Roof and tower of the Hoflaankerk

Saturday 3 July 1999 - Our choir sang in the Hoflaankerk in Kralingen. We did very well. Unfortunately there were only a few more spectators more than choir members. During the coffe break I explored the hidden parts of the church.

In the last minutes of the coffee-break I managed to ask the sexton (?) permission to climb into the tower and to take pictures.

The poor man tried to dissuade me by telling me that it was dirty and dusty and that I would have to crawl under the church bells. But that only made me more enthousiastic. In the end I got his permission if I came by on a Wednesday morning when he was there anyway.

Stairs lead up to a balcony. In the middle the platform for the organ player. Heaps of old sheet music. From the balcony you get a nice view of the inside oft he church.

I couldn't fail to notice a small door behind the organ.

During the coffe-break I slipped inside and walked up rickety wooden stairs. The narrow space under the stairs was filled with old chairs, chandeliers and flagpoles.

I ended up in a dark brick room. Square, with arched doors. There seemed to be several exits from this space but I didn't dare to go further in my white shirt and neat black trousers.

Wednesday 21 July 1999 - I re-visited the Hoflaankerk and got the promised tour of the tower. I was not allowed to go alone. The sexton said "It's my responsibility to take care of such requests". I felt a bit guilty because this 60+ year old man put on his overall and climbed all the rickety stairs and ladders with me.

In the above picture you can see him at the end of the gangway. He didn't want to be photographed up close. You are looking towards the square room with the arches. The church roof is above your head. It was very dry and warm here. A detailed look at the beams of the church roof.
Looking down onto the arches of the ceiling. The back-wall of church hall is under your feet.
One level up from the square room with the arches.

The stairs leading up to the clock and the bell. From here there are no more stairs, only ladders.

The clock is on the right. On the left a piece of the mechanism from which the church-bell hangs.

On the way up two hatches had to be removed and put aside. You can see it at the left side of the ladder.

At one point you had to cross from one ladder to another above a two-storey drop. As always going down was scarier than going up, you don't see where to put your feet.

Above the bell I saw graffiti from 1902, I was so foolish not to photograph it. An empty nest with eggs had been lying here for several years.

Here you're looking down two storeys of ladders. It was really this dark. This picture was taken without a flashlight.

The clim ends at an octagonal balcony with pillars giving a nice view in all directions. In theory you could climb up one more level. If you take a ladder with you you could open a hatch in the floor of the cupola (under the cross). But I think tat this space wouldn't be so interesting.

Under the roof a lot of heat had accumulated so when you emerged into the wind on top it was suddenly very cold.

Here you're looking down the Hoflaan in the direction ot the Lambertuskerk. That's a Roman Catholic church (the competition). You can see the scaffolding around the tower. Once you could go all the way to the top of the tower. Ofcourse I've climbed it ...

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1999 Petr Kazil - Updated 12 November 1999