Onze Lieve Vrouwe Kerk (Our Lady's Church), also known as Grote Kerk (the Big Church), can be seen all over the city centre with its bright tower. The first mentioning of a stone chuch here was 1269 although no one seems to know if there was a chuch here earlier. Amongst things you can see in it today are the tombs of several old Dutch royals in the Princes Chapel.
The Annunciation of Maria Boodchap .
Maria Messenger would be the name in English.This beautiful wall painting from the 15 th Century was discovered in this church in the beginning od the 20th Century.
I was hidden underneath the white chalked wall and re discovered. After two unsuccesful attempts of restauration the painting was almost given up in the 80 's .
In 1995 action was taken to restore this painting ,it was not easy ,the humidity had done a number on the painting and it was starting to fall apart.
Action was taken and a cheesecloth was used to put over the painting and the painting was removed and put in a wooden box and shipped to Amsterdam for restauration.
After 2 1/2 years of restauration the painting was re installed in 1998.
This process of restauration can be seen including pictures in a website
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!!
Church of Our Lady
The 15th century Church has a rich cultural past. It took 125 years to build it. Not only the outside architecture but also the monuments and murals inside the church make it the most important historical site in Breda.
The GROTE KERK (Great Church) is also called the Onze Lieve Vrouwekerk (Church of Our Lady) . It was built in 1410 and is one of the finest examples of Brabantine Gothic style.The Tower is 97 metres high and one of the highest church towers in the Netherlands.
For a group of 10 or more adults, the cost is E 1.50 to enter and is well worth it.
Breda's Great Church, or Church of Our Lady, is the most beautiful church in Holland to my humble opinion.
It has been through a lot during the centuries but all the restaurations have succeeded in making the church the way it is now.
You can take a guided tour and be amazed by the beautifull organ or the graves of some of the Dutch Royal Family members.
The tower is 98 meters high and is allready to be seen from far away.
Right next to the church you will find the market and the old cityhall.
For people who love shopping after seeing a monument there are dozens of shopping streets in the very near surroundings....:-)
And have a beer or a delicious dinner at one of the many pubs and restaurants at the market and enjoy the view of The Great Church from there.
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.
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.
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.
In the center of the city, you can't miss this huge church. Built in the 15th century, it really deserves its name: "grote kerk" indeed mean tall church, the tower is 97m high...
The visits are not free. This probably help to finance the renovation that took place in the late 90s
The restaurations of these very high Gothic
ceilings in the Churches were an incredible difficult .and expensive job.Scaffolds had to be erected right below the ceilings ,for the painters to restore these beautiful pieces of art .The work did get done and the results are fantastic.
The Church is not less beautifull inside. You can see many tombs of Lords of Breda. It is also possible to climb the tower, just check the hours, this service is not always available. Also the Church is used as a place for different exhibitions. The last one was the exhibit of digital photography. Also take a look at the Organ, it is the one of a few complete mechanical 4-manual organs of the Netherlands.