Grote Kerk
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Duration: 1-2 hours
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4.5
4.5 of 5 bubbles431 reviews
Excellent
211
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180
Average
33
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2
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5

drmarkstravels
Rochester, MN99 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Aug 2022
The Grote Church sits right on the canal of Dordrecht and is one of the most historic sites in the Netherlands. While the original building for the Synod of Dort (1618-19) was destroyed in the late 1700s, the history of that global meeting has been preserved in the church.

The church itself is wonderful and beautiful. There is an excellent self-guided tour map labeling each window and alcove. The final sections of the church tell the story of the Synod of Dort and the heresy of Arminius and his followers. There is even model of the original meting place. There is an entrance fee but it is well worth the money. The entrance fee also gives you permission to climb the clock tower.

The church is beautiful in windows and cultured scenes from the life of Christ. The pulpit has panels depicting Christ's baptism and life.

The clock (as you may notice in pictures) leans to the west). You can see the leaning tower but it is safe. Now the journey up is not for the easy person. There are 275 steps to the top. IT is long climb but the views from the top, being next to the clock, and views across the southern Holland province are wonderful! If you dare the climb, the reward is superb. From the top you can get a terrific view of this historic town.

There church does have a small gift shop and there are a couple of volunteers inside the church that can point out things that a visitor might miss. Most of the books about the church and the Synod of Dort are in Dutch, but the leading professor on the Synod of Dort has written a nice booklet that tells the overview of the one year meeting. It is booklet "1a" in the series but you have to ask for it as they do not put it on display (I don't know why and only one worker knew where it was stored). It is less that $5.00US but worth buying.
Written August 14, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Robert O
Rotterdam, The Netherlands5,510 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Aug 2022
After decades of construction work, the church took its present shape in 1470. The tower was never completed, because of insufficient foundation in the swampy soil of the island. Considering Dordrecht had just 8000 inhabitants early 1400s, the enormity of the structure is amazing. Within just a few decades Dordrecht had reached the status of wealthiest city in Holland and eventually took the lead in the revolt against Spanish rule.

The interior is sober, as after the Reformation in 1572 when Protestants took over, sculpture work was removed and frescos covered. Recently partly undone (see photo).

Entrance fee 4€ includes access to the tower.
Written November 15, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

NorCal-traveler08
Orangevale, CA2,321 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Dec 2022 • Couples
The Grote Kerk in Dordrecht is a Gothic style church and the largest church in the city. The inside was closed the day we were there but the outside is impressive and you can see the spire from all over the city.
Written May 26, 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Peter_and_Esther
Hendrik-Ido-Ambacht, The Netherlands136 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2012 • Couples
Beautyful church with colourful windows and two impressive organs, the Kam-organ, romantic, and the Bach organ (2007). Guided tours also possible and recommended! This church has around 60.000 visitors a year, so be there!
Written July 18, 2012
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Remcer
Rotorua, New Zealand31 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2015 • Couples
Yes, you read it right, we have the leaning tower too, because the local government lowered the watertable in the 1700's (they never learn, seen their 1990's debacle causing many houses to sag and fall apart) the cowhides (!) on which the tower is build rotted away. This made the tower lean a whopping 2.25meter!
275 steps bring you to the top for an amazing view with the four 4.25 meter diameter clocks towering above you.
And if you are lucky you will take in the view with the spectacular sound of the biggest carrillion of europe to blow you away.
67 bells with a total of 52.000 kilos give you the purest sound of all European carrillions.
The oldest bell is from from 1460. Every half and on the hour a short song is being played.

The inside is well worth a visit and the stained windows tell you all about the cities history.
Plenty of other things to look at and don't forget to take in the names and coats of arms on the organ of the influencing people of that time.

Some of the same are to be found in the very special arend maartenshof and its amazing (original!) regency room

Have an awesome view of the old city, the layout of the harbours and how they connected in the old days to the river to have freightships (un)load and bring the city its importance and wealth.
The city where the Netherlands began to exist. Where the first dutch synode was held too.
There is so much history here, in Hollands oldest city.
Written August 18, 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

BelgiumWdb
Sint-Niklaas, Belgium255 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Aug 2017 • Couples
For us it was the highlight of our two day trip. We were lucky they were playing on the organ! The size of this church is amazing, the floor is made up of hundreds of gravestones which is impressive...
Written August 23, 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Tommaso P
Hendrik-Ido-Ambacht, The Netherlands20 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Dec 2016 • Family
the grote kerk is a very big churg in the middle of dordrecht, the view from the top of the tower is very nice, you can see the river and all cities nearby
Written January 26, 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Rubén R
5 contributions
3.0 of 5 bubbles
Oct 2016
We visit Dordrecht because it was well known as an old nice city of The Netherlands and we were not disappointed. unfortunately, it was late for a longer visit but definitely we are repeating the visit to this city.
Written October 19, 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

dgem2
Rustington, United Kingdom8 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
May 2016 • Solo
This is all about two of my favourite subjects in the Netherlands and Central Europe. Firstly the city of Dordrecht in the province of South Holland which claims to be the oldest Dutch city with the Grote Kerk which has claims to be the oldest Cathedral. Secondly the River Maas which rises in France and flows east and north for 925 kilometres into Belgium and the Netherlands around Dordrecht and then into the North Sea. Dordrecht Island (Het Eiland van Dordt) is bordered by five rivers including the Oude(Old) Maas. So the common factor between the two is obviously water in huge volumes firstly flowing north from France then surrounding the city and providing city centre canals and harbours. Overlooking all of the water is the Grote Kerk or Big Church. Dordrecht receives many tourists particularly those staying in Rotterdam but it does not appear to be the mainstream cultural attraction that it should be. The city is far more cultural than many other Dutch cities which target cultural visitors and should more openly publicise its numerous attractions. In the city centre alone there are more than 950 monuments plus seven historic churches and six museums. The most impressive of all is the Grote Kerk or Big Church overlooking the New Harbour and with a 65 meter tower housing a carillon of 67 bells including one the heaviest in the Netherlands. There is also the Dutch Reformed Church known as The Church of the Augustins. These churches date from 1285 and 1275 but claiming to date from 1175 is the Nieuwkerk (The New Church). The most impressive of the other places of interest is the Groothoofdspoort or Big Head's Gate the original city gate dating from the 14th and 15th centuries. It is located where the rivers Maas Merwede and Rhine meet and is yet another connection between the water and the city. The main museum is Dordrechts Museum based on art and painting and there is even a museum of Sewing Machines. Some twenty prizewinning cultural and historical events and festivals are hosted each year - try and visit the Dordt in Steam biennial event also the book market the annual funfair and the immense Christmas Market. As regards transport there are three NS railway stations in the city and the waterbus serves several destinations including Rotterdam Erasmusbrug - very convenient for Feijenoord Stadion De Kuip. The excellent shopping is mainly centred around the Voorstraat and the Staten Plein and there are markets on Tuesdays Fridays and Saturdays. But most of all the shoppers enjoy the narrow streets around the three concentric waterways where numerous cluttered antique shops bookshops and music/record shops dispense an eclectic selection of local and international items. The Maas on the last stage of its journey avoids the city with the Oude Maas (Old Maas) flowing around Dordrecht Island and then to the south with the Nieuwe Maas (New Maas) branching north towards and through Rotterdam. But unlike the Maas visitors must not avoid the cultural features of Dordrecht but must sample the churches the places of interest the events and festivals and the shopping. As an added bonus you can climb the tower of the Grote Kerk and look down upon the city and the water which has flowed from three countries This the most interesting of cities is waiting to welcome you.
Written July 13, 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Nojus2012
Dordrecht, The Netherlands29 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
May 2015 • Couples
Beaytifull church,yiu can climb to the tower for €1 and there will open nice view to Dordrecht..
Worth to visit,that's for sure.
Written March 17, 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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Grote Kerk, Dordrecht

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