The Laurenskerk (or Grote) is a well-known Gothic church in Rotterdam. It is the only remnant of the Dutch city in the Middle Ages.
A multi-purpose building
Up to this day, the church hasn't lost a bit of its symbolic power. It isn't used only for holy masses and religious ceremonies, but also functions as a venue for concerts, exhibitions, speeches and partially parties. Especially the exhibitions in all parts of the church are worth visiting as they are varied and offer so much more than mere information.
A special kind of time travel
One can relive the entire history of the Laurenskerk in the permanent exhibition. On top, the church, as a piece of history, certainly takes you back in time. There is some audio footage available that is complemented by visual material. The tour is subdivided in more or less 20 stories, which one can see and find in the respective places within the church. The exhibition presents the Laurenskerk in a varied mixture of pictures, texts and of course music. Topic-wise, each section is a separate unit for itself. You can choose yourself how much of each section you wish to see without missing important parts that are important to understand further sections of the exhibition.
A view from dizzying heights
If a simple visit to the church and the exhibitions isn't enough for you, then you may as well climb up the steeple from April to October. In that time, every Wednesday and Saturday afternoon there are guided tours offered for the church steeple. The tour does not only inform about the tower, but also offers a magnificent view over the whole of Rotterdam. Make sure you don't miss to walk up to the top of the steeple when here between April and October. It's definitely worth it!
As you see, the Laurenskerk is presented in a varied way and playfully informs the visitors about its impressive history.
Last relict from the middle ages
The Grote of St. Laurenskerk has been the landmark of Rotterdam for centuries. To the locals, Rotterdam is also known as Laurenskerk or Laurens church. Laurenskerk has witnessed almost the entire history of Rotterdam from the middle ages on, as it was built in the period between 1449 and 1525. It is thus classified as one of the last late Gothic buildings and also one of the few remains for the medieval city centre of Rotterdam.
A steady companion of the city
The Laurenskerk symbolises the history of Rotterdam more than any other building. In the middle ages, it was possible to buy the citizenship of the city if one donated 3000 stones for the construction of the church. This way, the construction of the church was secured. Although the church could have easily become a construction for eternity, the severe damages of the Second World War did not spare the church either. After heavy bombings the church had to be rebuilt from scratch. This is why Laurenskerk is so much more than a religious building or a mere attraction. It furthermore symbolises the resistance of the entire city and its inhabitants.
- The day pass at Laurenskerk (Grote) Rotterdam is €5 making it one of the 3 cheapest tourist Attractions in the Netherlands.
How to get there
You can easily reach Rotterdam with your car.
Coming from Amsterdam, it's best if you take the A4 towards the south in the direction of Den Haag. Here you change to the A13 and keep driving to the centre of Rotterdam.
Coming from Utrecht, first take the A12 and just after passing Gouda change to the A20, which takes you to Rotterdam as well.
Travelling here by train is also dead easy. The fastest way is to use the so-called Fyra. This train connection operates daily between Amsterdam, Schiphol and Rotterdam every two hours. From Amsterdam to Rotterdam it's only a 41 minutes ride away. It's best if you use one of these train stations and then change to the Fyra rail line to proceed to the city centre.
In addition, there is the possibility of using the Thalys. This train operates several times daily from Antwerp, Brussels and Paris to Rotterdam. It is a high speed train, therefore you'll be in town within a short time.
If you travel from outside the Netherlands and you have the option, choose Den Haag as your destination airport. From the airport it's only a 10 minutes journey to Rotterdam. Additionally, you can use the airport shuttle (bus line 33) and be in less than half an hour in the city centre.