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Atlas Obscura Grote Kerk

This surprising Gothic church in Haarlem was built between 1245 and 1520 and is rich with architecture and art spanning from medieval times until today. The towering Grote of St.-Bavokerk is also known simply as Grote Kerk, meaning “Big Church,” and its striking 246-foot spire still rises higher than any other building in the city. 

The church is best known as the home of the famed Müller organ, a giant gilded instrument designed by the renowned Amsterdam organ builder Christian Müller. When it was built in 1738 it was the largest organ in the world and famous throughout Europe. Legendary composers such as George Frideric Handel and Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (at just age 10) traveled to Haarlem to play the elaborate instrument, which is adorned with 25 lifesize sculptures.

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