The Laurenskerk “Get to know history, create the future”
The centre of Rotterdam was almost completely wiped out during the bombing on 14 May, 1940. Of the Laurenskerk, only the walls and tower remained standing. People soon rolled up their sleeves and got to work clearing the rubble and building a new city. Only the medieval Laurenskerk was restored, which is seen as a symbol of the resilience of the people of Rotterdam and also represents its reconstruction.
The Laurenskerk tower is open to visitors on Wednesdays and Saturdays from March to October. Our passionate guide tells the story of the tower while leading visitors to the top, passing the carillon of the Hemon company from the 17th century and the associated giant drum on the way. After climbing more than 300 steps, a spectacular view of the Rotterdam skyline awaits you on the roof. Visting the tower is €6,= per person or free with a Rotterdam pass (maximum 10 participants per climb). The minimum age is 6 years. Tickets can be purchased at the Laurenskerk box office on the day of your visit.
Note: Opening times may change due to private meetings or special occasions.
Wednesday 14:00 Saturday: 12:00 and 13:30
A reservation is not necessary. You can buy a ticket before the start of every towerclimb at the desk in the Laurenskerk. But be on time, places are limited.
To share the unique story of the Laurenskerk and the city, a museal design was implemented in 2010 under the title De Laurenskerk, a monument full of stories. Using the storybook, visitors can discover the history of the Laurenskerk in 84 diverse stories, as well as music samples, images, and sculptures. You can learn, for example, where the late Queen Juliana masoned the first stone at the beginning of the reconstruction, or which spiritual festivals are celebrated by the various demographics populating Rotterdam. Visitors can also watch a compelling film about the bombings of Rotterdam, Coventry, and Dresden
(made by Ramon Mendeville van Aspex Media.)
Italian artist Giacomo Manzù designed the bronze doors of war and peace in the 1960s. The door’s panels depict the horrors of war and the joys of peace. Also worth seeing are the 18th-century brass choir screen, the baptismal font of Hans Petri from the 1960s, the 17th-century tombs of Witte de With, Egbert Kortenaer, and Johan van Brakel, and three Marcussen organs – including the largest organ in the Netherlands.
The Grote Laurenskerk, or Sint Laurenskerk, colloquially known as simply the Laurenskerk or Laurens, has traditionally served as Rotterdam’s “main church”. Built between 1449 and 1525, the church is the only remaining late Gothic building in Rotterdam, which was originally medieval. For many, the Laurenskerk is a symbol of Rotterdam’s history. For example, in the Middle Ages, citizenship of Rotterdam could be purchased by contributing 3000 stones to the construction of the church tower. Images of the badly-damaged building during World War II and its reconstruction afterwards grew to represent the good fortune of the city and its residents.