Meer dan een eeuw actief voor Hoorns erfgoed

Hoorn's Religious Heritage walk: religious statues and wall panels

6. Kleine Noord

kaart We walk through the narrow passage between the house and the Bank, the Turfsteeg (peat lane) and come into the Kleine Noord . Turn Right to look at the front of the Noorderkerk.


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An hourglass, a candle still burning, a skeleton, the coffin : these are all symbols of 'momento mori', reflect on death).

The centre door is in Empire style, dating from the early 19th C. The stone carving above, with the date 1647 shows a skeleton with a scythe, hourglass and ears of wheat and the words 'En Messem Immortalitatis" meaning 'see here the harvest of immortality'. In other words the comfortably off, worthy burger does not die but lives on in a changed form. We see him here as complete skeleton, reclining on a mat and supported with a cushion. The corn harvested with the scythe symbolises the harvest of immortality. The hour- glass is upright i.e. the sand (life) is still running through.

The south entrance just around the corner has a cartouche in the arch with the inscription: Hic Meta Doloris (here ends all suffering). The corpses of paupers were carried into the church via the side- door, their suffering has ended, we see the hourglass on its side (time has run out)and the skeleton is incomplete.

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Inside the church we look at a carved panel in the choir screen dividing the church, the door leads through to the former choir, later pauper chapel. On the front of the screen, on either side of the town coat-of arms, we read": "Heed the Word"; on the choir side we see "Hear the Word".