St. John's Church

Gouda, Netherlands

The Sint Janskerk (St. John's Church) is a large Gothic church, known especially for its stained glass windows, for which it has been placed on the UNESCO list of Dutch monuments.

The church is dedicated to John the Baptist, the patron saint of Gouda, and was built during the 15th and 16th centuries. In 1552 a large part of the church burned, including the archives. Most information of the early period is taken from the diaries of Ignatius Walvis. Around 1350 a tower was built (only the lower part remains). In 1485 the foundation was built for the present-day choir. This expansion made the church the longest in the Netherlands, with a length of 123 meters.

The stained glass windows were made and installed primarily by the brothers Dirk and Wouter Crabeth I, in the years 1555-1571, and after a short stop for the Protestant Reformation, until 1603. During the Reformation the church was spared, because the city fathers sided with the reigning king Philip II of Spain, rather than William the Silent, representing the Orange rebels. Later, after the orangists conquered the northern half of Holland, Gouda reverted to Orange in 1572. It was only during this period that the church was in danger, and three weeks later an angry mob stormed the church and plundered the contents, but fortunately left the windows intact. The church was closed, but many wealthy regents of the city attempted to have it reopened. In 1573 the Gouda council prohibited the practise of Roman Catholic religion and in the summer it was opened for the Protestant Dutch Reformed faith, which it still has today.

In 1934 the Van der Vorm chapel was added to house the 7 regulierenglazen from the monastery in the town of Stein in Limburg.

In 1939 the stained glass was removed in anticipation of war with Germany. Later during the war, in 1944, when 51,000 men were called for service from Schiedam and Rotterdam, about 2800 were marched to Gouda, where they spent the night in this church on November 10.

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Founded: 1485
Category: Religious sites in Netherlands

Rating

4.5/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Joël Harkes (2 years ago)
Home to protestant very and traditional church. From the outside the building looks like a catholic church, but the inside is quite sober.
Cor Vink (2 years ago)
Sint Janskerk at its best full in light and great atmosphere at the (3) Gospel Night Concerts
subramaniam ramasubramanian (3 years ago)
A very beautiful presented old church. You can take an audit walk tour with the entrance for 7eur and it talks about the history of the church but most importantly the stained glass artwork that you see. Most notable are the two largest stained glasses and a most impressive modern stained glass from 2012.
lyaly z (3 years ago)
The church is very large and beautiful with stained glass windows and bells sounds The most beautiful church in the Netherlands! amazing
Arie en/of Francina de Pater (3 years ago)
Most beautiful church of The Netherlands! Amazing 16th century stained windows with stories from the bible and national history.
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