1200 and the quintuple closed choir date from the 18th century. The Pipe organ was built in 1907 by Bakker & Timmenga.
Founded: c. 1200 | Location: Hantumhuizen, 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

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

Eastermar Church Ruins

The former Protestant church of Eastermar was demolished in 1868. Today only the medieval tower from the 13th century remains. The church is surrounded by a graveyard. Next to the tower stands a grave diggers building. The mechanical clockwork in the tower was made by the Gebr. van Bergen from Midwolda, Groningen in 1924.
Founded: 13th century | Location: Eastermar, Netherlands

Dearsum Church

Saint Nicholas church in Dearsum is a Romanesque church from c. 1200 with a 13th-century tower build out of red brick. In the 16th century four large windows where added to the south side. The Pipe organ was built in 1895 by the Gebroeders Ademaand was restored in 1916 and 1983 by Bakker & Timmenga.
Founded: 1200 | Location: Dearsum, 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

St. Walfridus Church

St. Walfridus kerk was founded ca. 1050. Bedum became a place of pilgrimage because of the graves of martyrs Walfridus and Radfridus. Two churches were built, originally in wood. Nothing remains of the chapel of Radfridus, and the St. Walfridus church did not survive in good state either due to a downturn in pilgrimages after the 16th century. In ca. 1050 work started on a three-aisled cruciform basilica in Romanesque st ...
Founded: c. 1050 | Location: Bedum, Netherlands

Broerekerk Ruins

The Broerekerk was built as part of a Franciscan monastery founded in 1270. The church was built in two phases, starting in 1281, and was probably completed in 1313, which makes it the oldest building in Bolsward. It"s a three-aisled pseudo-basilica in simple Gothic style. On the north side the gable of a pseudo-transept can just be seen. The facade is the richest part of the church, and is decorated with a climbing ...
Founded: 1281 | Location: Bolsward, Netherlands

Damwâld-Moarrewâld Church

The Protestant church of Damwâld-Moarrewâld is a Romanesque church built c. 1200 out of red brick with a straight closed choir dating from the early 16th century and a tower from the 13th century. The pipe organ was built in 1895 by Bakker & Timmenga.
Founded: 1200 | Location: Damwâld, Netherlands

Damwâld-Dantumawâld Church

The Protestant church of Damwâld-Dantumawâld was built in the 12th century out of Tuffstone. In 1775 the current triple closed choir was built, in it are two large Romanesque windows. The tower dates from the 13th century and is built out of brick. The Pipe organ was built in 1777 by Albertus Antoni Hinsz.
Founded: 12th century | Location: Damwâld, Netherlands

Featured Historic Landmarks, Sites & Buildings

Historic Site of the week

Castle Rushen

Castle Rushen is located in the Isle of Man"s historic capital, Castletown. The castle is amongst the best examples of medieval castles in the British Isles, and is still in use as a court house, museum and educational centre.

The exact date of castle is unknown, although construction is thought to have taken place during the reigns of the late 12th century and early 13th century rulers of the Isle of Man – the Kings of Mann and the Isles. The original Castle Rushen consisted of a central square stone tower, or keep. The site was also fortified to guard the entrance to the Silver Burn. From its early beginnings, the castle was continually developed by successive rulers of Mann between the 13th and 16th century. The limestone walls dominated much of the surrounding landscape, serving as a point of dominance for the various rulers of the Isle of Man. By 1313, the original keep had been reinforced with towers to the west and south. In the 14th century, an east tower, gatehouses, and curtain wall were added.

After several more changes of hands the English and their supporters eventually prevailed. The English king Edward I Longshanks claimed that the island had belonged to the Kings of England for generations and he was merely reasserting their rightful claim to the Isle of Man.

The 18th century saw the castle in steady decay. By the end of the century it was converted into a prison. Even though the castle was in continuous use as a prison, the decline continued until the turn of the 20th century, when it was restored under the oversight of the Lieutenant Governor, George Somerset, 3rd Baron Raglan. Following the restoration work, and the completion of the purpose-built Victoria Road Prison in 1891, the castle was transferred from the British Crown to the Isle of Man Government in 1929.

Today it is run as a museum by Manx National Heritage, depicting the history of the Kings and Lords of Mann. Most rooms are open to the public during the opening season (March to October), and all open rooms have signs telling their stories. The exhibitions include a working medieval kitchen where authentic period food is prepared on special occasions and re-enactments of various aspects of medieval life are held on a regular basis, with particular emphasis on educating the local children about their history. Archaeological finds made during excavations in the 1980s are displayed and used as learning tools for visitors.