The "Onze Lieve Vrovwe Kerk", located next to the Grote Markt, is a very beautiful building (from outside and inside) and really woth a visit, no matter if you're a religious person or not. There was also a kind of exhibition in there by the way. However I don't know if it's only temporary or if it's always there.
The entrance fee is 1.50 Euro for a group of 10 people.
Grote Onze Lieve Vrouwekerk Breda. nice big church. the tower has been destroyed several times and some statues has been damaged by "beeldenstorm" that was when the people didnot had any money or food but they had to go to the church and give money. so they were angry.
open from monday - saturday 10.00 - 17.00
sunday 13.00 - 17.00.
some times it is closed for events like a wedding on friday 14.00 - 16.00.
entrance is €1.75 only church (no tower)
tours and walking into the tower on appointment +31 (0)76-5218267
the v v v has walkingtours through breda also this church. so groups can call vvv breda 0900-5222444.
some history of the church from a flyer.
1269 first mention of a stone church in Breda in a charter of Elisabeth van Breda and Arnoud van Leuven, Lord of Breda at that time.
1457 Collapse of the tower.
1468-1509 Building of the new tower.
1694 the tower is struck by lightning and the wooden pinnacle is destroyed by fire. the heavy bells fall down reducing the tower to ä hollow shaft".
1702 the spire is rebuilt and gets present shape.
the flyer you can get inside the church there is much more info on who died, restoration and more
The church was built in 1410 and it is said that the church is one of the prettiest examples of Brabantine Gothic style.
Today, it is mostly used for cultural events. Inside the church are among other things the tombs of various rich and important people, including several Polanens and Nassaus, ancestors of the current royal family.
Onze Lieve Vrouwekerk - or as everybody calls it - Grote Kerk is the main church and the main sight of Breda. It's absolutely gorgeous, with its white colour and the fancy gothic tower! As we were hungry we didn't go inside (plus I don't pay for churches! Although this one had an exhibition inside so that's something else!!) but I liked the views from the outside. And lit up at night it looked very very nice as well!!
Peaking out over everything else is the wonderful Gothic tower of the "Onze Lieve Vrouwe" (Our dear Lady) or simply "Grote" (Great or Big) church. The fine works in and around the church can make you look for hours and hours, every time again discovering new details and decorations.
the church has two names: grote kerk (big church) used by the protestant and "onze lieve vrouwekerk"(our lady church) used by the catholic. They start to build the church in 1400, in 1300 a small church was at the same place.
The tower of this church collapsed during a storm. In 1468 they started to build the second tower which had taken 40 years. Shortly afterwards the steeple of the tower burned down again. For the design of the tower is 97 meters and 70 centimetres high, one of the highest church towers in the Netherlands, in earlier times ,a tower of a church had different functions, namely e.g. containing the carillon.
Except for containing bells, the tower of the church had also another function in earlier times. On top of the tower used to stay a watchman who overlooked the whole city. As soon as he located a fire, he immediately rang the bells to warn the inhabitants of Breda. This person also used to play the horn every hour, so people knew what time it was.
From all over Breda you can see the church tower.
The Grote Kerk (Great Church) is also called the Onze Lieve Vrouwekerk (Church of Our Lady). Why these two names?
Well, the first name is its Protestant name and the second is its Catholic name. The church was taken by the protestants in 1637 and despite an overwhelming catholic majority in the city never returned to its original owners.
Besides wandering around the centre, be sure to visit the Grote Kerk or Main Church.
A couple of years ago, restorations were finished on the Church, and its beautiful white exterior is unique in Holland. After dark, it's beautifully illuminated.
Look at this church. Look at that tower! I could see it with my bare eyes from my very own window over a 25 kilometres distance when I still lived in Tilburg! But it's much better just to go there and admire this fine example of the Brabantine Gothic style. There are so many details to see. Inside are a few impressive graves and tombs, including of some ancient relatives of the royal family. When I worked in Breda years ago the church was still a dark and filthy building, but as it was being restored a little later I could see it turn more white a little bit each day. Nowadays it's hard to imagine what this beauty looked like before!
An interesting fact: officially this church was returned to the catholics early in the 19th century, when the government decided that old churches should be used by the dominant religion in that place. However in Breda the protestants, who were only a handfull but an arrogant bunch nonetheless, refused to give it back. Eventually the government simply gave up and gave the catholics money to build a new church. Sometimes crime does pay. In the end there were too few protestants to maintain the church so a foundation now owns it and offers it for various purposes, including computer fairs.
Oh BTW, this is not a cathedral, never was and probably never will be.
This recently restored church, the Grote Kerk has been unrobbed again for the world to see her gleaming white stones. She rises high above the city of Breda and provides a sense of place with her spire topping out at 97m height. The Grote Kerk, completed in 1547 is still the tallest man made structure in Breda.
Man made? Nature made in Holland never seems to rise more than an anthills height from the flat surface topography so why would I need to make the distinction?
Walking around Breda is a very pleasant affair. It's not a large city and the best sites to see can be found in a loop walk. Breda is close to one of Europe's great divides - that great Protestant and Catholic division that in old times was a line of contention, and in some cases still is.
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