St. John's Cathedral, 's-Hertogenbosch

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St. John's Cathedral, 's-Hertogenbosch

The Roman Catholic Cathedral Church of St. John (Sint-Janskathedraal) of 's-Hertogenbosch is the height of gothic architecture in North Brabant, Netherlands. It has an extensive and richly decorated interior, and serves as the cathedral for the bishopric of 's-Hertogenbosch.

The cathedral has a total length of 115 and a width of 62 metres. Its tower reaches 73 metres high.

St. John’s Cathedral is a so-called ‘Kanjermonument’ (whopper-monument, loosely translated) and being such, it receives financial support from the Dutch government.

In 1985, it received the honorary title of basilica from pope John Paul II.


Originally, the cathedral was built as a parish church, but in 1559, it became the cathedral of the diocese of 's-Hertogenbosch.

A Romanesque church used to stand on the spot where the St. John now resides. Its construction is thought to have started in 1220 and was finished in 1340. Around 1340, building began to extend the church, from which its current gothic style came. The transept and choir were finished in 1450. In 1505, the romanesque church was largely demolished, leaving only its tower. Construction of the gothic St. John was finished about the year 1525.

In the year 1584, a fire broke out in the high wooden crossing tower, more majestic than the current one. Soon the whole tower was set ablaze, and it collapsed upon the cathedral itself, taking with it much of the roof up to point where the organ was situated. In 1830, another fire damaged the western tower, which was repaired by 1842.

Underneath the clock tower there is a carillon. The clockwork can be found at the top of the Romanesque tower.

From 1629 to 1810, a Protestant minority used the church, which came to be in a heavily dilapidated state. When Napoleon visited the town in 1810, he restored the building to the Catholics.


The first restoration of the cathedral lasted from 1859 to 1946. A second attempt at restoration was executed from 1961 to 1985. The third and most recent restoration started in 1998 and was completed in 2010, costing more than 48 million euro. Major parts of the building are once again covered by scaffolding erected for restoration of the outer stonework, but also, ironically, to remedy mistakes made by earlier restoration attempts.

Angel with a mobile phone

During the restoration 25 new angels statues had been created by sculptor Ton Mooy, including the one with a modern twist. The last angel in the series holds a mobile phone and also wears jeans. "The phone has just one button, says the artist. - It dials directly to God". The mobile-using angel had to be first approved by the cathedral's fathers, who rejected earlier designs with the jet engines on the angel's back.

The Organ


10 photos

Building Activity

  • Hans Leijten
    Hans Leijten updated 40 media
    about 6 years ago via
  • Hans Leijten
    Hans Leijten uploaded 10 media
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    about 6 years ago via Mobile