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The Grote Kerk is a church building on the Markt in Vlaardingen.
History goes back to the 8th century when a building on the market was donated by priest Heribald to the Anglo-Saxon missionary Willibrord (later first bishop of Utrecht).

The first stone church was founded on this site in the 12th century (around 1156). Construction was largely completed in the 14th century. The tower was completed around 1350.

The church initially served as a parish church for Vlaardingen, Vlaardingerambacht and Zouteveen and the main altar was dedicated to John the Baptist. After the Reformation (1572), the church came into the hands of the Calvinists. In 1715, the tower was raised by one floor and the simple spire was replaced by the current one. The tower was completed in 1744 by Daniel van Stolk. The Grote Kerk has a special organ that was built in 1763 by Pieter van Peteghem for the Bernardijner abbey of Baudeloo in Ghent. This organ was purchased in 1819.

The church tower has a carillon. This tower used to have a watchman (tower viewer) looking out over the water. When a Flemish logger was approaching, a ball was hoisted on the tower as a sign for the shipowner. The watchman also warned when a fishing vessel arrived with the flag at half-mast. When that was the case, the women were to remain indoors until it was known who the bad news was for.

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Additional Photos by Gerrit van der Linden (Gerrit) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 6354 W: 94 N: 10690] (62042)
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