The Grote Kerk of Breda

Photo by Moniek Bloks


This is the Church of Our Lady at Breda, The Netherlands. It’s perhaps better known simply as the Great or Grote Kerk / Church because it’s now a protestant church. grotekerk-2

There was actually a wedding happening here later in the day, so it was a bit decorated on the inside.





It’s a seriously beautiful church, and entrance is free. We had a bit of talk in the choir before moving onto the important stuff, the tombs!





John II van Polanen (grandfather of Johanna) together with his two wives Oda of Horne-Altena and Machteld of Rotselaer-Brabant (a bastard daughter of John III, Duke of Brabant).


Epitaph above the vault for Engelbert I of Nassau and John IV of Nassau and their wives. Johanna is to the left of the centre.


In this vault are:

  • Engelbrecht I of Nassau
  • Johanna of Polanen
  • John IV of Nassau
  • Maria of Loon-Heinsberg
  • Engelbrecht II of Nassau
  • Cimburga of Baden (daughter of Charles I, Margrave of Baden-Baden and Catherine of Austria)
  • Françoise of Savoy (daughter of Marie of Luxembourg and Jacques of Savoy, Count of Romont)

Plus there are several incomplete and unidentified remains.


Next to this is the Princes’ Chapel. This is the old family fault of the Orange-Nassaus. Seventeen members of the family are buried in the chapel. When William the Silent was murdered the city of Breda was in the hands of the Spanish. He was therefore buried in Delft, and the family burials continued in Delft.


The monument itself is of Cimburga of Baden and her husband Engelbrecht II (despite the fact that he is buried in the old vault above!)


This vault contains the remains of:

  • Henry III of Nassau
  • René of Chalon
  • Anna of Egmont
  • Maria of Nassau (short-lived daughter of Anne of Egmont and William of Orange)
  • Maria of Chalon (short-lived daughter of René of Chalon and Anna of Lorraine, coffin sits on top of her father’s)
  • Possibly Claudia of Chalon, though this is not confirmed


Gorgeous ceiling inside the Princes’ Chapel

About Moniek Bloks 2490 Articles
My name is Moniek and I am from the Netherlands. I began this website in 2013 because I wanted to share these women's amazing stories.

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