Church gives up its secrets as Schakel & Schrale comes across crypts

26 September 2007 21:24

This spring, while restoring the tombstonecovered floors of the Grote Kerk (Main Church) in The Hague, BAM’s restoration specialist Schakel & Schrale came across a large number of crypts, probably dating from the seventeenth century.

Archaeologists were surprised by the find. 'It's not unusual to find crypts when excavating churches, but the sheer quantity here and the fact that they are so well preserved really is unusual', says Schakel & Schrale site manager Johan de Haan.
While Schakel & Schrale have been at work in different part of the church, archaeologists led by Monique van Veen have investigated the graves. It was while doing this that they came across the vault of a large cellar.

A unique find. There are thousands of skulls and pieces of bone here under a layer of sand containing stained glass. Parts of the cellar walls date back to the beginning of the fourteenth century. They are probably the remains of the first stone church that stood here.