Basilica Our Lady of the Assumption  Zwolle

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Zwolle is the Capital Town of the Province Overijssel in the east of Netherlands. In 1230 the city became city rights. In the Province are five basilicas. In the whole of the Netherlands twenty.

The city count more than a 100.000 citizens  A fine city wall is left from the Middelages and a gate called ‘Sassenpoort’

In 1999 the church, dedicated to St. Mary, celebrated its 600 years jubilee. At the 18th. of October the church was raised until the title of ‘basilica minor’ by Pope John Paul the Second.

When the chapel was visited in 1398 by  the munch Thomas from Kempen.(Germany), He put his new life as a munch under the protection of St.Mary.

No one did know how famous he would become as the writer of the book ‘de imitatio Christi’. This book is after the Holy Bible the most translated and sold book in the world.

Since june 2006 Thomas a Kempis is buried in the basilica.

 The first building period ended in 1417. Then the Great- or St. Michaelschurch was enlarged. The second building period was from 1452 till 1454.

In the third period the tower was build in two segments. Six bells were cast in the tower.

The height of the tower was increased in 1540, 1727 and 1828. The nickname of the tower, symbol of the city is ‘the pepperbox’.

During the Reformation the church was out of service from 1580 till 1809. The church was used for all kinds of purposes: a circus tent, a depot for military vehicles, workshop for the sons of the famous Arp Schnitger, who build the famous organ in the church of St. Michel's in 1721.

In 1809 the city was visited by the Lodewijk Napoleon, Regent of Holland and brother of Napoleon Bonaparte. He ordered to give the church back to the catholic community.

In that following time the church was restored and a new altar, organ and furniture was bought. The organ was bought from a closed church in Munster. (Germany)

In 1896 a new instrument was build by the organ builder M. Maarschalkerweerd from Utrecht. (His largest instrument was build in the Concert hall of Amsterdam)

The chest of the from Brunswick build organ from Munster in 1697 still exists. However, the ornaments are lost.

 In a period of great welfare of the catholic emancipation the church was extended in the period 1870-1889.

 These were demolished in the great restoration of 1975-1981. The church got back its original Middle age cross-shape.