Grote of Sint-Laurenskerk

Rotterdam, Netherlands

Grote of Sint-Laurenskerk is a Protestant church and only remnant of the medieval city of Rotterdam. The church was built between 1449 and 1525. In 1621 a wooden spire was added to the tower, designed by Hendrick de Keyser. Poor quality of its wood caused the spire to be demolished in 1645. A stone cube was added to the tower, which proved too heavy for the foundation in 1650. New piles were driven under the tower and in 1655 the tower stood straight again.

This church was the first all stone building in Rotterdam. Many important events took place here. The last priest of the Laurenkerk was Hubertus Duifhuis. The Reformation took place in 1572 and the Laurenskerk became a Protestant church. Ministers of the church include Laurens Johannes Jacobus van Oosterzee, Abraham Hellenbroek, Jan Scharp and J.R. Callenbach, who wrote a book about the history of the church a few years before the Rotterdam Blitz. The church is still used for worship of the Protestant Church.

In the Rotterdam Blitz on May 14, 1940 the Laurenskerk was heavily damaged. At first there were calls to demolish the church, but that was stopped by the Germans. The provisional National Monuments Commission had both supporters and opponents of restoration. In particular, committee member and architect J.J.P. Oud opposed rebuilding in 1950 and presented an alternative plan which would preserve only the tower. Next to the memorial a new, smaller church would be built. This alternative plan was rejected, particularly because restoration of the Laurenskerk was viewed as a symbol of the resilience of Rotterdam's community. In 1952, Queen Juliana of the Netherlands laid the foundation stone for the restoration, which was completed in 1968.

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Founded: 1449-1525
Category: Religious sites in Netherlands

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4.4/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Jim de Jong (15 months ago)
One of the many places to visit in Rotterdam. Make sure you check the openingtimes.
tamilew329 (21 months ago)
Rebuilt after the war, the church houses several organs and has towering columns and arched windows in its expansive interior. The bells chime over the haven and the tower can be seen from around the downtown.
Keaton Myburgh (22 months ago)
The history of this church is fascinating. Great to sit in silence and reflect for a couple of minutes!
Rudy Malais (23 months ago)
Beautiful interior. The only building left standing after the German bombing of Rotterdam during WWII. Completely repaired with new wooden roof/ceiling. You can clearly see the leaning tower on the west side of the structure. Well worth the visit.
Raymond Dimech (2 years ago)
The most famous, lively cathedral at the heart of Rotterdam. Activities are carried out throughout the year and it can be rented for special occasions. The architecture is of the period and the artistic stained glass and other artifacts are exquisite. A landmark not to be missed when visiting this beautiful city.
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