Annunciation and Visitation in Stained Glass

Arts and heritage
Two scenes from Maria’s life are depicted in stained glass: the announcement of the birth of Jesus by archangel Gabriel (Annunciation) and Maria’s visit with her niece Elisabeth who is pregnant by John the Baptist (Visitation). The depictions are placed in a grand architectural décor with columns, pillars and cornices spanned by a vaulted ceiling. Near the bottom is the mayor’s family, the Van Hoppens, whom donated the glass to the Oude Kerk in 1555. Architect and artist Lambart van Noort is credited for the design. Stained glass is a form of glass art. In the Middle Ages, the windows of churches were completely or partially stained glass which was held together in lead strips. As a result, light entered the church space in all kinds of sparkling colours. The Oude Kerk had a total of 33 stained-glass windows, most of them from the 15th and 16th centuries, four from the 17th century and one from the 18th century. The windows in the Lady Chapel are the oldest, albeit in altered and greatly restored form.