History Files


Modern Netherlands

Gallery: Churches of Gelderland

by Peter Kessler, 27 December 2009



Nijmegen Part 4: Churches of Bottendaal & Heseveld

St Joseph's Church

St Joseph's Church (Sint Jozefkerk in Dutch) is approached from the large roundabout at Keizer Karelplein, close to the main railway station. It was founded as a Jesuit church and, after having been used as a parish church for a long time (initially from a smaller, temporary building of 1888 which still exists next to the church), it became a Carmelite church in 2004. That year the name was changed to Titus Brandsma Memorial Church (Titus Brandsma Gedachteniskerk).

Titus Brandsma Memorial Church

The church was built in 1908-1909 and was designed by local architect B J C Claase, who was inspired by the late-Romanesque churches of the German Rhineland, a common source of inspiration for church designs in the neo-Romanesque style in the Netherlands. Typical features are the towers flanking the facade (on the right in the previous photo), the semi-circular apses of choir and chapels and, most notably, the large polygonal crossing-tower.

St Peter's Reformed Church

St Peter's Reformed Church (Hervormde Petruskerk) is on Korte Bredestraat in the former village of Hees (now the district of Hees), which lies on the western side of the main railway station. It was built with a single aisle in the mid-sixteenth century, using brick covered in white plaster. Only briefly Catholic, it was closed after the liberation of Nijmegen by the Protestant Dutch from the Spanish in 1591, and re-opened in 1607 as part of the reformed Protestant church.

St Peter's Reformed Church

Its use as a church was briefly interrupted between 1835-1860, when it became a school. Restoration work was carried out in 1882, during which the white plaster was removed to reveal the bare brick. Following the Second World War further restoration work had to be carried out, along with a degree of expansion between 1947-1951, including the repair of the nave, which was badly damaged during bombing on 22 July 1942. Finally, the side-aisles were added in 1952.

St Anthony Abbot Church

St Anthony Abbot Church (St Antonius Abt) serves the Catholic parish of Hees-Neerbosch, and is located on Dennenstraat on the outskirts of the former village of Neerbosch. The old church on this site was dilapidated by 1879, and the decision was taken to demolish it and start again. The new church was a three-aisled neo-Gothic building, designed by Petrus J H  Cuypers. It was built between 1879-1880 and consecrated on 7 June 1880 by the bishop of Den Bosch.

St Anthony Abbot Church

Cuypers (1827-1921), was responsible for the design of many neo-Gothic churches in the Netherlands, and as such was one of the leading figures in the process of Catholic emancipation in the second half of the nineteenth century. He studied architecture at the Academy of Fine Arts in Antwerp, before journeying through the German Rhineland. This not only influenced his own later work, but he was also able to be present at the completion of Cologne Cathedral in 1854.

In Depth
In Depth


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