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Oosterhout (NB): St. Antonius (P.J.H. Cuypers & J. Oomen, 1907-1908)

For some strange reason this church is ignored in the literature. Careful study of the building reveals that its architect was the famous P.J.H. Cuypers, most of whose surviving designs are now protected buildings.
In 1906 plans emerged to found a new parish in Oosterhout. A new church was to be built by architect J. Oomen, who would be assisted by P.J.H. Cuypers. At least, that is what bishop Leijten wrote to the catholics of Oosterhout. It seems more likely that Cuypers, then 80 years old, designed the church, after which Oomen worked out the details. Work started on March the 14th of 1907. On June the 17th Cuypers, after returning from a journey to Italy, visited Oosterhout and inspected the works. On May the 13th of 1908 the church was consecrated.
The result is a late example of neo-Gothicism. It's a three-aisled cruciform pseudo-basilican church. The tower was not completed for financial reasons. In 1959 it was finally heightened with another section. On the other site of the portal is the former baptistery, which is now used as a chapel, open for visitors every day.
Several details confirm that the church was designed by Cuypers, although admittedly it is a rather simple design. First there are the triplet-windows, a feature Cuypers often used in his later work. The arrangement of the windows in the transept looks like a simplified version of that of the St. Vitus in Hilversum. Also, like in many of his later designs, Cuypers added a horizontal accent. While he usually used stone in a different colour, here deep grooves were used. An even more important evidence is probably the crossing, which is crowned by a polygonal dome which smoothly becomes a steeple further upwards. A very similar dome covers the crossing of Cuypers' last church, the O.L. Vrouwekerk in Venlo from 1913.





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