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Schiedam, Netherlands: Saint John Church

Saint John Church (in Dutch, The Grote or Sint Janskerk), is located in the center of Schiedam, and is the oldest building in the city.

Construction of the current Gothic church began in 1335 and was completed in 1425. Over the centuries, the church has been altered and restored many times, the most recent being in 2003.

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The church has many places of interest. We will mention a few:

a Renaissance pulpit from about 1550, decorated with beautiful carvings;
one of the oldest Dutch organ cases, also ca 1550;
a law board from 1619;
an epitaph by Cornelis Haga, the first diplomatic representative of ‘The Seven Provinces’ at the Ottoman court (over 400 years ago);
two nineteenth century ‘whites’ above the entrance doors in the side aisles;
baptismal font from the early 20th century;
stained glass windows in the choir of Marius Richter (1947).

Three sights deserve special attention:

The Consistory or gilded leather room According to the National Office for Cultural Heritage, this is the only space of this size in Western Europe where all walls are covered with gilt leather. Due to the RIVM guidelines, this space is currently not open to visitors.

The Lamb Sculpture by Sjef Henderickx from 2010 built from fragments of the iconoclasm of 1572. From the smallest fragments he formed the lamb on top of this moving work of art.

The tombstone of Saint Liduina (1380 to 1433), city saint of Schiedam.  Hung in the immediate vicinity of where her grave was once located.  Her relics are now in the  Basilica of Saint Liduina.

 

The tower of the Grote- or Sint Janskerk was built after the city fire of 1428. In the tower are the bells, the carillon and the playing drum. To get to the bells, you have to climb 150 steps. Then another 70 steps further will take you to the walkway where you have a great view of the city.

 

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