5 special churches and chapels in The Hague
1) Russian Church
Before Anna Pavlovna, widow of Dutch King William II, died in 1865, she determined that her dowry of religious objects would remain in the Netherlands, under the condition that they would be used during Russian-Orthodox ceremonies. Fifty years later, in this small chapel her religious belongings found shelter. They are on display during weekend services.
2) Old-Catholic clandestine church
In the 16th century, Catholicism in The Hague was only practised in hidden attics like the one at Juffrouw Idastraat. Over a century later, Catholics were again allowed to build churches, as long as they were not visible from the street. Behind this clandestine church, the St James and Augustine Church was built. Guided tours are available on Saturdays at 2.30 pm. Entrance at Molenstraat 44.
3) Willibrordus House
When in 1581 Catholics were forced out of the Grote Kerk, they found refuge in a home at the Oude Molstraat. It was later transformed into a monastery, occupied today by the Brothers of Saint John. In 1928, a beautiful chapel with stained-glass windows and wall paintings was added. It can be visited through the monastic store that sells the Haagsche Broeder beer, brewed on site.
After WWII, Bauhaus architect Otto Bartning designed temporary churches that were sent as a do-it-yourself kit to devastated cities around Germany. Thanks to a Swiss protestant relief organisation, one ended up in The Hague and was built up at a site were the German occupier had torn down houses to construct the Atlantikwall. The ‘temporary’ Maranatha church is now an important monument.
5) Abdijkerk / Abbey Church
The surrounding buildings don’t give away that, yes, this is The Hague’s oldest building still standing. It has been around since 1250, was almost completely destroyed except for its tower at the end of the 16th century, and was rebuilt using stones from the fallen walls. In summer the church is open to the public on Sunday afternoons, organ recital included.
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