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Eygelshoven (L): H. Johannes de Doper(A.J.N. Boosten & J. Ritzen, 1921-1922)

The partnership of A.J.N. Boosten and J. Ritzen only resulted in the construction of two churches as well as of several profane designs. Both these churches were built in the same period and were largely built of natural stone, marl especially. But there the similarities between the 'twins' end. While the H. Hartkerk in Maastricht was a big centralized church covered by a dome, this H. Johannes de Doper in Eygelshoven seems more traditional, a cruciform church with a tower. Yet this design also met with criticism. In a time when neo-Gothicism and neo-Romanesque were still the standard styles for churches in the province of Limburg, any attempt at building a church in a different style was like asking for trouble. This criticism however was still largely unorganized, and the diocese had only just installed a committee that was to make sure that all new churches were acceptable for the catholic standards. Also, Eygelshoven was badly in need of a new church, with the old church, which is still preserved elsewhere in the village, being much too small. Giving the design the benefit of the doubt was the most practical thing to do, but Boosten didn't get to build another complete church until 1929 due to the controversy over the two churches. Limburg wasn't ready yet for his unconventional designs. At the same time the church in Margraten was extended, and although that work is often attributed to Boosten alone it is very similar in style to this one. This makes it unclear what each of the two architects contributed to this church. It shows similarities with Boosten's later work in some parts, like the choir and the tower, while it doesn't in others. A typical feature is the use of two different types of natural stone. A darker type, Nivelsteinerstone, has been used to form a base on which the otherwise marl church was built. Strangely, at the back of the church this role seems to have been taken over by brick, and here this base extends to become an ambulatory.

 

The predecessor, a small Gothic church. The lower part of the tower probably dates from the 11th century, the upper part was added shortly after 1513. The choir and the nave are from the early-16th century as well. When the church closed in 1921 it was threathened with demolition. An increasing interest for regional history and rural architecture saved the building, one of the first successes in this field in this province. In 1939-1940 the church was restored and it has been a chapel since.

 

 

 

 

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