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Grote Kerk (Great Church)

Grote Kerk (Great Church) Review

Late Gothic Sint Bavo's, more commonly called the Great Church, dominates the main market square. It was built in the 14th century, but severe fire damage in 1370 led to a further 150 years of rebuilding and expansion. This is the burial place of Frans Hals—a lamp marks his tombstone behind the brass choir screen. Laurens Coster is buried here, too. It is rumored that he was the first European to use movable type in 1423 (sorry, Gutenberg), which he discovered while carving letters for his children; he was inspired when one of the bark letters fell into the sand and made an imprint. The church is the home of the Müller organ, on which both Handel and Mozart played. Installed in 1738, and for centuries considered the finest in the world, it has been meticulously restored to protect the sound planned by its creator, Christian Müller. Between May and October organists perform free concerts every Tuesday at 8:15 pm, and occasionally on Thursday at 3 pm. Bach fugues have never sounded so magisterial.

    Contact Information

  • Address: Grote Markt, Haarlem, 2011 HL | Map It
  • Phone: 023/533–2040
  • Cost: €2.50
  • Hours: Sept.–June Mon.–Sat. 10–4, July–Aug. Mon.–Sat. 10–5
  • Website:
  • Location: Haarlem
Updated: 08-31-2012

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