Brief History of the Church

The church is a basilica in the late Gothic style. This means that the church was built in the shape of a cross, the long part of the church is called the nave and the transverse section the transept. The choir, where the main altar was located in Catholic times, is in the nave - north of the transept.

The imposing walls of the church are built of brick, all according to the rules of the Flemish Gothic. This style was introduced in the thirteenth century in the western part of the Netherlands. The inner walls and pillars are made out of stone and sandstone. The architect Rutger van Kampen began the construction of the present church began around 1390. Many of the materials were supplied in pre-fabricated parts. There is little information on this aspect of the construction, which indicates that the builders most likely did not reside at the building site.

The choir was built between 1390 and 1415 and the construction of the nave started in 1410 and was completed in 1430. After 1450, the expansion of the aisles (the space parallel to the nave) began, making them a lot wider. During that time, the construction of the transepts also began. Initially they were as high as the aisles, causing the nave of the church to rise above the aisles and the transept. It wasn't until the 1560’s that the church reached its present size.