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Modern Netherlands

Gallery: Churches of Gelderland

by Peter Kessler, 27 December 2009

 

 

Nijmegen Part 9: Churches of Lent & Persingen

Our Lady Mary Nativity Church Lent

Our Lady Mary Nativity Church (Onze Lieve Vrouwe Maria Geboorte Kerk in Dutch) is on Pastoor Van Laakstraat in Lent, a village which lies on the northern bank of the Waal and is connected to Nijmegen city centre by the main road bridge. This large neo-Gothic church was built for the area's Catholic congregation in 1879, after having lost its previous Catholic church in 1591 (St Martin's). The design was supplied by Gerard te Riele Wouterszoon.

St Martin's Church Lent

St Martin's Church Lent (St Maartens Kerk) is also on Pastoor Van Laakstraat. The original church was built here in 1329, and in the sixteenth century it fell into the hands of the Calvinist Protestants. The church is a single-aisled building that still largely dates from the Middle Ages, although the original choir was demolished in 1659 and the rest was given a new look in the Classical style, making its origins largely unrecognisable. The tower probably dates from 1755.

Persingen Church

Persingen Church (Kerk van Persingen) is on Persingensestraat. Persingen is a tiny hamlet which lies on the east bank of the Het Meer river, which divides it from the village of Ubbergen. The impressive bulk of Ubbergen Monastery is visible across the river, half-hidden amongst a mass of trees surrounding it. Persingen itself is little more then a scattered collection of a couple of farms and a handful of small houses in the middle of a large swathe of fields, plus the church.

Persingen Church

The church in Persingen bears no dedication. It started its life as a chapel that was built up into a church. A plaque written in Dutch at the base of the tower reads: 'At the beginning of the thirteenth century there was a chapel dedicated to Holy Dionysius and later augmented into a parochial church for Persingen. The nave of the church and first two layers of the tower are older than the late-Gothic choir which is from the fourteenth century.'

Persingen Church

'In the fifteenth century the tower gained a belfry with an elegant small spire surmounting it. Against the south part of the choir the sacristy was built in the seventeenth century, taken down in 1905, and rebuilt in 1996.' This was thanks to the local people. A second plaque reads: 'This building was saved from demolition in 1907 by donations of money from certain interested parties and a subsidy from the state. The major of Ubbergen, J Dommer van Poldersveldt.'

Nebo Convent

Nebo Convent (Neboklooster) is on Sionsweg 2, in the very south-eastern corner of Nijmegen, off the Nijmeegsebaan highway which heads south to Groesbeek. It is a Redemptionist monastery which was constructed between 1926-1928 in the Italianate neo-Romanesque style according to a design by J Stuyt (1868-1934), who studied his craft under A C Bleys, one of the few Catholic architects who dared not to conform to the neo-Gothic standard.

Additional text on this page by P Spies.

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