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New Church, The Hague: Distant view from canal
The town council was a constantly active patron. During 1649-1656 the large, centralized Protestant Nieuwe Kerk was built by the city architect, Pieter Arensz. Noorwits, and Bartholomeus Cornelisz. van Bassen as part of a project to modernize an overcrowded industrial and harbour area. The ground-plan of the freestanding church consists of a rectangle with two apses against each of the long sides and one against each short side, thus creating a "preaching" church with a centralized nave. The exterior is constructed of brick and articulated by Tuscan pilasters in stone, and the high-rising pavilion roof is crowned with a little open turret. Up until the canals in the Hague were filled in at the end of the 19th century, the church was accessed by boat or from the Wagenstraat, located on a square island of the Spui (Sluice). It is now a concert hall. Spinoza is buried in the churchyard.