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“Friendly and Fascinating” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Church of St. John

Church of St. John
Achter de Kerk 16, Gouda, The Netherlands
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Ranked #1 of 16 Attractions in Gouda
Type: Religious Sites
Activities: Shopping
Attraction Details
Cambridge, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
69 reviews 69 reviews
39 attraction reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
23 helpful votes 23 helpful votes
“Friendly and Fascinating”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 23, 2013

We were greeted with warmth and given all possible information, the attendant having just dealt kindly with a school group of little and very enthusiastic children!
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This is a place full of history and connections, such a lot to see, including "modern" artwork on special display.
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As with all of Gouda, indeed all of South Holland, the local people were friendly, delightful and helpful. The nearby shops were full of enticing items.
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The surroundings of the Church are historic and also fascinating.

Visited January 2013
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74 reviews from our community

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Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Rotterdam, The Netherlands
Top Contributor
224 reviews 224 reviews
68 attraction reviews
Reviews in 173 cities Reviews in 173 cities
168 helpful votes 168 helpful votes
“Longest church in The Netherlands with the famous Gouda stained glass windows”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 19, 2013

This Gothic St John’s Church has unusual dimensions compared to other churches as it is relatively long. With 123m it is the longest church in The Netherlands.

The origins of the church are in the 13th century when it was part of the court of the Lords van der Goude. As so many churches there was great damage due to fires through the years but the present building is more or less intact since the 17th century.

The church itself is not very special but the stained glass windows, made and installed by the brothers Dirk and Wouter Crabeth, are. The main parts of these windows were made and installed between 1555 and 1571 and are now on the UNESCO heritage list.

A telescope opposite these windows will give you a close up look at the details.

There is a small exhibition inside the church with some information on various details like the organ, the making of stained glass, royal visits, etc. There is also the story on how in 1939 the stained glass was removed in anticipation of war with Germany. The stained glass was put in large crates and safely stored during the war. Unfortunately most of the texts at the displays are in the Dutch.

The small Van der Vorm chapel was added in 1934 and houses an additional seven stained glass windows.

At the entrance is a small souvenir shop. From the church you can cross the street to get to the Gouda Museum.

Visited September 2013
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New York City, New York
Top Contributor
146 reviews 146 reviews
99 attraction reviews
Reviews in 60 cities Reviews in 60 cities
80 helpful votes 80 helpful votes
“Church of St. John”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 11, 2013

It was closed when we came in a little after 4 pm but we took a walk around it. It's an impressive building. One unusual detail -- it does not face an open space like a plaza or a square as cathedrals of such size normally do. Instead it is surrounded by narrow streets so a good picture spot is really a problem

Visited May 2013
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Gouda, The Netherlands
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
“Sint Jan”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 29, 2013

beautiful church. longest in the Netherlands. special for its painted windows and quiet atmosphere and beautiful medieval surroundings. also worth making a walk along the canals and the alleys of old Gouda. Where Erasmus lived.

Visited March 2013
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Amsterdam
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
“beware of the opening hours!”
1 of 5 stars Reviewed July 1, 2013

I relied on the lonely planet guide for the opening hours and made a trip to Gouda on Sunday. Was there around 4pm and found the church locked. There was a door with the opening hours on it, in Dutch, which suggested that the church might be open on Sunday until 5 pm, I rang the bell and a man who appeared explained that the church was closed. When I pointed out to the opening hours he confirmed that it was closed still, and definitely for 'strangers'. Well, I had a camera on me but was not wearing anything that would not be suitable for entering a church so a 'stranger' was most probably referring to me not speaking Dutch. 'Tomorrow' as he suggested was not good enough for me as I travelled specifically from Amsterdam. So.... make sure you don't visit on Sunday unless you look like a typical Dutch church goer!

Visited June 2013
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