‘You don’t know whether you're in the Netherlands or in Rome. Truly impressive,’ declared one surprised visitor to Oudenbosch Basilica. This to-scale copy (1:16) of St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome was constructed in the village of Oudenbosch in western Brabant between 1865 and 1880. It’s a real masterpiece for a village that then had a population of just 3500, and while the population has since quadrupled, the building remains unique. Designed by master architect Pierre Cuypers, who also designed Amsterdam’s Rijksmuseum and Centraal Station, you’ll find yourself astounded by this ‘wonderful place, one of the Netherlands’ finest churches’.
An impressive gem
For just 50 Euro cents, you can climb the 144 steps to the very top of the dome and enjoy the magnificent decor from 30 metres up in the air. You can also enjoy the beautiful ceiling paintings on the dome or visit the shop and museum in the basement. As one former guest put it, ‘the basilica is impressive and a real gem in this part of the Netherlands’. The monument forms part of the ‘Grootste Museum van Nederland’, an initiative that aims to make hidden artwork accessible to everyone.
Free of charge
Oudenbosch Basilica remains a place of worship. Access to the Basilica is free of charge during regular opening hours, plus there are tours starting at 2 pm every Saturday. Please get in touch beforehand for private tours. If you prefer to explore independently, audio tours are available in English, and why not combine your visit with a trip to Sterrenwacht Tivoli, the oldest public observatory in the country? You could also discover Breda, Bergen op Zoom and Tilburg. With the station no more than a kilometre away, a bus stop outside the Basilica and free parking, one of Brabant’s most striking monuments is highly accessible.
If you are interested in the stories hidden behind the marble pillars, the baldachin and the rest of this imposing church, then a guided tour is unmissable during your visit to the Basilica.
Combine the audio tour or guided tour in the Basilica with a city walk by Visit Halderberge. On this city walk you discover Willem Hellemons’ Oudenbosch and learn more about the various monuments and spots in Oudenbosch.
Oudenbosch was once the starting point of the Dutch zouaves. In the period between 1864-1870 they went to war to preserve the papal state. A unique collection recalls the now legendary zouaves movement.
Set your own pace as you walk through the ship, past the sacrament altar, the baldachin and the various sculptures and paintings. Everyone can explore and experience the Basilica in their own way.