Old Catholic hidden church of the H.H. James and Augustine
Old Catholic hidden church of the H.H. Jacobus en Augustinus is located in the center of The Hague. The Old Catholic secret church was completed in 1722 and, as the name indicates, was originally a secret church. In the summer months of July and August, the Old Catholic secret church is open for viewings every Saturday. The church can also be rented for weddings, concerts and other occasions.
The Old Catholic secret church of the H.H. James and Augustine has only been in use since 1722, because from 1578 Catholic worship was banned. It was not until 1640 that the Catholic faith became more tolerated, the following years there were many worship services in the house of one of the pastors on Juffrouw Idastraat. When the church fell into disrepair, the community was given permission to build a real church. This became the Old Catholic secret church of H.H. James and Augustine, where the first worship service was held in 1722. The building has continued for the first ten years, after the first worship service. The church eventually became one of the more beautiful hidden churches in the Netherlands.
The Old Catholic secret church of the H.H. Jacobus and Augustinus is known in many stories by the architect Daniël Marot. Although the Old Catholic secret church was built in the style of Marot, the real architect is Nicolaas Kruysselbergen. The interior is grandly characterized by a stucco ceiling, of which there is no second in the Netherlands. The Old Catholic hidden church has an altar retable with beautiful carvings and an altarpiece by M. Terwesten from 1734. The communion rail and the pulpit were designed by J.B. Xavery, as well as the marble holy water basin with reliefs. As a hidden church, the church is an exceptionally fine example of what is present in the Netherlands in this area.
The Old Catholic secret church of the H.H. James and Augustine is dominated by the altar and the pulpit. This furrows therefore the centerpiece of the church and its most beautiful feature. The altar painting depicts the Transfiguration on the mountain, made by the painter Matthias Terwesten. The sculpture on the altar is by the Antwerp native Johannes Claudius de Cock. However, two brothers of Nicolaas Kruysselbergen are responsible for the actual altar cabinet and for the painting. This magnificent work was made in the hidden church between 1732 and 1734. To the left and right of the altar are statues of Mary with Christ and Joseph, above the altar painting you will find a haloed cross, which is carried by two angels. The whole is surrounded by columns and Corinthian capitals. Above it hangs a beautiful figure of Christ between the two angels as a reference to the Last Judgment.
The Old Catholic secret church of the H.H. Jacobus en Augustinus is located in the center of The Hague and is easily accessible by various means of transport. The car offers a solution for visitors from outside the city, via the N44, A4, A12 and A13. Parking is possible at the parking garages nearby. In addition, the Old Catholic hidden church is also accessible by public transport. From Central Station there are several options to get to the hidden church. Tram 1 and 17 stop near the Old Catholic hidden church of the H.H. James and Augustine.