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D49 Schoonoord



Hunebed D49 Schoonoord is known as the Papeloze Kerk (church without a priest), a reference to the fact that, in the 16th century, during the Eighty Years War, the Catholic heirarchy forbade Protestants to worship openly. As a result, the Protestants resorted to holding so-called Hagespreken—secret church services held in the open air—often conducted by a lay-preacher rather than a priest, hence the name.

It was rumoured that such services were conducted at the site of the Schoonoord hunebed, which in those days was not surrounded by trees, but was situated in the open treeless heathland of Ellertsveld. The hunebed provided a relatively high look-out point which meant that any uninvited intruders could be detected long before they arrived. It is reputed that Calvinist open air conventicles were held here by the Reverend Menso Alting, although there is no written evidence of this.

The name Papeloze Kerk seems to have been derived from 16th century open-air conventicles held in northern France by the church reformer Jean Calvin, which he called Église Sans Pape. However, the apellation Papeloze Kerk for hunebed D49 only seems to have come into use during the early 19th century.

Nowadays, hunebed D49 is visited yearly for a re-enactment of the hagepreken. Local protestants don historical outfits and a service with music is held around and on top of the dolmen. The service is organised by a historical fellowship, Die Luyden van ‘t Hooge Veene, and the Hervormde en Gereformeerde Kerk. Instead of preaching against the Catholic church of Rome, as was the custom in the sixteenth century, the modern service preaches on fundamental Christianity. The service is held in the regional Drents dialect.
LesHamilton Posted by LesHamilton
27th September 2013ce
Edited 27th July 2018ce

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