After lunch we walked, with another couple from the ship, to St. Eusebius Church in the heart of Arnhem. The four of us toured the inside of the church. When you enter the church the first thing you see is the main pipe organ, the Strümphler organ, which dates back to 1795 and is the replacement of the Wagner organ from 1770 which was destroyed completely in WWII. There are five columns that house the pipes. Each of the towers are adorned with angels.
The church was extensively damaged during the Second World War following Operation Market Garden in 1944, with the interior being completely burnt out. Later the tower, weakened by the fire, collapsed entirely. Following the war the church was restored between 1946 and 1961.
The church is no longer used for religious services but rather is a tourist attraction, specifically commemorating the bravery of the paratroopers of the Allied forces who attempted to isolate the Germans by capturing the bridge across the river. The fourth picture from the left in the collage above, shows the Paratrooper memorial inside the church.
The Eusebius Tower is an amazing feature of Arnhem. This is the high point of the city of Arnhem. It rose out of the ruins of the Second World War. It reached its highest point ever, 93 meters. In 1994, a glass elevator was added inside the tower up to the belvedere, a lookout point with glazed sides at 73 meters. Two of us paid the 2.50 Euro fee to ride up the elevator past all of the array of bells and into the loft of the church. We had a 360 degree view of the surrounding city from the observation tower. We decided to climb the additional steps, up a winding staircase, to the spire. You can see the steps and the view from the tower above and in our photo album. The view from there was phenomenal and worth the admission cost.
Other items of interest in the church include the Mausoleum of Duke Karel of Gelre, the Salvator Bell (a gift from Duke Karel), and the the crypt below the building where you can (if you dare) find ancient human bones which have been left in the state of their burial or death. Needless to say, we skipped the last part of the self-guided tour.
We really enjoyed our visit to this amazing church. Definitely put it on your to-do list when you are in Arnhem. Here are some additional photos from our walking tour:
Arnhem - St. Eusebius Church
Arnhem - Walking Tour
Arnhem was defintiely one of the highlights on our Tulip Time Cruise. History buffs will definitely enjoy the visit. Come back again to read about other stops on our Amalegro cruise.