The Grote of Onze-Lieve-Vrouwekerk or simply the Grote Kerk is an iconic church in the Dutch city of Breda. The 15th-century built church, which is often dubbed as the Church of Breda, is one of the most noteworthy historic monuments in Breda. The enormous building oversees the fortified city of Breda, dwarfing the adjacent buildings and structures. The murals and other artworks inside are awe-inspiring and the building itself stands as an epitome of 15t century architectural exploits. The church is listed among the UNESCO top 100 Netherlands Monuments.
The church of Breda was first mentioned in a 1269 AD charter. The Lord of Breda mentioned in this charter that a new church will replace the existing church. Raso II Gaveren, the Lord of Breda, escalated the church to a collegiate church in 1303. John I of Polans, a successor of Raso II Gaveren, started rebuilding the church at some point in the mid-14th century. John I of Polans, along with two wives, lies in peace to the northern side of the church. On the northern side, you will find Prinsenkapel (Prince Chapel), where all the members of the Dutch Royal Family are buried.
Things to See and Do
Exchange Your Vows
Grote of Onze Lieve Vrouwekerk is a perfect place for tying the nuptial knot. If you are eager to exchange vows in an orthodox manner, choosing this historical building as well as a seat of Catholicism can be a wise decision. Both civil and religious marriages are held in this church. You can contact the church’s affiliate caterers to serve your guests with the best food and drinks. The upper choir has got 120 seats. The Lanterneau on the Northern part of the church is an ideal place to observe post-wedding rites such as cutting a cake or raising a toast to the enduring happiness and prosperity of the newly married couple.
Explore the artworks
The Onze Lieve Vrouwekerk Church houses a rich collection of Dutch artworks that have survived the 16th century Protestant Reformation movement. The 15th century murals and a painting of the legendary Saint Christopher are some of the most intriguing artworks inside. The church organ is one of the biggest organs in Netherlands. The vault paintings were created by eminent Italian fresco artist, Thomas Vincidor Bologna, which was a disciple of the great Raphael.
Prince Chapel, which lies to the north of the choir, is an ancient mausoleum. If you are too keen to know about Dutch Royal Family members who are buried here, you can go on to read the gravestones of Engelbrecht I of Nassau, Dirk van Assendelft, Frederik van Renesse, John I and John II of Polans, Jan Dendermonde and the likes.
The Grote of Onze Lieve Vrouwekerk is situated at Church Square 2, 4811 XT Breda. The church is open for visitors from Monday to Saturday every week from 10 am till 5pm.
How to Get There
Whether you are coming from Roosendaal, or Rotterdam, or Utrecht, buses, trains and taxis can easily be availed.Publisher: Fadiyah Sameh