Religious sites in 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 1919–193 ...
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

Grote Kerk

The Grote Kerk in De Rijp is known for its 17th-century stained-glass windows. The church was built in 1529 but burned in 1654 during the fire in January of that year. It was rebuilt in 1654-1655. The windows date from this period and were gifts to the community from various cities in North Holland that surround the town. The clock tower was added in 1661 and contains two bells by Antoni Wilkes made in 1663. A ship's mode ...
Founded: 1654-1655 | Location: De Rijp, Netherlands

Oudenbosch Basilica

The Oudenbosch Basilica is a Roman Catholic basilica built under the initiative of father Willem Hellemons who was parish priest between 1842 and 1884. Its nave and interior were modeled after St. Peter"s Basilica in Rome; while the facade is a replica of the Basilica of St. John Lateran also in Rome. The Basilica was designed by architect Dr. P. Cuypers. Construction began in 1865 but was not fully completed until 1 ...
Founded: 1865-1892 | Location: Oudenbosch, 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. Boniface Church

The Gothic revival Saint Boniface church was designed by Pierre Cuypers and built between 1882 and 1884. In the Church dedicated toSaint Boniface is a pipe organ built by the French organ builder Aristide Cavaillé-Coll. The organ was originally built for the Saint Willibrord College in Katwijk.
Founded: 1882-1884 | Location: Leeuwarden, 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

Oostkerk

The Oostkerk was designed by Bartholomeus Drijfhout and Pieter Post and was built between 1648 and 1667. After Drijfhout died in 1651, the building was continued under the Leiden architect Arent van 's Gravezande, who had just completed the Marekerk in Leiden. The white organ was built by Gebr. de Rijckere from Kortrijk in 1782. Two stained glass windows from 1664 still exist in the church, and the klokkenstoel contains a ...
Founded: 1648-1667 | Location: Middelburg, Netherlands

Cunerakerk

During the Middle Ages Cunerakerk was an important pilgrimage site. The church has stored the relics of the Saint Cunera since the 8th century. The first church on site was dedicated to Petrus (before 11th century). In the 11th century the church was dedicated to Saint Cunera. A legend tells about her stay at the court of king Radboud in Rhenen. The church was built and enlarged in the 15th century. The tower was built fr ...
Founded: 15th century | Location: Rhenen, Netherlands

Grou Church

Saint Peter"s church in Grou was built in the first half of the 13th century out of tuffstone. Already in the 13th century the church was heightened. In the 15th century the church was lengthened to the west and heightened for the second time with brick. The current tower dates from the early 15th century. The monumental Pipe organ was built in 1853 by L. van Dam & Zn. from Leeuwarden.
Founded: 13th century | Location: Grou, Netherlands

Dorpskerk

The Dorpskerk of Ouddorp is completed in 1348 and situated in the towns centre. The tower is completed in 1508. Originally it was a Roman Catholic church. During the Reformation it became a Protestant church.
Founded: 1348 | Location: Ouddorp, Netherlands

Grote Kerk

The Grote Kerk of Harderwijk is a gothic cross-basilica, dating from the 14th and 15th century. Around 1435 work started on building a tower for the new church, which took five years to finish. In 1560 and 1561, when the roof was repaired, Ewolt van Delft painted the vaults. His paintings concern unique biblical tales. In 1578, Reformation took place in Harderwijk, and from that moment on the church has only been used for ...
Founded: 14th century | Location: Harderwijk, Netherlands

Featured Historic Landmarks, Sites & Buildings

Historic Site of the week

Derbent Fortress

Derbent is the southernmost city in Russia, occupying the narrow gateway between the Caspian Sea and the Caucasus Mountains connecting the Eurasian steppes to the north and the Iranian Plateau to the south. Derbent claims to be the oldest city in Russia with historical documentation dating to the 8th century BCE. Due to its strategic location, over the course of history, the city changed ownership many times, particularly among the Persian, Arab, Mongol, Timurid, Shirvan and Iranian kingdoms.

Derbent has archaeological structures over 5,000 years old. As a result of this geographic peculiarity, the city developed between two walls, stretching from the mountains to the sea. These fortifications were continuously employed for a millennium and a half, longer than any other extant fortress in the world.

A traditionally and historically Iranian city, the first intensive settlement in the Derbent area dates from the 8th century BC. The site was intermittently controlled by the Persian monarchs, starting from the 6th century BC. Until the 4th century AD, it was part of Caucasian Albania which was a satrap of the Achaemenid Persian Empire. In the 5th century Derbent functioned as a border fortress and the seat of Sassanid Persians. Because of its strategic position on the northern branch of the Silk Route, the fortress was contested by the Khazars in the course of the Khazar-Arab Wars. In 654, Derbent was captured by the Arabs.

The Sassanid fortress does not exist any more, as the famous Derbent fortress as it stands today was built from the 12th century onward. Derbent became a strong military outpost and harbour of the Sassanid empire. During the 5th and 6th centuries, Derbent also became an important center for spreading the Christian faith in the Caucasus.

The site continued to be of great strategic importance until the 19th century. Today the fortifications consist of two parallel defence walls and Naryn-Kala Citadel. The walls are 3.6km long, stretching from the sea up to the mountains. They were built from stone and had 73 defence towers. 9 out of the 14 original gates remain.

In Naryn-Kala Citadel most of the old buildings, including a palace and a church, are now in ruins. It also holds baths and one of the oldest mosques in the former USSR.

In 2003, UNESCO included the old part of Derbent with traditional buildings in the World Heritage List.