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Exterior of St. John's Cathedral

The Roman Catholic Cathedral Church of St. John (Sint-Janskathedraal) of 's-Hertogenbosch is the height of gothic architecture in Brabant, the Netherlands. It has an extensive and richly decorated interior, and serves as the cathedral for the bishopric of 's-Hertogenbosch.

The cathedral has a total length of 115 and a width of 62 metres. Its tower reaches 73 metres high.

St. John’s Cathedral is a so-called ‘Kanjermonument’ (whopper-monument, loosely translated) and being such, it receives financial support from the Dutch government.

In 1985, it received the honorary title of basilica from pope John Paul II.



Originally, the cathedral was built as a parish church, but in 1559, it became the cathedral of the diocese of 's-Hertogenbosch.

Statues on the cathedral's flying buttresses

A Romanesque church used to stand on the spot where the St. John now resides. Its construction is thought to have started in 1220 and was finished in 1340. Around 1340, building began to extend the church, from which its current gothic style came. The transept and choir were finished in 1450. In 1505, the romanesque church was largely demolished, leaving only its tower. Construction of the gothic St. John was finished about the year 1525.

St-Jan 's-Hertogenbosch

In the year 1584, a fire broke out in the high wooden crossing tower, more majestic than the current one. Soon the whole tower was set ablaze, and it collapsed upon the cathedral itself, taking with it much of the roof up to point where the organ was situated. In 1830, another fire damaged the western tower, which was repaired by 1842.

Underneath the clock tower there is a carillon. The clockwork can be found at the top of the Romanesque tower.

From 1629 to 1810, a Protestant minority used the church, which came to be in a heavily dilapidated state. When Napoleon visited the town in 1810, he restored the building to the Catholics.


The first restoration of the cathedral lasted from 1859 to 1946. A second attempt at restoration was executed from 1961 to 1985. The third and most recent restoration started in 1998, and is still in progress. Major parts of the building are once again covered by scaffolding erected for restoration of the outer stonework, but also, ironically, to remedy mistakes made by earlier restoration attempts.

The Organ

The pipe organ of the cathedral was built by Heyeman between 1617 and 1621.
Interior of the crossing tower of St. John's Cathedral
I Rugpositief C–f3
Praestant 8′
Bourdon 8′
Quintadena 8′
Fluyttravers 8′
Octaaf 4′
Fluyt dous 4′
Super Octaaf 2′
Flageolet 1′
Mixtuur V
Sexquialter II
Trompet 8′
Dulciaan 8′
II Hoofdwerk C–f3
Praestant 16′
Bourdon 16′
Praestant 8′
Holpyp 8′
Octaaf 4′
Teriaan 31/5
Quint 3′
Super Octaaf 2′
Mixtuur VII
Trompet 16′
Trompet 8′
III Bovenwerk C–f3
Quintadena 16′
Praestant 8′
Roerfluyt 8′
Viola di Gamba 8′
Octaaf 4′
Open fluyt 4′
Quintfluyt 3′
Open fluyt 2′
Super Octaaf 2′
Sexquialter II
Carillon III
Cornet V
Trompet 8′
Vox Humana 8′
Hautbois 8′
Pedaal C–f1
Praestant 32′
Praestant 16′
Bourdon 16′
Octaaf 8′
Gedekt 8′
Octaaf 4′
Bazuyn 16′
Trompet 8′
Clairon 4′
Cornet 2′

External links

Coordinates: 51°41′17″N 5°18′27″E / 51.68806°N 5.3075°E / 51.68806; 5.3075



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