Churches and monuments
In Gooise Meren, you will find 13 churches and nearly 500 monuments. Not only can you walk from one monument to the other in the two fortified towns of Naarden and Muiden, but Bussum and Muiderberg also have some (sometimes well-hidden) monumental gems.
Monumental Gooise Meren
Not all churches and monuments are open to the public, but a number regularly organise events. The Kerk aan Zee in Muiderberg and the architecturally exceptional Spieghelkerk in Bussum, built in 1924 and designed by architect Theo Rueter, are open to the public and worth a visit.
The Grote Kerk (Sint-Nicolaaskerk) in Muiden still rings its bell every evening. This custom dates back to the time when Muiden had city gates. The bell was rung before the gates closed, signalling residents to go home for dinner. People often ate porridge for supper, hence the name porridge clock. The church is a late Gothic pseudo basilica from the early 15th century, the tower of which dates back to the 12th century.
All monuments have their offer and their own story.View our overview
Grote kerk Naarden
The Grote Kerk Naarden, officially the St. Vitus Church, is nationally known. The exceptional vault paintings and the annual performance of the Matthew Passion attract many visitors. It is not precisely known which artist applied the paintings to the barrel vault between 1509 and 1518, but they are considered among the Netherlands' most complete and well-preserved vault paintings. There are 27 images of scenes from the Old and New Testaments. They are located 25 meters above the nave and choir. In 2021, the barrel vault was open for visitors, a unique experience. And while you're there... climb the church’s tower, the top offers a fantastic view.
Churches and monuments - Get to know them by visiting them
Much heritage is protected as a national, provincial or municipal monument. Most locations have given a contemporary interpretation to the activities. For example, exhibitions, concerts or performances are regularly organised in the Grote Kerk in Naarden. The Redeemer Church in Bussum will be given a new meaning with events and workshops for the young and the old. At the Jewish Cemetery in Muiderberg, you can learn more about the Jewish religion and ideas. Muiden has also found a new destination for several monumental buildings; for example, the Muiderslot has the oldest stage in the Netherlands, and many activities are organised in the barracks of Muiden.