Medieval churches in Netherlands

Exmorra Church

The church of Exmorra is a small one-aisled church from the 13th century. In ca. 1300 the nave was lengthened and a tower was added. Of this tower, which collapsed in 1836, only the lower part remains. That same year the wooden tower and the western facade were built. Until the church was restored in 1963-1966 it was covered with a thick coat of plaster, underneath which many traces of its original Romanesque condition ha ...
Founded: 13th century | Location: Exmorra, Netherlands

Aldtsjerk Church

The Protestant church of Aldtsjerk or Saint Paul’s church was built in the mid-12th century. It represents the Romanesque style with a triple closed choir built out of brick covered with tuffstone. The tower dates from the 13th century and is like the church build out of brick covered with tuffstone. The church was once a Roman Catholic church dedicated to Saint Paul but became a Protestant church after the protesta ...
Founded: c. 1150 | Location: Aldtsjerk, 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

Goutum Church

On the north side of Saint Agnes church in Goutum remnants of the an older tufa church from the 11th century or 12th century can be seen. The church was enlarged and heightened with brick in the 15th century and has a tower from the same century. The church was originally a Roman Catholic church dedicated to Saint Agnes, becoming a Protestant church after the Protestant Reformation.
Founded: 12th century | Location: Goutum, 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

Swichum Church

The nave of Saint Nicholas Church in Swichum was built in the 13th century and the semicircular choir dates from the late 13th century; both are built out of red brick. The tower was built in the 14th century and the furniture in the church dates from the 19th century.
Founded: 13th century | Location: Swichum, Netherlands

Augustinusga Church

The Protestant church of Augustinusga or Saint Augustine’s church was built in the 15th century. The tower is older, dating from the 13th century, was built out of brick. The building was once a Roman Catholic church dedicated to Saint Augustine, becoming a Protestant church after the Protestant Reformation.
Founded: 15th century | Location: Augustinusga, Netherlands

Gytsjerk Church

Gytsjerk Saint Martin’s church is a late 12th century Romanesque church with a 19th-century facade. Over time the church was several times changed/converted but the North wall, South wall and choir show still beautiful signs of the Romanesque tuffstone church.
Founded: 12th century | Location: Gytsjerk, Netherlands

Oentsjerk Church

Saint Mary church i Oentsjerk was built c. 1230 out of red brick and has a tower from the 14th century. On the West gallery is a monumental Pipe organ, built in 1871 by P. van Oeckelen.
Founded: c. 1230 | Location: Oentsjerk, Netherlands

Easterlittens Church

The reformed church of Easterlittens was in catholic times known as St. Margaretha. The one-aisled nave was built in the 12th century, partly of tuff. The brick choir dates from the 13th century. In the 15th century the windows were enlarged and a sacristy was added to the north side. The south wall has a portal in manneristic style from 1655. The brick tower dates from 1854 and was designed by F. Stoett in a more or less ...
Founded: 12th century | Location: Easterlittens, 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

Featured Historic Landmarks, Sites & Buildings

Historic Site of the week

Glimmingehus

Glimmingehus is the best preserved medieval stronghold in Scandinavia. It was built 1499-1506, during an era when Scania formed a vital part of Denmark, and contains many defensive arrangements of the era, such as parapets, false doors and dead-end corridors, 'murder-holes' for pouring boiling pitch over the attackers, moats, drawbridges and various other forms of death traps to surprise trespassers and protect the nobles against peasant uprisings. The lower part of the castle's stone walls are 2.4 meters (94 inches) thick and the upper part 1.8 meters (71 inches).

Construction was started in 1499 by the Danish knight Jens Holgersen Ulfstand and stone-cutter-mason and architect Adam van Düren, a North German master who also worked on Lund Cathedral. Construction was completed in 1506.

Ulfstand was a councillor, nobleman and admiral serving under John I of Denmark and many objects have been uncovered during archeological excavations that demonstrate the extravagant lifestyle of the knight's family at Glimmingehus up until Ulfstand's death in 1523. Some of the most expensive objects for sale in Europe during this period, such as Venetian glass, painted glass from the Rhine district and Spanish ceramics have been found here. Evidence of the family's wealth can also be seen inside the stone fortress, where everyday comforts for the knight's family included hot air channels in the walls and bench seats in the window recesses. Although considered comfortable for its period, it has also been argued that Glimmingehus was an expression of "Knighthood nostalgia" and not considered opulent or progressive enough even to the knight's contemporaries and especially not to later generations of the Scanian nobility. Glimmingehus is thought to have served as a residential castle for only a few generations before being transformed into a storage facility for grain.

An order from Charles XI to the administrators of the Swedish dominion of Scania in 1676 to demolish the castle, in order to ensure that it would not fall into the hands of the Danish king during the Scanian War, could not be executed. A first attempt, in which 20 Scanian farmers were ordered to assist, proved unsuccessful. An additional force of 130 men were sent to Glimmingehus to execute the order in a second attempt. However, before they could carry out the order, a Danish-Dutch naval division arrived in Ystad, and the Swedes had to abandon the demolition attempts. Throughout the 18th century the castle was used as deposit for agricultural produce and in 1924 it was donated to the Swedish state. Today it is administered by the Swedish National Heritage Board.

On site there is a museum, medieval kitchen, shop and restaurant and coffee house. During summer time there are several guided tours daily. In local folklore, the castle is described as haunted by multiple ghosts and the tradition of storytelling inspired by the castle is continued in the summer events at the castle called "Strange stories and terrifying tales".