of the Province Overijssel in the east of
In 1230 the city became city rights. In the Province are
five basilicas. In the whole of the
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
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
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
St. Michel's in 1721.
In 1809 the city was visited by the
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
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.