(NH): Grote Kerk or St. Vitus
after 1350 the town of Naarden had to be moved to a safer place, as it was threathened by the rising water of the Zuiderzee, a new
church needed to be built. This new church was probably a modest
single-aisled building. In the late 15th century this church was
enlarged. The acquisition of relics of St. Vitus in 1499 probably were
an important impulse for the rebuilt.
The current church is a three-aisled cruciform basilica with a choir
with ambulatory. Remarkable is the transept, which is much lower than
While the side-aisles and ambulatory have stone vaults, the rest of the
church is covered by wooden vaults. Although the Reformation took its
toll from the interior of this church, the unique paintings on these
vaults have survived. Inspired by the work of Albrecht Dürer, scenes
from the Old and New Testament have been painted on the vaults. Next to
every scene from the Old Testament is a scene from the New Testament
with a similar message. The painting probably survived under a thick
coat of soot, and the protestants never bothered to destroy them or
paint them over.
1860 a richly ornamented neo-Gothic portal was added to the back of the
ambulatory. It was removed as part of a major restoration which lasted
from 1965 until 1978.