Grote Kerk part 1/2
Grote Kerk in Dordrecht, until the Reformation known as Onze
Lieve Vrouwekerk ('Church of Our Lady'), is one of the most important
Gothic churches of the Netherlands.
It is an impressive building in Brabantine
style, which was not only appreciated in Brabant itself but in
the county of Holland as well. Of all churches in Holland, the church of Dordrecht
is the only one in true Brabantine style, not in one of the local
variants. It is the only big Gothic church in Holland with stone
vaults. The choir is the most elaborately decorated part of the church,
and is executed in a white-coloured natural stone. It is attributed
to Everaert Spoorwater, an architect from the Southern Netherlands
who contributed to many Gothic churches of that period, and who
already in 1434 was commissioned to finish the nave and the transepts,
construction of which had already begun some four decades earlier.
The choir however probably replaced an earlier one which was
destroyed by fire in 1457. It has five radiating chapels.
The nave and the transept are executed in brick, with only a
minimal use of natural stone for decoration only. Each trave
of the side-aisles is flanked by an undeep chapel. These are
recognizable on the outside by their gables, which were reconstructed
in 1930, using an old picture as an example. In comparison with
the height and width of the church, the nave is remarkably small.
Archaeologists discovered in 1929 that the church originally
was intended to be twice as long.
Also unfinished is the tower, work on which was started in 1439
and was probably stopped to prevent further leaning. It was designed
by Antoon I Keldermans,
who had intended it to be about twice as tall. The current top
of the church, with its four clocks, dates from 1624 and incorporates
the pillars meant for the octagonal