Grote of Sint-Laurenskerk (Alkmaar)

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Grote of Sint-Laurenskerk

Grote of Sint-Laurenskerk (English: Great, or St. Lawrence church) is a landmark Protestant church in Alkmaar, Netherlands. The building is located on the Koorstraat, named for its choir. It is mostly closed in the winter and open for tourists in the summer months or by appointment.

History[edit]

Organ

The Grote Kerk (1470–1498), dedicated to St Lawrence, is a handsome building and contains the tomb of Floris V, Count of Holland (d. 1296), a brass of 1546, and some paintings (1507).[1] Anna Visscher is buried in this church.[2] The church was built by Anthonius Keldermans (c. 1440–1512), from a church building family from Mechelen.[2]

Organs[edit]

The two organs are world-famous. The smaller one, called the "Koororgel", was built in 1511 by Jan van Covelens, and is built against the North wall of the church.[2] It is the oldest playable organ in the Netherlands. The larger organ at the west end of the church is one of the most famous, significant and beautiful organs in the world. It was built by Jacobus Caltus van Hagerbeer, finished in 1645. The magnificent casework, which unusually stretches from floor to vault and makes the organ part of the architecture of the church, was designed by Jacob van Campen, a leading architect of the time. The enormous canvas shutters were painted by Caesar van Everdingen.[2] The organ was rebuilt in 1723 by Frans Caspar Schnitger.[2] He left the casework much as it was, but created an organ in the North German style within the old case. He reused much of the old fluework, but all the mixtures and reeds were new. The organ has not been changed much since then, and is rare in that 90 percent of the original material, pipework, action, soundboards, case, survives. As such it is one of the most important organs in the world. It is the subject of documentary made in 2013 and released on DVD by Fugue State Films as "Alkmaar: The Organs of the Laurenskerk".

Carillon[edit]

The bourdon bell by C. and J. Moer cast in 1525 (photo c. 1900 when the turret was restored)

The hour bell (bourdon) was made by Casparus and Johannes Moer in 1525, with a diameter or 130 cm.[3] tone Cis1. ±1950 kg. The bell was given by the abbot of the monastry in Egmond near Alkmaar. The text on the bell:

Ick heet Saligmaeker. Als ick geluydt word bedrijf ick rou over de dooden. Door mijn clanck verdrijf ick de listen en plagen des Satans. Heer Meiard Man Abt tot Egmond heeft mij gegeven. Casparus en Johannes Moer fecerunt 1525.

Translation in English: (My name is Saviour. When I am rung I morn over the departed. Through my sound I drive the wiles and pests of Satan away. I was given by Sir Meiard man abbot till Egmond Casparus et Johannes Moer fecerunt (made me) 1525.)

The carillon under the bourdon has 35 bells. The largest 16 by Melchior de Haze (1688/89) were made for this turret. 12 smaller bells from de Waag (the weigh house) also cast by M. de Haze, and 7 modern bells by Eijsbouts.[3] In 2014 the turret is undergoing restoration; the bell part is by Clock o Matic from Holsbeek Belgium.

Church function[edit]

The church is formally owned by the "Stichting Behoud Monumentale Kerken Alkmaar", which conducts restoration activities and rents it out for weddings and concerts, but also facilitates various cultural initiatives of the city.[2]

Monumentenbordje 2014.svg Dutch Rijksmonument 7258

References[edit]

  1. ^ 1911 Encyclopædia Britannica entry for Alkmaar
  2. ^ a b c d e f website "Stichting Behoud Monumentale Kerken Alkmaar" - Historie
  3. ^ a b Rijksmonument report

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 52°37′57″N 4°44′38″E / 52.63250°N 4.74389°E / 52.63250; 4.74389