History Files


Modern Netherlands

Gallery: Churches of Gelderland

by Peter Kessler, 27 December 2009



Nijmegen Part 7: Churches of Grootstal, Brakkenstein & Hengstdal

St Paul's Church

St Paul's Church (Pauluskerk in Dutch) is on the corner of Heiweg and Nieuwe Mollenhutseweg, in the Grootstal district, on the city's southern border. It was built by the Reformed Church in 1963-1964. One of three new churches at the time, it was designed by the architects C Arnhem Nap & G J P van Ede, in the early modernist style using elements of traditional Dutch church form, and built on an empty plot of land which was chosen for its central location in the new suburb.

St Paul's Church

The Grootstal district was witnessing a post-war building boom at the time, as Nijmegen rapidly expanded, and although the architects had no previous experience in church building, they went on to design the Reformed Church building in Veenhuizen in 1965. In the 1990s the Reformed Congregation of St Paul seems to have forged connections with the Maranatha Church on Steenbokstraat, if it had not already done so before.

Holy Sacrament Church

Holy Sacrament Church (Heilig Sacramentkerk) is a Catholic church located not far to the east of St Paul's, on Heyendaalseweg and Pastor Wicherstraat. Historically speaking, the church and the parish of Brakkenstein are fairly young. In 1908 a small monastery with a chapel was opened for use by the monks of the Brakkenstein Cloister (Klooster Brakkenstein), but this was not open to the public. However, a church was consecrated for public use by the monastery in 1916.

Holy Sacrament Church

'Roomsch Leven' over the church hall opposite translates as 'Roman Life'. On 1 December 1947 the church gained its own parish, thanks to the bishop of Den Bosch. It was entrusted to the Fathers of the Blessed Sacrament. Renovations were carried out in 1965. The nave was extended and the interior changed, adding large windows which allowed in plenty of light. The monastery complex, located south of the church, was closed in 2008 and later converted into flats.

Berchmanianum Monastic College

Berchmanianum Monastic College (Klooster Collegium Berchmanianum) is to the north of the Holy Sacrament Church, at Houtlaan 4. The monastery, on the outskirts of Brakkenstein, was designed by J T J Cuypers and his son, P J H Cuypers, and was built in 1927-1929. Typical of that period, it includes large, sloping roofs with small dormers and a two-tone appearance to the brickwork between the two floors. Part of the adjacent forest also belongs to the monastery.

Rustoord Cemetery

Rustoord Cemetery (Begraafplaats-Rustoord) lies to the east of the Monastic College, at the top of the steep hill of Postweg in the Hengstdal district which forms Nijmegen's most easterly population centre. Reputedly one of the most beautiful and verdant of Nijmegen's cemeteries, Rustoord Cemetery was brought into use on 26 July 1897, for members of all faiths and nationalities, and by 2009 it contained around 6,000 graves.

In Depth
In Depth


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