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Gallery: Churches of Gelderland
by Peter Kessler, 27 December 2009
Nijmegen Part 4: Churches of Bottendaal &
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
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 (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.
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 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.
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.