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.



The Groote 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]

The mechanical clock has 27 bells by Melchior de Haze (1600s), and 8 modern bells.[2] The tower bell was made by Jan Moer in 1525, with a diameter or 130 cm.[2]

The church was built by Anthonius Keldermans (c. 1440–1512), from a church building family from Mechelen.[3]

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.[3] 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.[3] The organ was rebuilt in 1723 by Frans Caspar Schnitger.[3] 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".

Anna Visscher is buried in this church.[3]

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.[3]

Monumentenschildje blauw wit.svg Dutch Rijksmonument 7258


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

External links[edit]

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