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“Step back in history in this large now protestant church” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Sint-Bavokerk (Church of St. Bavo)

Sint-Bavokerk (Church of St. Bavo)
Grote Markt 22, 2011RD Haarlem, The Netherlands (Centrum)
023 5532040
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Ranked #4 of 38 things to do in Haarlem
Certificate of Excellence
Rotterdam, The Netherlands
Level Contributor
353 reviews
134 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 251 helpful votes
“Step back in history in this large now protestant church”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 17, 2013

The Grote or St.-Bavo Church is right in the centre of town and a 15-20 minute walk from the railway station or the Frans Hals museum. This former Catholic church, but since 1578 a Protestant church, towers over the surrounding buildings.

Do not mistake this church with the Catholic Cathedral of Saint Bavo which is about 2 miles SSW from this church.

The church is built in gothic style and has an interior that seems not touched for centuries. It has lots of nice details like the models from the VOC ships hanging from the ceiling, the pulpit with snakes fleeing the “Word of God” on the handrails, stained glass windows and the original “bread bench” where the poor would get their daily ration of bread.

There are many original grave stones in the floor among which one is on the grave of Frans Hals. Look for the large map on the wall with the original lay-out and numbers of the grave stones.

The organ is beautiful and one of the world's most historically important organs. When it was completed in 1738 it was the largest organ in the world! And just imagine that famous musicians like Mendelssohn, Händel and the 10-year old Mozart (in 1766) played this organ.

There is a coffee corner in the church and the entrance combines with a nice souvenir shop. There is a small entrance fee (Adults € 2,50 = $ 3.35 in August 2013).

Visited August 2013
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1 Thank SeimenBurum
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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339 reviews from our community

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Red Deer, Alberta, Canada
Level Contributor
73 reviews
39 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 32 helpful votes
“Beautiful”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 13, 2013

As with all the cathedrals in Europe, it was amazing, grande and awe-inspiring. The stain-glass window with the sun coming through it is always magical. I believe there was a 2euro charge (which seems wrong for a church). But it was worth it. It was quite chilly/drafty at the end of April, so bring a sweater.

Visited April 2013
Helpful?
Thank yomo360
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Spring, Texas, United States
Level Contributor
15 reviews
6 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
“Fascinating and Lovely Church”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 5, 2013

This beautiful church was a joy to see. There is a small entrance fee, but don't let that deter you, as there is much to see and learn within these ancient stone walls. Upon entry we were given a pamphlet that was in English. It described the history of the church and gave explanations about the different rooms, sections and objects of interest. We were surprised to learn that in the middle ages people brought their dogs to church and there was an individual assigned to discipline unruly dogs! They even had a chapel devoted to the "dog-whipper". The Christian Mueller organ, constructed between 1735 and 1738, has over 5000 pipes and is spectacular. We were not able to hear it played; however, there are recitals on Tuesday and Thursday evenings and the public is able to attend. Mozart and Handel both played this organ!

Visited July 2013
Helpful?
Thank Debbie M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Portland, Oregon
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4 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
“Worth a Stop”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 19, 2013

Beautiful Stain Glass Windows and the whole floor is made of tombstones from the city members long past.

Visited June 2013
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Thank WeSarah_P0rtland
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Williams Lake, Canada
Level Contributor
28 reviews
7 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
“impressive construction”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 16, 2013

This cathedral is really impressive, keeping in mind that it so old. The organ is beautiful and sounds impressive. The atmosphere is pure and make you think of forever gods and transient humans. This objective is a "have to visit" if you go to Haarlem.

Visited June 2013
Helpful?
Thank Mircea R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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