"Oh no, not another church!" Well, yes, after all you're on one of my pages, and I happen to like churches. Officially the St. Jacobus is no longer a church, though. And because it's a protected monument the 's-Hertogenbosch diocese can't have it demolished. Not that I insinuate that they wanted to, but you never know. It wouldn't be the first time that they did.
There are some interesting plans for the future. First, there will be a 'documentation centre' about Hieronymus Bosch in the sacristy, the closest thing to a museum about the painter this city will ever have. With photographs that is, as none of his real work is left in the city. Second, there will be a gallery in the dome so you can admire the fresco's. Also you should be able to get information about guided city-tours here. And of course there will be concerts. There will be an elevator in the tower which should allow you a fantastic view over the city. In short; a lot of things to look forward to!
Oh yes, the chuch was designed by architects Jos Cuypers and Jan Stuyt, two of the most important church architects of the 20th century in The Netherlands. It was built in 1906-1907.
Although the victory of 1629 in the first place was a Calvinist one, the first military governor of 's-Hertogenbosch was a German of the Lutheran faith, reason why this otherwise somewhat discriminated protestant church had relatively much freedom in this city. This is the current Lutheran church, which however was built in 1847 as a Walloon church and did not become Lutheran until 1953. This church in early neo-Gothic style was designed by A. van Veggel. Typical for this style is the use of Gothic elements for decoration only, not for the construction.
Should you know of a suitable new use for this building; it's for sale.
The former St. Jacobskerk stands behind its much more recent successor. Originally a chapel, dating from 1430, it became a parish-church in 1569, and was widened to three aisles in 1584. A planned transept was never built, presumably because of the war. The building has been used in many different ways after it was closed immediately for religious services under the protestant occupation in 1629, and was a stable, arsenal, barracks and museum until in 1988 it finally became the building of the local department for architectural history and archeology. There are offices inside and also many fragments of demolished old buildings are stored here. Its turbulent history also caused many changes to the building, many of which are clearly visible. The facade was replaced with a new one by O. Leeuw in 1924-1925, when the building still housed a museum. It looks a bit sad this way.
The St. Catharina is the third church in succession on this location. The church has a medieval choir which is built over the Binnendieze, the rest of the church is from the early 20th century. Architect Jan Stuyt was inspired by Byzantine architecture after a pilgrimage to Palestine.
This church is a church, and nothing more than that. That means you can admire it from the outside (I recommend that you do!) but you can only get in before and after services. A bit of a shame as its interior is quite nice.