Coordinates: 51° 35′ 21″ N, 4° 31′ 44″ E
The Basilica van de HH Agatha en Barbara was built in 1865 by the architect Pierre Cuypers as a replica of the Basilica San Pietro in Vatican City after the return of the Zouaves who set out their journey from Oudenboch to defend the Pope against Garibaldi.
The Oudenbosch Basilica is a Roman Catholic basilica in the Dutch village of Oudenbosch. The basilica is named after Agatha of Sicily and Barbara of Nicomedia, two Christian martyrs from the third century. It was built at the initiative of Willem Hellemons who was parish priest between 1842 and 1884. The basilica is unique in the region in that it is relatively large with a classical Italian appearance that is atypical for most of northern Europe, let alone a small town in North Brabant.
Dutch Papal Zouaves and local Catholics gathered in Oudenbosch and left for Rome in 1868 to defend the Papal State against Giuseppe Garibaldi’s Italian nationalist army. Therefore Pope Pius IX agreed to build a relatively big basilica in a small place. Originally a church, it was designated a minor basilica in 1912. A piece of the cloak Pope John Paul II wore during the 1981 assassination attempt is kept there as a relic.