Thursday Doors – Deceptive doors

appearances can be deceptive

My twenty-first  entry to Norms Thursday Doors. Deceptive doors. The door of the St-Jan Cathedral in Gouda is deceptively small. But if you enter you will discover one of the largest cathedrals in Holland. Not in volume, but in length.

The church is dedicated to John the Baptist, the patron saint of Gouda, and was built during the 15th and 16th centuries. In 1552 a large part of the church burned, including the archives. Most information of the early period is taken from the diaries of Ignatius Walvis. Around 1350 a tower was built (only the lower part remains). In 1485 the foundation was built for the present-day choir. This expansion made the church the longest in the Netherlands, with a length of 123 meters.

thursday doors st-jan

The stained glass windows were made and installed primarily by the brothers Dirk and Wouter Crabeth I, in the years 1555-1571, and after a short stop for the Protestant Reformation, until 1603. During the Reformation the church was spared, because the city fathers sided with the reigning king Philip II of Spain, rather than William the Silent, representing the Orange rebels. Later, after the orangists conquered the northern half of Holland, Gouda reverted to Orange in 1572. It was only during this period that the church was in danger, and three weeks later an angry mob stormed the church and plundered the contents, but fortunately left the windows intact. The church was closed, but many wealthy regents of the city attempted to have it reopened. In 1573 the Gouda council prohibited the practice of Roman Catholic religion and in the summer it was opened for the Protestant Dutch Reformed faith, which it still has today.

#ThursdayDoors is a post series run by Norm Frampton. If you like interesting doors, visit his site and check out what people are sharing today. Thursday Doors 18 februari

Published by Geert Smits

Photographer | Graphic Designer | Writer | Dutch | Rotterdam

13 thoughts on “Thursday Doors – Deceptive doors

  1. When looking at the stained glass windows, I wonder if the door has been put in earlier or later….since it’s not a Gothic style door. Interesting that you call them the Orange rebels, since they were the Dutch and the Spanish were at that time the suppressors:) (yes, I’m Dutch)

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I echo what has been said above me. The door is neat, but the stained glass is gorgeous. What a turbulent and frustrating history this church had. It’s heartening to hear and see has survived it all beautifully, and is still being used.


  3. Wow! I’m so glad the windows were spared. It must be uplifting to be surrounded by such beauty during the church service. Do you attend services there? Thanks for sharing the interior as well as the proud door.



  4. I love stained glass so much, it is so beautiful and for me invokes calm or energy depending on what I need. Thank you sharing this door and what is behind it too 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks! Proud that these windows are on the UNESCO world heritage list 🙂 Recognised as the most beautiful stained glass in the world! In my own church …


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