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

Rating

4.3/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Axia Mariya (17 months ago)
A beautiful place which reminds us about the horrors of WWII. Was almost entirely restored after the war. Amazing sealing. A must see.
Phil Roberts (18 months ago)
Such a beautiful church, rebuilt after the war with a modern feel but with respect to its original look.
harry d (18 months ago)
Exciting organ concert in this beautifull old church in Rotterdam
Boping Zhang (2 years ago)
It's fantastic outside but not so impressive inside... It's probably a 5-10min tour. Don't miss their lovely garden in the back yard! Especially when the weather is nice, you can make very good pic there!
Francesca Heaps (2 years ago)
Beautiful cathedral type church with a lovely mix of old and modern from the reconstruction after the second world war. There is a lovely feature at the back that has displays on celebrations from various religions around the world. Well worth the €2 entry especially as that goes towards the upkeep of the church.
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