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Maastricht (L): Dominicanenkerk

Construction of the church of the Dominicans was started in 1267, and it must have been finished c. 1280. It was consecrated in 1294. In 1309 a chapel was added to the northside of the choir.
The church is a good example of the Mosan style of Gothicism. Typical for this style are the basilican shape of the building, the use of marl, fake triforiums and the so-called Maaskapiteel (Maascapital), a piece of sculpture that formed the top of a column and was richly decorated with stylized leaves. This church has a lookalike in the shape of the Minderbroederskerk elsewhere in this city, while the Dominicans also built a very similar church in brick in Zutphen (G), the Broederenkerk. Typical for churches built by a mendicant order like this one are the absence of a western tower and a transept. A tower for the church was designed in 1728 by Franciscus Romanus, who later became architect at the court of French king Louis XIV. It was not built.
The church must have been richly decorated once, but of this very little is left. Only a few badly ages paintings on the ceilings remind of better days. In 1794 the French occupiers hunted the Dominicans out of the city, after which the church was used by a parish for several more years. But in 1805 the building became a warehouse, and most of the interior's works of art moved to other churches. More recently the building was used as an archive. Today the Dominicans' church is a mostly empty building, that is used as a bicycle parking.
 

 

 

 

 

 

The church originally belonged to the Dominicans monastery, parts of the walls of which are still visible next to the church.

 

 

Left: at the vaults of this church are some vague remains of once extensive paintings by Jan Vassens (also known as Joannes Vasoens) from 1619. Most of this is beyond recognition, and it seems unlikely that the paintings will ever be restored.

 

Right: a good view at the fake triforium, and a little less good view of a Maascapital.

 

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