It is not known exactly when the Grote Kerk was founded. However, in the hundreds of years of its existence, much has been told and written about the Grote Kerk. Not only about the faith that was and still is professed in this church, but also about the building, the history and the role of this church in the national history.
The church was founded as a Roman Catholic church. After the reformation, the church passed into Protestant hands. To this day, the church is in the hands of Protestants, namely the Netherlands Reformed Church. This church is part of the Protestant Church in the Netherlands.
A chapel has probably stood on the site of the present church during the eleventh century. Over time, the chapel was developed into a parish church, which in the 14th century was elevated to a collegiate church .
The present building dates from the 15th century. After a big city fire, which did not spare the church, it had to be partially rebuilt.
The Grote Kerk played an important role in the Synod of Dordrecht. During this church meeting at the beginning of the 17th century, a hundred ministers met for six months to discuss the foundations of the Reformed faith. The Synod was an initiative of Prince Maurits. He hoped this would put an end to religious disputes that were a danger to the unity of the Dutch republic.
Burial and Remembrance
For a long time, people in the Netherlands were buried in and around the churches. This also applies to the Grote Kerk of Dordrecht.
At the beginning of the 18th century, the cemetery around the church was taken out of use.
The last burial in the Grote Kerk took place on June 27, 1829.
Generous donors and sponsors
In the Grote Kerk a number of special objects are visible, which could only be made possible by generous gifts from donors and sponsors. Many donors have remained anonymous.
The gifts of a number of donors, who are known by name, are discussed here.
Stories in stained glass
During the course of the 20th and the 21st centuries, several windows of the church were replaced by stained glass windows. These windows tell parts of the history of the church and city, but also show symbolic representations.
read more about stained glass windows
The Language of choir Stalls
One of the most striking features of the interior of the Grote Kerk is the choir stalls in the sanctuary. These 16th century choir stalls are beautifully carved in wood.
Read more about the choir Stalls