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Modern Netherlands

Gallery: Churches of Gelderland

by Peter Kessler, 27 December 2009

 

 

Nijmegen Part 5: Churches of Neerbosch & Nije Veld

Nerbosch Church

Neerbosch Church (or Neerboschkerk in Dutch) is on the leafy street of Dorpsstraat in this former village which was absorbed into Nijmegen in the nineteenth century and now forms one of its quietest suburbs. Neerbosch was first inhabited in the thirteenth century when the marshes to the west of Nijmegen were drained. The church was built in the late fourteenth century for the growing community here, and is a three-aisled pseudo-basilica building in the Gothic style.

Nerbosch Church

The church's whitewashed bricks have hardly changed since it was built, giving it the local nickname, 'the white church'. The name 'in den Nederen Bosche' ('in the low forest') was first noted in 1410. The church's tower was in added in 1438 and the church was renovated in 1456. In 1591, with the Protestant liberation of Nijmegen, the church was switched from its relatively short-lived Catholic status and dedicated to Anthony Abbot.

Nerbosch Church

In 1920 the elongated village, and Dorpsstraat itself, was cut in half by the construction of the Maas-Waal canal, to the immediate west of the church. The disconnected western half of the main street was renamed Sint Agnetenweg. More recently, the remains of Nerbosch were further hemmed in by the building of a highway immediately to the east. Today the church is used as a showroom for liturgical garments, although its bell still rings in the hours.

Holy Anthony of Padua and St Anne Church

Holy Anthony of Padua and St Anne Church (Heilig Antonius van Padua en St Anna) is located at Groenestraat 229, on the corner of Dobbelmannweg. It is also popularly known as Green Street Church (Groenestraatkerk), probably to differentiate it from the similarly named Holy Anthony of Padua in Nijmegen. The church is one of the two buildings of the Emmaus Parish, the other being Our Lady of Lourdes Church on Hatertseweg.

Holy Anthony of Padua and St Anne Church

The construction work was started in 1909, at a time when the area around it was still rural, although civil construction in the neighbourhood soon caught up. The church was completed in 1910 to a design by A A J Margry. The dedication of the church to St Anthony comes from the fact that the building work was financed by a grant from the Grew Fund, the creation of Rotterdam's J P Grawen, a patron of the church who particularly admired St Anthony.

Holy Anthony of Padua and St Anne Church

The three-aisled basilica cross has a facade with two towers of unequal height built in brick. The highest tower reached up fifty six metres (184 feet). The mention of St Anne in the neo-Gothic church's dedication refers not to a devotion to this particular saint, but instead refers to the former hamlet of St Anna which, after the Second World War, was divided into several smaller districts, one of which is Hazenkamp, where the church is located.

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