R.K. St. Vitus
1892 / Dr. P.J.H. Cuypers

Emmastraat 5-7

The Roman Catholic Vitus Church from 1892 is a neo-Gothic cruciform basilica and one of the largest churches in the oeuvre of Pierre Cuypers (1827-1921). The tower is one of the four tallest church towers in the Netherlands. The church contains many Gothic motifs. The forecourt has a labyrinth. In 2001 the complex, consisting of church, rectory and parish hall, was placed on the national monument list. Between 2003 and 2010, the church and tower were extensively restored, preserving the original details.

New Catholic elan

When Catholics were forbidden to practice their religion openly at the end of the sixteenth century, the result was that they lost their church buildings to the Protestants. In Hilversum this was the case with the Grote Kerk on Kerkbrink, which has been a reformed church ever since. After the restoration of the episcopal hierarchy in 1853, Catholic church building took off enormously. In Hilversum, the growth in the number of Roman Catholic parishioners led to the construction of an entirely new church on Emmastraat.

Pierre Cuypers

The St. Vitus Church was built in 1891-1892 to a design by Dr. P.J.H. (Pierre) Cuypers. Although Cuypers is best known today as the architect of the Rijksmuseum (1876-1885) and the Central Station (1881-1889), both in Amsterdam, he had already built up an important reputation for building Catholic churches. Cuypers’ son Joseph also contributed to the design. The construction was led by the later famous architect Karel de Bazel, who was an apprentice at the Cuypers architectural office at the time.

Photo: Dudok Architectuur Centrum

Gothic influences

The church has a cruciform plan with a three-aisled nave and a long, five-aisled transept. The nave and the transepts have a wooden star-shaped vault ceiling, the vaults in the choir, side aisles and celebration are bricked. Both the interior and exterior walls of the church are brickwork and decorated with colored brick patterns. Many Gothic influences are present in the design of the St. Vitus, such as the flat choir closure that was made after the Norman example, the narrow lancet windows that refer to the English Gothic and the wooden vault that goes back to the St. Bavo in Haarlem (1370). -1520).


The 98.3 meter high, square tower is crowned with a steep needle spire and surrounded by four high corner towers. A statue of St. Vitus was placed in 1905 between the doors of the main entrance, which is located at the bottom of the tower, the carved tympanum dates from 1922.


The high altar was made in 1893 by the German-Dutch sculptor Friedrich Wilhelm Mengelberg (1837-1919). The stained glass windows above the high altar date from 1892 and were made in the studio of the Limburg glazier Frans Nicolas (1826-1894). The church also contains the twelve stations of the cross that were painted in 1861 by the Hilversum painter Antonius Brouwer.


Petrus Josephus Hubertus Cuypers (1827-1921)




Emmastraat 5-7, Hilversum


website: sbddesign.nl