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“Enthralling!”

Sint-Bavokerk (Church of St. Bavo)
Reviewed 2 August 2014

In Haarlem now and went there today. You can really sense the history. It was easy to feel peaceful as well as respectful of the art, architecture, fine detail in the wood carvings & stained glass and the stunning organ. The organ steals the show at around 100 feet high with over 5,000 pipes. Mozart (at age 10!) and Handel played the organ, which was constructed in the 1730's. It is the largest in the Netherlands. The longer you look at what the Grote Kerk has, inside and out, the more exquisite detail you can see. It especially inspiring when you stand right in the center, called "the crossing" and slowly look in all directions (up & down too!) to take it all in. Lending even more historical weightiness are the thick slabs of what appears to be slate, many of them with etchings and carvings in relief. The incredible beauty and ingenious construction of the ceiling also demands careful viewing with a dramatic contrast between the wood spines and the alabaster background of the ceiling in the center. Frans Hals, the master Haarlem artist, is buried here. Others? Not sure. But about 1500 gravestones are used for the floor. Don't miss this special place! And don't neglect studious views outside as well. Oh, by the way, this is for Grote Kerk (Great Church) also often called St. Bavo but apparently there is another smaller St. Bavo. But I am describing the one with the enormous organ.

Thank John Paul R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 25 July 2014

Definitely worth a visit! Try to schedule your visit during an organ concert and/or rehearsal - it's incredibly beautiful! Fun fact: Mozart played on this organ when he was 10!

2  Thank AmerikaansBurger
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 22 July 2014

If you dont mind stepping on gravestones... And dont mind admiring an organ Mozart played on... This is a nice visit..

Thank Charles K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 22 July 2014

This is a beautiful church. We were lucky enough to be here on an evening when they did an organ concert and it was truly remarkable, such a moving experience. The next day we came back and toured the church during the day, it has such a wonderful history. If you are in Haarlem, you will want to visit this church

Thank OKCBammy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 4 July 2014

Take your time; it's worth it. Each corner, wall and alcove talks cultural, material, municipal and religious history. See the organ the 10 year-old Mozart played on commemorated with a plaque hung near it. The English brochure indeed is a key for many of the artifacts; get your bearings and follow the sights; read and you will learn. Note the row of benches where elders distributed bread to the poor; see some extraordinary golden book lecterns in the shape of birds and snakes. There is an authentic metal strongbox with keys held most likely by community dignitaries. There are indeed many registers of dignitaries affiliated with the city of Haarlem Other trinkets, modern art and curiosities on display.

Thank davidtova
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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