Vianen, a town with a rich history

Grote Kerk Vianen // grote_kerk_vianen-foto_dike_9.jpg (302 K)Vianen is a unique medieval fortified town in the 'Vijfheerenlanden’ (literally translated as ‘The Countries of Five Gentlemen’) with 14th century moats and ramparts within which many buildings have remained intact. Of the original fortress, the Lekpoort (the gate to the river Lek), which was built in the fifteenth century, has retained its full glory. Striking monuments are the Stadhuis (Town Hall - 1425) and the Grote Kerk (Major Church - 1542).

Like Vianen, the Grote Kerk has an eventful history. A history that began with the building of a small chapel at the site of the current church; a history of building, fire, reconstruction, decline and repeated restorations.

The Grote Kerk was built in Vianen by the Brederode family as a building in which to worship and to illustrate the grandeur of their power. This family played an important role in the history of the church. For instance, Reinoud II and his grandson Reinoud III, both Knights of the Order of the Golden Fleece, both rebuilt the church after major fires. The role played by Hendrik van Brederode, nicknamed the ‘Grote Geus’ (The Great Beggar), was also important. In Vianen, he, together with Lodewijk van Nassau and Willem van Oranje, was responsible for the build-up to the Eighty Years' War. Lodewijk en Willem were also regular visitors to the church.

The extraordinary mausoleum of Reinoud III van Brederode and his wife Philippote van der Marck can also be found in the church. This monument will be restored in the coming months. In the summer season, the Grote Kerk can be visited on Wednesdays and Saturdays.

For more information, please visit: www.grotekerkvianen.nl.

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