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.