Visit Het Grote Kerk  (The Great Church)

Explore Sint-Jacobskerk, a six-sided Gothic church and one of the oldest buildings in The Hague!

Within The Grote Kerk – A Look Inside The Great Church

All About The Great ChurchThe History of Sint Jacobskerk

The Grote Kerk or ‘Sint Jacobskerk’ (Saint James Church) is a cathedral and bell tower from the late Middle Ages in the center of The Hague. Together with the Binnenhof and the Loosduinen Abbey Church, it is one of the three oldest buildings in the city.

It was established in the late 13th century, first as a wooden church, and then rebuilt with brick in stages between the 14th & 16th centuries.

The church has a Gothic style, with a high vaulted interior, stained glass windows, a carved wooden pulpit, and a large organ. The church’s six-sided tower, created to handle coastal storm winds, is one of the tallest in the Netherlands, reaching 93 meters.

It has a huge carillon of bells, some of which date back to the 16th century. The tower houses an ‘autocarillon’, a musical instrument that plays melodies with a complex mechanism at regular intervals.

The church has a close connection to the Dutch royal family, as many members were baptized or married here. Most recently was the baptism of Catharina-Amalia, Princess of Orange, the daughter of King Willem-Alexander and Queen Máxima of the Netherlands

Today, the building is a national monument and a cultural heritage site. It is no longer used for regular religious services, but it hosts organ concerts, fairs, exhibitions, and other events. It is also open to visitors who want to admire its architecture and history.

Important Visitor Information

Opening hours: March-Sept from Thursday through Sunday from 12:00 to 4:00 pm and Oct-Feb on Saturdays & Sundays from 12:00 and 4:00 pm

Entrance to the church is 3 euros at the door but does NOT include the panoramic view of the city from the top of the bell tower. To see that view, you must climb the 288 steps up to the top – but only with a guided tour. The tour lasts 1.5 hours and requires a small payment and reservations via this ticketing website. Be sure to check the language of the tour online or a call them at 070 737 0325. The Museumkaart is not recognized here.

Videos about Sint Jacobskerk