HOLLAND – The wave of destruction in churches, which first appeared to be limited to France, Wallonia and Flanders, has still reached the south of Holland. In Delft, Brielle, Leiden and The Hague destroyed churches. Saints images are destroyed, altars demolished and stolen valuables.

How many churches have become victims of this predominantly Calvinist rioters is not clear. But probably involves tens almshouses alone in the southern part of Holland.

Iconoclasts at work (F. De Witt Huberts, The siege of Haarlem. Haarlem heroic struggle in words and pictures 1572, Haarlem 1944)​

In some places was the iconoclasm accompanied by violence. On numbers of injured is unknown.

The destruction often proceed via a fixed pattern. Once the news is known to have been demolished in churches in cities around, respond most parties in the same way.

Remove the churches -where possible- their valuables from the church. The city council is trying to prevent vandalism and Calvinists just gather to cause as much damage as possible.


The first reports of demolition parties in churches came last Saturday in Delft.

That anger first came out in Delft is not surprising. Been two months since the request was made to the city council to allow the service hold a Calvinist pastor Albrecht van der Houff in the Saint George Hospital. That was rejected.

The service did go by, outside the city, where the city council could not do anything against.

The iconoclasm, 1566, Jacobus Buys, 1784 – 1786. Rijksmuseum

When news of iconoclasm in Antwerp and Amsterdam also became known in Delft, drew the first rioters towards the Old Church. Led by the wealthy Delft Adrian Menninck work began with the demolition of the statues in the Old Church. Some people who took part in the destruction would also be paid to help.

Local authorities managed to get the rioters from church. But which surfaced later that day again in the New Church. Even there they were driven away and the guard was doubled.

Early on Saturday morning the iconoclasts came back to finish the job in the Old and the New Church. The clerk was forced to open the doors and all the images that were not brought to a safe place went to pieces.

When the local police to 5 morning was spot, the rioters were still busy. He managed to stop some of the demolitions.

When the Franciscan Klooster the beeldenstormers were chased. They did not so much provide the picture, but more on the food supply in the monastery.

Today Menninck behalf of the iconoclasts again made the request to open the churches that Van der Houff can hold a sermon. That request has not yet responded.


Of Keys in the news about the Amsterdam iconoclasm already announced on Friday. On that day the church government began to put all valuables in safety.

Peter in the Atlas de Wit 1698 – Wikipedia

Yesterday held the city government with the police and local officials a crisis meeting, when the sexton of St. Peter was reporting that people had invaded the church. The iconoclasts were put out of the church by the mayor and the police and the building was closed.

Last night the men came back into the church. They smashed the statues of the Twelve Apostles. Later in the morning were also the Church of Our Lady and St. Pancratiuskerk mauled.

According to local sources, it is still not peaceful in Leiden. Campaigners would chant lyrics like "It should happen here what happened elsewhere."

No church in the city would be spared. Also related to the Franciscan monastery outside the city with heavy destruction. Also stolen widely.


Brielle The situation yesterday was strikingly different. There is the city government and the judiciary precisely supporter of Calvinism.

Among the leaders of the iconoclasm was Ewoud police Cornelis. He made sure were just protected the iconoclasts. He could count on the support of Mayor Heyndricks.

The iconoclasts were given detailed instructions. That way was the interior of the Saint Catherine monastery and the Clarisse Convent coming, like the convent outside the city walls in Rugge.

The two large churches, St. Catherine's Church and the Maeslantkerk, were temporarily spared, because they were locked.

Den Haag

In The Hague yesterday it wanted a peaceful and orderly manner, the churches rid of the controversial saints.

Adriaan Menninck, who also played a prominent role in recent days by the iconoclasm in Delft, demanded by the Court of Holland that they would mobilize workers to assist in the removal of the images. They claimed that they had orders from the authorities to demolish the statues.

The Court of Holland sent with twelve workers to do the job, in the hope that everything would proceed without problems.

That did not happen. Despite monitoring of the church, Some iconoclasts still managed to also come into the church. The Great Church and the Dominican monastery were stripped of images, but not in the orderly manner envisioned authorities.

Not everywhere

The iconoclasm was not confined to the big cities. In Heenvliet, Wassenaar Voorburg attacked churches.

But in other major cities in the southern part of Holland, zoals Dordrecht, Rotterdam and Gouda has hitherto remained quiet.


It is not yet clear what caused the wave of destruction sigh in our country. The main cause of the rise of Calvinism is named. Many iconoclasts are fan of this form of Protestantism. Authorities are generally Roman Catholic.

According to the Calvinist church ought to be soberly decorated, unadorned and without images of various saints.

Hagen Sermons outside Antwerp, 1566, Jan Luyken, 1679 – 1684

The prosecution and the treatment of the Calvinists would play a role. Protestants may not hold their own services. Therefore, they often gather in the open, the so-called 'Hage sermon'. Who can rely caught prosecution.

But also plays a role in social discontent. The crop failure and a blockade of the Baltic ensures high food prices and growing poverty.

The Catholic Church was rich. The interiors contain a lot of gold and silver and expensive art. Many rioters were hired and even got a day's wages to demolish it.

The first problems arose years ago in France, where all the Protestant Huguenots 1560 losgingen churches in Rouen and La Rochelle. After the Huguenots has declared war, weeks, many of them, inter alia, to Flanders and Wallonia.

Not coincidentally went there the iconoclastic further. Op 10 augustus, more than two weeks ago, was in the Westerkwartier, the southwest corner of the county of Flanders, after a sermon hedges stripped the first church of images.

Then, the unrest spread across the Southern Netherlands. Often the iconoclasts in groups of city moved to town and village to village. Early last week, the problems also reached Antwerp, Gent, Breda and Den Bosch. Afterward came also the Northern Netherlands turn.


Transmission of the Petition of the Nobles to the Regent Margaret of Parma, 1566, Simon Fokke, 1729 – 1766. Rijksmuseum

Earlier this year, hundreds of nobles had submitted a request to Margaret of Parma, the regent, to abolish the persecution of Calvinists. They suspended the Inquisition when temporarily, so the nobles could personally to King Philip II handing over their petition.

The chances that seems petition is granted by the outbreak of the massive riots quite small. The political role of Margaret of Parma seems almost finished, the space they offered to the nobility who dared to go against Philip II.

The king has not yet responded to the unrest.

Hoe ging het verder?

It took a while before calm returned in the Netherlands. The iconoclasm in our region was part of what is now called the 'second wave' (in the Westerkwartier was part of the first wave).

There was a third wave, especially in the north and east of our country. In some other cities demolition parties were again made, such as Delft and Brielle.

Some cities then gave it permission to hold sermons in churches, often out of fear of new problems.

Dissemination of Iconoclasm. Wikipedia


King Philip II tried to restore order by sending the Duke of Alva to the Netherlands. To pay his army, the Tenth Penny was introduced.

That load caused the dissatisfaction with the Spaniards only increased.

Governess Marghareta Parma was totally disagreed with the methods of Alva and stepped on. The duke was her successor. He made short work of all known iconoclasts. Often they had to give up all their possessions. Most iconoclasts then fled.

A few months after the iconoclasm broke out in some cities an uprising against the Spaniards. But because it would take two years before the rebels would win first battle (which Heiliger), is the date (23 mei 1568) officially designated as the beginning of the Eighty Years' War.


Dr. J. barber – Foundation Gihonbron (2008) – The iconoclasm

RTV Rijnmond – Canon Forgotten Tales - Beeldenstorm raast door Brielle

Wikipedia – French early iconoclastic

Wikipedia – Beeldenstorm


Author: Dave Datema

published: 01-10-2018

story number: 218

https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=55&v = 5cTUM1_i2Cw

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