Visit the Van Gogh Church Etten-Leur
At the Van Gogh Church in Etten-Leur you will be introduced to a relatively unknown period of Vincent van Gogh's life. Yet it was a period of great importance for the rest of his life. The village of Etten at the time was a turning point in Vincent's life and the beginning of his artistic career at the age of 28. Here he had his very first studio. It was here that he first registered as an artist.
In the former Dutch Reformed church, where Vincent's father was pastor for seven years, see and hear how Van Gogh laid the foundation for his later masterpieces through hard work. Inside the church, nine colorful windows and information panels depict the themes that were important to Van Gogh. Display cases contain relevant objects and documents. Objects he drew in Etten. Two large screens (in the shape of the windows) also show a beautiful animated film.
The church also retains the original pulpit of Vincent's father, Theodorus. His portrait hangs above the pulpit. Father Theodorus van Gogh was pastor in Etten for seven years, from 1875-1882! Vincent came home regularly throughout those years, especially during the holidays. Vincent always sat at the front right of the church. In 1881 Vincent lived and worked in Etten for nine months. It was the beginning of his artistry.
You can also admire the Jacobus Zeeman organ. This organ from 1699 still emits exactly the same sound as when Vincent attended his father's services in this church. During special occasions, the organ is also still played. When? Check our Agenda.
On the first floor in the bell tower of the church you will find a unique clockwork 420 years old. In Van Gogh's time, it was located at the top of the tower, where an electronic clock is now located. Downstairs in the bell tower, an animated Van Gogh timeline is also projected. A dozen self-portraits of Vincent watch with you.
There is always a hostess/host in the church who can show you around if you wish.
Following or preceding your visit to the church, you can take a small walk on your own. Behind the church, next to the old cemetery is a beautiful statue of Vincent (right on the spot where he lived and had his first studio). There is also a listening column. Nearby, next to the cinema and behind our shop, you can take a look at the impressive Van Gogh wall with dozens of Etten works by Van Gogh and one of his famous self-portraits. Cross the Marktplein and you will see the famous Moeierboom (with listening column). A little further on the Market Square is the picturesque Sint Paulushofje with behind it the Museum The Art of Living. Here you go back in time, partly together with Van Gogh....