The Sint Bavokerk is the biggest church in Haarlem. It is also called the Grote Kerk or ‘Big Church’; some lovingly call it ‘de oude baaf’ or the old baaf. The Sint Bavokerk was mentioned in documents as early as 1245. Since that time, it has been expanded to its present size with seven church bells and a beautiful tower. Even today, the Sint Bavokerk is the tallest building in Haarlem.
Stories about St. Bavokerk
The Sint Bavokerk is an extraordinary cruciform Gothic church. Some special stories are associated with it. A woman is said to have been liberated from the devil and the Dutch saying ‘the bullet is through the church’ originates here. The bullet in question can still be seen in one of the walls. Lastly, the tower was used by the fire department for years. They even slept there. If there was a fire, they opened a window in its direction and yelled and waved to inform their colleagues on the ground. The Sint Bavokerk is also the last resting place of Frans Hals.
The Sint Bavokerk in Haarlem, the most prominent monument in town, is definitely worth a visit. The tallest building in the city stands on the Grote Markt and is difficult to miss. The church regularly holds services and concerts; you are welcome to attend any of these if you so desire.