Religious sites in 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

Twijzel Church

Saint Peter"s church in Twijzel was built in 1692 out of brick and has a triple closed choir. The church is built against the medieval tower that dates from the 13th century. On top of the tower it is a gable roof witch was placed in 1787. The Pipe organ was built in 1905 by Bakker & Timmenga from Leeuwarden.
Founded: 1692 | Location: Twijzel, 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

Hagios Demetrios

The Church of Saint Demetrius, or Hagios Demetrios, is the main sanctuary dedicated to Saint Demetrius, the patron saint of Thessaloniki. It is part of the site Palaeochristian and Byzantine Monuments of Thessaloniki on the list of World Heritage Sites by UNESCO since 1988.

The first church on the spot was constructed in the early 4th century AD, replacing a Roman bath. A century later, a prefect named Leontios replaced the small oratory with a larger, three-aisled basilica. Repeatedly gutted by fires, the church eventually was reconstructed as a five-aisled basilica in 629–634. This was the surviving form of the church much as it is today. The most important shrine in the city, it was probably larger than the local cathedral. The historic location of the latter is now unknown.

The church had an unusual shrine called the ciborium, a hexagonal, roofed structure at one side of the nave. It was made of or covered with silver. The structure had doors and inside was a couch or bed. Unusually, it did not hold any physical relics of the saint. The ciborium seems to have been a symbolic tomb. It was rebuilt at least once.

The basilica is famous for six extant mosaic panels, dated to the period between the latest reconstruction and the inauguration of the Byzantine Iconoclasm in 730. These mosaics depict St. Demetrius with officials responsible for the restoration of the church (called the founders, ktetors) and with children. An inscription below one of the images glorifies heaven for saving the people of Thessalonica from a pagan Slavic raid in 615.

Thessaloniki became part of the Ottoman Empire in 1430. About 60 years later, during the reign of Bayezid II, the church was converted into a mosque, known as the Kasımiye Camii after the local Ottoman mayor, Cezeri Kasım Pasha. The symbolic tomb however was kept open for Christian veneration. Other magnificent mosaics, recorded as covering the church interior, were lost either during the four centuries when it functioned as a mosque (1493–1912) or in the Great Thessaloniki Fire of 1917 that destroyed much of the city. It also destroyed the roof and upper walls of the church. Black-and-white photographs and good watercolour versions give an idea of the early Byzantine craftsmanship lost during the fire.

Following the Great Fire of 1917, it took decades to restore the church. Tombstones from the city"s Jewish cemetery - destroyed by the Greek and Nazi German authorities - were used as building materials in these restoration efforts in the 1940s. Archeological excavations conducted in the 1930s and 1940s revealed interesting artifacts that may be seen in a museum situated inside the church"s crypt. The excavations also uncovered the ruins of a Roman bath, where St. Demetrius was said to have been held prisoner and executed. A Roman well was also discovered. Scholars believe this is where soldiers dropped the body of St. Demetrius after his execution. After restoration, the church was reconsecrated in 1949.