CODART, Dutch and Flemish art in museums worldwide

Sint-Janskerk Gouda


St John’s Church in Gouda started out in 1278 as a small chapel but expanded over the centuries to become a five-nave cruciform church. The present-day church was built primarily in the latter half of the sixteenth century, following a huge fire in 1552. It is dedicated to John the Baptist, Gouda’s patron saint.

The church’s fame derives mainly from its 72 stained-glass windows, known in Dutch as the Goudse Glazen. Sixty-one of them date from the period 1530 to 1603. They are among the oldest stained-glass windows in the Netherlands and survived the ravages of the Iconoclastic Fury of 1566.

The church owns almost all the original cartoons – working drawings – of the window designs, making cartoons and windows a unique ensemble. The cartoons are literally and figuratively a mammoth oeuvre, produced by leading artists including Joachim Wtewael, Isaac Swanenburg, Willem Tybaut, and Hendrick de Keyser. Twenty of the windows were designed and made by two Gouda brothers, the prominent glass painters Dirck and Wouter Pietersz. Crabeth.

Five of the original altarpieces from St. John’s Church are currently part of the permanent exhibition in the adjacent Museum Gouda.

Related CODART publications

Dr. Nadia Groeneveld-Baadj, “Experiencing the Wonder of Gouda in the Saint John’s Church”, CODARTfeatures, April 2022.

Previous events since 1999

News about this institution