The Abdijkerk is a Protestant church and the oldest building in The Hague, Netherlands. It was built during the 13th century and has served as a place of worship for more than 400 years. During the summer months, the church can be visited by the public and services are held each Sunday.
The original church was constructed somewhere between 1238 and 1250. The convent that commissioned the chapel was founded by Matilda of Brabant, who was the wife of Floris IV, Count of Holland. The church features two very distinct styles of architecture: Gothic (western part of the church) and Romanesque (eastern part of the church).
In the late 1500s, the church was plundered by beggars and Spaniards. Those living in the monastery were forced to flee before the church was nearly destroyed. All that remained of the structure was the tower and parts of the church walls.
In 1580, the church’s remains were handed over to the Dutch Reformed Church. They immediately started rebuilding and removing rubble. Stones from the original monastery were reused to construct the new church. A clock was added to the tower in 1587. In 1780, an organ was introduced. This organ was created by Joachim Reichner. A decade later, the church would once again have to be restored and its organ was expanded during this time. The organ would again be restored in 1856 and in 2006. In 1856, the renovations were led by CGF White from Batz & Co. The organ was given a rococo appearance to match the current trends.
hroughout history, many pilgrims made their way to the church to visit Margaret of Henneberg’s tomb. Samuel Pepys also visited in 1660. Matilda of Brabant, Barbara Aylesbury and James Meursius are also buried at Abdijkerk.
Organ concerts are held by candlelight throughout the year, which is certainly a sight to see for any tourist visiting The Hague.
The church holds its service every Sunday at 10:00AM. Abdijkerk also holds a variety of other concerts throughout the month. During the summer, the church is open to the public every Sunday from 2:30PM until 3:30PM. Afterwards, a short organ recital takes place from 3:30PM until 4PM.
In addition, the church is also open on the country’s National monument day from 10:00AM until 5:00PM. On this special day, there are guided tours that give details about the church’s rich history.
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