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Rijnsburg (ZH): reformed Grote Kerk

The area around the mouth of the rover Rhine was christianized in ca. 690. In Rijnsburg the local church was preceded by a chapel in pre-Romanesque style, which had been built in 975. In 1133 a new church was built on the same location by enlarging the chapel, this time as part of a Benedictine abbey but also serving the parish.
It was a three-aisled church in Romanesque style, with two western towers and a cloverleaf-shaped choir, the foundations of which can be seen to the north of the current church. In 1183 the church was consecrated. The importance of the church is illustrated by the fact that many members of the court of Holland were buried here.
In 1573 or 1574, during the siege of Leiden, the abbey and church were largely destroyed by the protestants. In 1578, the area had become protestant by then, work began on a new church behind the surviving tower, where the southern side-aisle used to stand. It was a small church at first, but within a century it was extended twice. A northern side-aisle was probably added in 1633, while in 1660 an ambulatory was built.
In ca. 1900 the church had once again become too small. In 1903 architect H.J. Jesse extended the building with a southern side-aisle. In 1910 an extension was added to the northern side. At both times the 16th-century walls were replaced by new ones in a rather strange neo-Romanesque style. In 1923 Jesse's companion W.I. Fontein extended the southern side another time.









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