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The State Reformed Church of Zuidlaren

In the northern part of the Dutch province of Drenthe, you can still find this well-preserved State Reformed Church of the city of Zuidlaren. An outspoken farmers’ congregation, “Suudloarders” as they call themselves in the local dialect, are reliable, independent, and always at work.

This church was built in 1300. Over the years there were some small alterations, including a new roof on the tower, a new chancel (in 1500) and an improved shape of the nave. To get an idea of the great height of this building, look to the left of the entrance door.

The area surrounding the church attracts many tourists because of its beautiful lake forests and tracts of heath. Another attraction is its famous annual house fair.

Because of numerous conflicts with wild gangs from other parts of Europe, it wasn’t until 1813 that Drenthe became a province. It was very difficult to get some form of unity, respect for law and order, having only the authority of six judges (courts) spread over the area (usually in the open air, under an old oak, surrounded by soldiers).