Olli Thomson

Nieuw Kerke, Delft

The first stones of the New Church were laid in 1393 but the structure was only finished in 1496 with the completion of the original tower. The current tower dates from 1872, the original and a second tower both having been lost to lighting strikes. This current tower at more than 350 feet is the second tallest in the Netherlands. Outside the church is a statue of Hugo De Groot, also known as Hugo Grotius, who is buried within.

As with the other churches I visited in Delft and Haarlem the interior space of this church is restrained, even austere. All of these churches were taken over by Protestants following the Reformation and the subsequent Beeldenstorm – the iconoclastic fury – stripped many of them of icons, statuary and art works. Not being a great enthusiast for religious ‘bling’ I prefer this very minimalist form. Here are some interior shots.

The church tower is open to visitors and it is possible to climb to three outdoor viewing levels, via a very narrow and tightly winding staircase. 376 steps will take you to the highest level at around 280 feet. The platform is extremely narrow and the surrounding wall is probably not much more than about four feet tall so if you don’t like heights this is definitely not for you.

Here are a few pictures, mostly taken from the highest level.

Finally, here are a couple of shots looking straight down. The first is from the lowest platform while the second is taken from the highest platform and in it you can see visitors on the middle platform. The structure between where they are and where I am is the clock which will give you an idea of where the high platform is if you look back at the picture of the tower at the start of this post.

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