This is a Roman Catholic church and don't mix it up with the more famous (and way older) Martinikerk, previously described here :-)
Lots of catholic churches in The Netherlands are newer than their original ones. Those original ones (like the Martini church) were taken by the protestants in the 16th century.
This Martinus church was built in 1872 in neo-gothich style after the famous architect Piet Cuypers. The interior masonry is really nice, but the whole atmosphere is rather dark. There was a church tower planned also, but it was never built.
The belfry is separate from the church itself. In the old days, there was a separate entrance for the poor. One did not just enter the grand entrance on the north side, the poor had to enter via a modest wooden door on the south. Photo 3 was a bit difficult to make as I couldn't stand on anything. I wanted to show the lines in the stonework on the ground. They all point towards the choir, the main part of a catholic church. So that if you're outside, you would, as a good christian, always be reminded of a holy place.
The church itself has a history of falling apart. The west front fell down in 1681 and had to be rebuilt. Also, the foundations itself sunk, and so the church gives the impression of being lowered into the ground. Especially since the space around it is not very open, especially on the south side. It still looks very impressive!
It is common for a catholic church to have a church ship and a choir, as separate sections of the church building. In the Martini church these two sections are separated by the organ that was built in 1710. Because this is a protestant church, there was obviously a need to make changes in the interior. One now enters the church through the 'choir' instead of the main door. Probably these open on Sunday services.
Also inside you'll see the impression of a high gothic church. However, the protestants arranged the seatings so that they are around the pulpit, giving all the attention to what protestants find most important: the sermon.
The choir is now somewhat a reception area for visiting tourists. There is a organ there also and it is now used for evening services.
The sacristy room is in use as a space for the church wardens. It has been used so by the protestant church elders since 1580.
In the last photo I was attracted by the symmetry of the chandelier as seen from straight under.
You can visit the church for free and there are very kind volunteers that take the time to tell you about it. Our dog was very welcome! You can leave a small gift of money if you like, or buy some souvenirs like postcards, candles or CDs with organ music.
This town hall was first started in 1478 and enlarged in the two centuries following. A storey followed in 1763 and the front was made in roccoco style but they kept the baroque steps to the entrance, which was made by the Sneek sculptor Gerben Jelles Nauta.
The heraldry is of the Frisian stadtholder William IV and his wife princess Anna. The allegoric figures depict the magistry, wisdom, justice and continuity. Then again, allegories of the four seasons and justice, trade and prudence.
Inside there's more roccoco wood carvings, stucco and goldleather and a room in Biedermeier style.
Unfortunately I didn't make it inside but enjoyed the figures outside. It pays to look up and examine the buildngs. We often forget that. It was quite amusing!
It's a lively spot around the Waterpoort. With all sorts of traffic: cars, motorcycles, bicycles and boats. The bridge opens often and then everyone has to wait.
So did my dog, on the other side of the bridge while I was still at the Waterpoort. He saw me disappear behind the bridge that was opening and barked and yelped imploringly. He watched me appear again on the Waterpoort while we were waiting and was quiet ridiculously happy when I could cross over and be reunited!
The most distinctive monument of Sneek is of course its Waterpoort. It was first built in 1613, supposedly after the design of Thomas Berends (who I've never heard of, I may add :-).
I suppose some well meaning officials changed it in the 18th century, then even attempted to demolish it. But in 1877 it was restaured back to the 1613 situation.
The Waterpoort is since the symbol of Sneek.
The water gate is a trademerk of Sneek. 10 minutes by feet from the train station. The area around is nice.