Churches, The Hague
Although a magnificent church this is the Roman Catholic parish and named H. IGNATIUS Van LOYOLA Parochie, better known as La Pellegrina. It is dedicated to the Immaculate Conception and to me a beautiful building. Maybe because of the Holy Mary statue in front I got attracted which is gorgeous in sunset light ...
The parish got rewarded as one of the best parishes in 2001, still there is not that many to find about this stately building. There are performed services at Sunday (or get info for others). You may visit this church every day from 10.00 to 12.00 hrs. See link for the "public" statue ...
Although The Hague was a village until the 19th century, it did have a parish church large enough for any city to be proud of. The St. Jacob was an important church, with close relations to the counts of Holland, the Stadtholders of the Republic and the royal family.
The Great Church was originally named St. Jacobus, but it has been a protestant church for centuries now, and protestants don't like saints. This church has some features typical for Gothic churches along the coast of Holland, the most important of which is the absence of stone vaults, making outer support in the form of flying buttresses unnecessary, which results in a very "clean" appearance of the area around the choir. The rest of the church was an invention in its own right; the nave owes much of its size and strength by its typical construction which today is refered to as "The Hague hall-type". In this type of Gothic church the traves of the side-aisles each have their own ceiling, which is positioned square on the nave. This allows for large windows in a relatively low building. This is the prototype of this style.
If you get the chance, take a look inside. I was overwhelmed by the vast emptiness of it.
When the Great Church turned out to be not 'great' enough for all of Den Haag's protestants a New Church was built. This is a highly original and attractive example of early protestant churcharchitecture from the 17th century; whereas for other churches often a cruciform or more or less circular ground-plan was chosen, architect Pieter Noorwits for this church opted for two hexagonal spaces connected by a slightly narrower rectangular space where the pullpit was positioned, thus still complying to the protestant ideal of centralization. Construction of this church was started in 1648, the year of protestant victory in The Netherlands, and it was finished a year later. Today it's mostly used for classical concerts.
Originally this church stood near a harbour and in a neighbourhood full of old buildings. Little of this has left, and standing opposite the church now are some of The Hague's ugliest buildings, like the new town hall.
The Gothic Kloosterkerk ("monastery church") as the name suggests was the church of a monastery. Although monastic life ended in this city in 1574, the church has survived. It has been used in several ways since. In 1588 it became a stable, and only a year later it became a factory for bronze cannons. About 100 years later it finally became a church again, this time for protestants.
Connoisseurs of Gothic architecture will appreciate the inventive way in which the side-aisle is shaped, allowing for very big windows. This type of church is (in translation) known as the The Hague Hall-type, and as the name suggests was invented in this very city, the Great Church being its first example.
The Grote Kerk (or St. Jacobskerk) is the main church of the city center, but it is no more in use as a church only. The church was built in mid 14th century with elements of late gothic but also some renaissance influence. The church was given to a foundation in 1950 and since then, you will find there art expositions, parties etc. as well as religious service.
The Hague's all are proud of their St. Jacob (Haagsche Toren, The Hague's Tower), an important church that is large enough to be named "Grote Kerk" (Large Church of St. Jacobs Church).
Inside you can see several ancient tombes on the walking path. On Christmas nights there is held a night mass and once in a while a true Oranje-Prince marry in it and, Prinses Amalia (daugther of Prince Willem-Alexander & Princess Maxima) has been baptized here. When in use for fairs (Paranormal Fair) and conferences people walk over the tombes, a bit of macabre, isn't it?
In summer the cafe Zebedeus offers a great rest on its terrace, just around the church at one corner. And each Wednesday there is a small but very nice market place where you can buy some biological products. Special note >>>
See the female statue when looking up in the sky ...
When you visit Scheveningen and do at the same time a walk along the Northsea beach, see the Oude Kerk (Old Church) where used to be an old fisher-village. It had 900 inhabitants in 1840. Historic parts of what originally was a fishing village can be seen at the Old Church, an edifice built in the 14th century.
It has been proved the Old Church must be older as the Old Scheveningen Port. In 1357 there has been some talk of "Capelaria Sceveninghe", which official name was St. Antonius Abt (Abbot of St. Antoinius). After Reformation (16th. century) it was named Dutch Reformed Church, and became the Old Church after the construction of the New Church in 1893.
The Old Church still stands at the end of Keizerstraat, a sentinel of centuries, just behind the dunes. Its interior is simple, beautiful and inviting ....
In the 17th century, St. Jacobskerk (Grote Kerk) could no longer accommodate the growing population of The Hague, so a New Church was built. At the time the church was built next to the Spui canal. The canal has been filled in but the church remains. The neighboring café puts out a terrace under the trees in the church garden during the summer.
Another lovely church of Scheveningen is the O.L. Vrouwe van Lourdes Kerk (by A.J. Kropholler & C.M. van Moorsel, 1913-1926), as well the Lourdes Church. There is a little chapel aside where day-light is coming in, right onto a white statue of the Virgin-mother Maria. It is covered by a wooden construction.
The Lourdes Church got a way of the deforestation and demolition of the sixties. It did not get razed to the ground when the plans about the Casino, Mega Cinema and others got introduced (the locals forced them). And it has been totally renovated in 2000 by the Government (who named its property "Pearl Of Scheveningen"). I do love this spot for very special reasons ... Step into an oasis of peace, spirituality and beauty ...
My Fave Spot
Originally, St. Jacobs was a wooden church built in the 13th century. This was replaced in the 15th century by the much larger brick church it was referred to as the Grote Kerk (Large Church) and became The Hague’s main place of worship. Although burnt down several time (by lightening strikes) the church has always been rebuilt.
This is a very old church, dedicated to St James and dating originally from the 1400s although there was a wooden church on the site from at least the 1300s. It is one of the oldest buildings in the city.
There are three chapels on each side of the nave although most of what you can see inside dates from the late 1500s onwards: a fire in 1539 did a lot of damage, as did the Iconoclasm of the 1600s. But the interior apparently has some lovely wooden vaulting and some late-Medieval stained glass
Unfortunately the church is now deconsecrated and, in consequence, you can only visit the interior in July and August (12-4pm) and when there are exhibitions on. I found that rather frustrating.
It's still worth a look though, even if you can't get inside. The hexagonal tower is the tallest in the Netherlands (which is why I couldn't get it all into my photos!)
Unfortunately i couldn't enter the church, on the outside it was written "The church is opened only during public meetings"
Neo-gothic tower of the church of St. Jacques (St. Jacobus), towering over 90 meters. Built by Dutch architect P. Cuypers 1875-1878.
The New Church was built in 1649 and finished in 1656. The reason for it being built, was that the Grote or St. Jacobs church became too small, so that's why Den Haag needed a new church.
Zebedeus is a bar/restaurant in the corner of St. Jacob's or the Grote Kerk. They have a nice terrace with tables and trees. They also serve food, but we only stopped for a beer. Great setting.