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

Church of St. John
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Private Guided Tour of Gouda
Ranked #1 of 40 things to do in Gouda
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: 1-2 hours
Owner description: THE LONGEST CHURCH OF THE NETHERLANDS The great fire of 1552 destroyed much of the medieval church of Saint John. Shortly after the disaster, the council commissioned the reconstruction of the most startling church of Holland. With 123 meters it is also the longest church in The Netherlands THE 72 STAINED-GLASS WINDOWS ARE WORLD-FAMOUS Entering the Church of St. John, one falls silent at the sight of the majestic space with the 72 world-famous stained-glass windows. That first experience will only get stronger when you see the marvellous light by the 'Dutch Masters' invading the Church. The rich history of Holland can be read in the large windows. It is a beginning of an impressive discovery along biblical and historical scenes of human emotions. Then you understand that the Gouda St. John is one of the highest rated attractions in the Netherlands!
Useful Information: Bathroom facilities, Wheelchair access
Cambridge, United Kingdom
Level 6 Contributor
117 reviews
55 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 53 helpful votes
“Friendly and Fascinating”
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!
This is a place full of history and connections, such a lot to see, including "modern" artwork on special display.
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.
The surroundings of the Church are historic and also fascinating.

Visited January 2013
Thank nodrog137
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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337 reviews from our community

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English first
Rotterdam, The Netherlands
Level 6 Contributor
371 reviews
142 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 275 helpful votes
“Longest church in The Netherlands with the famous Gouda stained glass windows”
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
1 Thank SeimenBurum
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York City, New York
Level 6 Contributor
970 reviews
721 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 341 helpful votes
“Church of St. John”
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
Thank Ron S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Gouda, The Netherlands
Level 2 Contributor
6 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Sint Jan”
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
Thank Ron S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Canterbury, United Kingdom
Level 4 Contributor
44 reviews
12 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
“beware of the opening hours!”
Reviewed June 30, 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
2 Thank Irina K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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