St. -janskerk(Church of St. John) : Michelin's recommendations
The magnificent stained glass windows (16-17 C) of the Church of St. John are worthy of renown. Founded in the 13 C, the church was rebuilt after fires (1361, 1438 and 1552) and enlarged each time: this is the longest church in the country (123 m). The aisles of this basilica are typical late Gothic and topped with wooden barrel vaults. The church is preceded by a small steeple that is a remnant of an earlier church (13 C). Of the church's 70 stained glass windows, 40 were spared by the iconoclasts. The others were created after the Reformation. The largest were provided by the king, princes, prelates or rich bourgeois. The 13 most remarkable stained glass windows are located in the central and eastern parts of the church. Created by the brothers Dirck and Wouter Crabeth, they were constructed between 1555 and 1571, while the church was still dedicated to the Catholic faith. They illustrate biblical scenes. Note in particular the Baptism of Jesus (the oldest stained glass window, 1555) and the Purification of the Temple (a gift from William the Taciturn). The most recent stained glass windows (1594-1603) date back to the Protestant period. They occupy the western part of the church. Provided by the free cities of Holland, they represent armoiries, historic facts, allegories and some biblical scenes. Note in particular the Relief of the Siege of Leyden (1574) amidst the Flood. The seven stained glass windows of the chapel came from a neighbouring convent; they are attributed to Dirck Crabeth or to his students.
Opening hours :
- 9am-5pm (Nov-Feb: 10am-4pm) - closed Sun