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).
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