The Saint John’s Cathedral (Dutch: Sint Janskathedraal) of ‘s Hertogenbosch in Noord Brabant is one of the biggest and most impressive Gothic churches in the Netherlands.
According to the remnants found at the base of the tower, the site was built around 1220 and of Norman origin. Construction of this gothic Saint John actually began in 1350. It became a collegiate church in 1366 and as an episcopal church (cathedral) in 1561. In 1629, Saint John fell into Protestant hands. It was not until 1810 when the Catholics regained their church back. Saint John received the honorary title of Basilica Minor from Pope John Paul II in 1985.
Saint John’s Cathedral is the largest Catholic church in the Netherlands. The cathedral measures 115 meters (377 ft) in length and 62 meters (203 ft) wide. The height of the vault in the nave is 29 meters high (95 ft) while the height of the dome vault is 41 (135 ft) meters. The spire reaches up to 73 meters (240 ft) high. There are 59 bells in the tower, 520 gravestones on church grounds and approximately 600 statues located inside and outside the church.
Several main features not to be missed include the beautiful seven radiating chapels with altars depicting the birth of Jesus, the great organ which dates from 1617, the five panels pulpit made of wood carvings from 1550 and the ‘Angel with a Mobile’ statue outside the church.
Saint John’s Cathedral is definitely a must to visit when in ‘s-Hertogenbosch. Admission to the church (outside service times) is free. There is a pamphlet guide available in multiple language near the entrance of the church. A donation is required! The pamphlet gives you an idea with regards to its history and all the highlights to check out when walking around this church. It is definitely worth a visit! The grandest church in the Netherlands I have ever seen so far.
Website: https://www.sint-jan.nl(Dutch only)
Address: Torenstraat 16. 5211KK ‘s-Hertogenbosch
Opening Hours: Monday to Saturday from 0830hrs – 1700hrs and Sunday from 0900hrs – 1700hrs. During the months of November till April, the church closes its door earlier at 1630hrs.
Getting There: Walking distance about 15 minutes from ‘s-Hertogenbosch central station.