(NH): Begijnhofkapel or Waalse kerk
The Waalse kerk, or Walloon church, is the oldest church in Haarlem and
was originally the chapel of the beguinage, hence the alternative name
Begijnhofkapel. The beguinage was founded
in 1262 but was, like most of Haarlem, destroyed by a great fire in
1347, including the church.The church was rebuilt shortly after. In ca.
1388 the tall choir was completed and in ca.
1398 the nave was enlarged. In the same period the tower was added.
In 1581, after the protestants broke a treaty which granted the
catholics equal rights, the beguinage was confiscated. Five years later
the choir was given to the Walloon community, protestants from the
north of France and the south of what today is Belgium, while the nave
and tower remained property of the city. Especially the
nave, which served several profane functions since, has changed much
since it was built, if not to say it was mutilated, with almost none of
its Gothic features left. In 1767 the entire
church became property of the Walloon community, which still continues
to use it.