The Kloosterkerk (or Cloister Church) was originally a monastery first built for the Dominicans in The Hague in 1397. A thriving new center of arts was established in The Hague by the Court of Albrecht of Bavaria (1336–1404) and his second wife Margaret of Cleves. Some known artistic products to have been produced in this period are an important illuminated manuscript, the Hours of Margaret of Cleves commissioned between 1395-1400, and the visually similar Biblia pauperum.

In 1420 a fire raged through the monastery, but serious renovations are not recorded until the church's southern transept was added in the beginning of the 16th century. The church was expanded around 1540 with an enlarged aisle and side chapels. The center barrel vaulted aisle is 20 meters high and 11.5 meters wide. The worship space became a pilgrimage church, where people could visit and pass through, while services were being held in the central aisle or nave. At this time the church was also dedicated to St. Vincent, a Valencian Dominican missionary who was canonized in 1455.

The church was stripped of Catholic decorations during the beeldenstorm (iconoclasm of 1566). A number of monks lived on for a few more years, but in 1574 the last few monks left. After being abandoned for 12 years, the church had deteriorated and some suggested to tear it down. In 1588 a cavalry company seeking shelter settled in the former church. The following year the church and choir were made into a cannon foundry for the States of Holland and West Friesland. The choir was used as a foundry and the church served as a munition store with the two walled off from each other. On November 3, 1690, the ammunition stored in the church exploded leaving only one wall of the monastery remaining. The monastery then temporarily served as a hospital. In 1583 most of the monastery was demolished, though the church remained.

A part of the building became a church again in 1617 after remonstrants had successfully 'squatted' it. In 1620 a mechanical clock was added to the tower, made by Huyck Hopcoper. For the centuries to follow the church was used for Dutch reformist worship with the pulpit standing against the north wall. Throughout the 17th century, the burial of people in the church brought money and numerous hatchments. Most walls and columns were covered with hatchments, with the graves predominantly in the choir.

Rosettes in the ceiling are attributed to Gerhard Jansen (1868–1956). Other furnishings include a pulpit of oak with Flemish carvings, circa 1700. Carvings on the pulpit show the Four Evangelists. Stained glass windows throughout the church are attributed to Lou Asperslagh (1893–1949). The first liturgical service of the Dutch Reformed Church was held in the Kloosterkerk in 1911 and an impending demolition avoided in 1912. For the next two years the dilapidated church building was restored. Subsequent improvements include restoration of furniture brought from the former Duinoord Kloosterkerk; and the wall between the nave and choir was removed. In 1966 an organ by Danish organ builder Marcussen was installed.

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Founded: 1397
Category: Religious sites in Netherlands

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4.1/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

tamilew329 (2 years ago)
The Kloosterkerk is one of the emblematic buildings in The Hague and is a must see. This church is a protestant community that worships here each Sunday. The community is also involved in artistic initiatives, periodically offering photo and art exhibitions. They also hold choir and organ concerts. The multi-church mid week service takes place here every first and third Wednesday at 12:45. Music is played by church musicians or other invitees during the lunch pause moment. The church is open to the public on Monumenten Dag and they offer interesting activities such as learning Gregorian chant techniques. Worth a visit even if only to admire the vaulted ceiling and the stained glass windows with the twelve apostles.
徐慧民 (2 years ago)
很有質感的教堂
Henk sjoel liefhebber. V/d Broek (2 years ago)
weet niet zo veel over de klooster kerk.
Pepe Zahoul (3 years ago)
Vincent Van Gogh´s parents get married at this church on May 21, 1851
Aaron Ciuffo (4 years ago)
Beautiful old building with a friendly congregation. Make sure to check the calendar for Sunday services with live music.
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