Things to Do in Gouda
The Museum Gouda specializes in religious art from the 16th century, paintings from the 'Haagse School' of the 19th century and 20th-century Dutch pottery. Visitors will get to know the classical scholar Erasmus, who grew up in Gouda and played on the street where the museum is now located, and Dirck Crabeth, the master artist who created eight of the stained-glass windows in the nearby St John Church (leading to the church being placed on the UNESCO list of monuments).
The museum has a large collection of smoking pipes, tiles, antique apothecary jars and a solid selection of works from artists such as Toorop and Redon. If this sounds like an eclectic mix, it is! But hundreds of years ago, beer, cheese, pipes and pottery were cornerstones of Gouda's economy, and the museum does a wonderful job of showcasing how the town developed over the years.
John the Baptist, patron saint of the town of Gouda, looks out from the Sint Janskerk (St. John's Church) and welcomes visitors that come from all over the world to see the church’s famous stained-glass windows. The large brick church, built in the Gothic style during the 15th and 16th centuries, is notable not only for its beautiful windows but also because it is the longest church in the Netherlands. The church has been placed on the UNESCO list of Dutch monuments specifically for its stunning stained-glass windows. The ‘Gouda Windows’ (Goudse Glazen) were made and installed between 1555-1571 by the brothers Dirk and Wouter Crabeth, and were spared during the Reformation and several following wars. The main theme depicted in the windows is the life of St John, although there are many biblical scenes pictured, as well as important events in Dutch history.
Another highlight of the church is a narrow passage leading from the back of the choir to a small chapel. The chapel’s stained-glass windows depicting the Passion of Christ (also from the workshop of Dirck Crabeth), were moved to St John Church in the 1930s from the Monastery of the Regulars.