The first church in Gouda with this name was built well before Gouda obtained its city rights in 1272. It was not until 1280 that a Sint Janskerk was mentioned on its current place. This building was damaged several times and completely destroyed by a fire caused by a lightning in 1552. In the following years, the church was rebuilt. The artists Dirck and Wouter Crabeth were contracted to add stained glass windows which became the church’s trademark. For more details about the windows, please check my separate tip called “Stained Glass windows”. The church was built in late gothic style, with only little other architectural styles getting through.
Although Gouda was a very poor city for quite a long time, the Sint Janskerk always remained the brilliant monument in the city. Today, it is still the largest cross-shaped church in the Netherlands and of the largest at all.
The church is open for visitors every day, except Sunday. An entry fee (2,00 for adults is required). An Audioguide is available for a small fee.
Though Christmas and its Christmas-tree is not that Dutch, Gouda-city celebrates its Happy Holidays-time in a very happy way. And already for the 51st time!
At the opening the Queen and family sometimes join this Christmas event when thousands of candle lights will shine their glittering flames. Some famous Dutch artists will create artificial light shows you can see in the entire centre of Gouda, and a very special artificial light show which is projected on the St. Johns Church. This is so amazing, breath-taking, beautiful!
When in Holland, donot miss this Christmas event in Gouda!
These 16 centuary stained glass windows are magnificant. The windows done in the period 1555 - 1571 portray religious themes when Holland was still Catholic and post reformation the windows in the period 1572 - 1603 are more secular.
window 6 depicts the story of Jonah and the whale, whilst window 13 sees Jesus as a 12 year old boy.
There is a good guide around the church advising you of what you will see in the windows. There is also a telescope pointed on several windows if memory serves me correctly.
It costs Euro 2 for adults, Euro 1.75 students & Euro 1 for children
Open daily 9am - 5pm not on sundays. There are also organ recitals which you can attend
St Johns is with 123 meters, the longest church in The Netherlands. It was built in the 15th and 16th century, and was destroyed by fire three times.
Inside you will find 64 marvelous stained glass windows.
One could easily spend an hour on each window. Especially if the church verger guides you around.
Unfortunately, of the two hours we spent here, there will probably be only 90 seconds left of it in the TV programme.
Enlarge the picture and you see the verger explaining things to the presenter.
St.John's Church with its stained glass windows can be visited every weekday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.; from November 1st until March 1st from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. On Easter Monday, Ascension Day and Whit Monday from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. The church is closed to visitors on Sundays and also on 25th and 26th December and on New Years's Day.
Just one of the many bridges that you will cross over the canals, but how many of us do actually stop and take note of the names of these bridges. I suppose this one was called the koorbrug (choir bridge) cause it is situated at the choir end of St John's church.
Probably the busiest area in this town. The Markt is located in the center of the city, it is home to the Gothic style Town Hall (the Stadhuis), and is surrounded by old houses with various shops and coffee shops. The was also a local market day on the go as we got there, but is was all finished by 13h00.
Once you have gone through Lazarus Poortje, you find the Catherina Gasthuis which is a former hospital. Today it houses the Stedelijk (municipal) museum. The building dates from the 14th century. The museum has paintings from the Hague school on display.
It is open daily except for 25th december and 1st January. I am not sure what the entrance fee is as the lovely man at the recep[tion desk told us to visit the church first and then we will gain free entrance to the museum and that would work out cheaper for us.
As you get closer to the gate, some very haunting music is what you will hear. Very intruiging. Lazarus Poortje was created by the German stone mason Gregorius Cool (1570-1629) and used to be on a different location in Gouda. During the 16th century is was used as the entrance to the leperhospital.
The relief shows The Rich Man and Poor Lazaro. The gate was dismantled in 1939, stored for decades, then rebuilt on this spot behind the church of St. John in 1964.
You will find De Waag on the market Square. this is the place where cheese was weighed and stored. It's built in 1670 and still holds its place next to the Thursday morning cheese market. Just be aware that the Thursday morning cheese markets are only held from the last week in June till end of September. The building itself has been turned into a museum showing the process of cheesemaking and sells some flavours as well.
Opening Times Museum: 8 April - 29 October
Tues-Sun 13.00-17.00 Thurs 10.00-17.00
Entrance fee 3.50 Euro.
Sint Janskerk is an impressive 123 meters long which makes it the longes church in the Netherlands. She is famous world wide due to the 72 stained glass windows some dating back to the 16th century.
The entrance is around the back and this little street is called 'Achter de Kerk' , it will cost you €2,50 to get in, but that also allows entrance into the museum across the road
Visiting hours Mon-Sat 9am-16/17pm
The City Hall dates back to 1450. Let the beautiful Gothic facade not mislead you, this place was the home of some horrible punishments that took place here in the early days. The building sports two areas on the outside that mark those happenings;
The first one you will find which is the small balcony under the puppet theater. People who commited minor crimes were put on display here with a stone that was hung from their necks to make them feel burden and shame.
The second spot is the sandstone scaffold at the back of the city hall. It was built in 1697 and used until 1860 to put on trial those who commited heavy crimes. Public hangings and other horrible punishments where carried out here.
City Hall is open to the public on Saturdays.
Tours are given between 11am-15pm. (or you can stroll around by yourself)
Entrance fee 2Euro50.
A city map, downloadable from the link below, shows the museums, antique shops, arts and craft shops, galleries as well as a nice walking route.
The tourist office is at www.vvvgouda.nl or click here. (English version available at the top right).
Quality control played an important role in Gouda’s rise to a prospering market town. Here, two small buildings were used for the quality control of fish. They were built in the 17th century, it means in the dutch golden century.