Den Haag (ZH): Nieuwe
Kerk (Pieter Noorwits, 1649-1656)
peculiar example of early
protestant church architecture from the 17th century; whereas
for other churches often a circular or octagonal ground-plan
was chosen, architect Pieter Noorwits for this church opted for
two octagonal spaces connected by a slightly narrower rectangular
space where the pulpit was positioned, thus still complying to
the protestant ideal of a centralized church. Inside there are
no pillars that could possibly block the view. The ground-plan
necessitated the complex roof construction.
Before this church was built the protestants had already confiscated
two catholic churches, the Grote
Kerk and the Kloosterkerk. Apparently these
were not enough, even though only protestants were allowed to
use them, and a third church was planned already in 1639. It
took 10 years before work started. Both Bartholomeus van Bassen
and Pieter Noorwits made a design. Noorwits' design was chosen,
and the church is the only design by this carpenter that was
ever actually built. Van Bassen was involved with the construction
until he died in 1652. The church was completed in 1656.
Many aspects of the church are typical for Dutch late-Renaissance
and Classical architecture; the large rounded windows, the tympanums
at the entrance and the belltower, the decorative vases that
mark the outer corners of the church, not to forget the belltower
itself that is very similar to those on many other protestant
churches of that period and later; it is clear for all to see
that this is not a catholic church.
A bit of a shame is the presence of two extensions to both sides
of the middle part of the church that appear to be of a much
more recent date and look a bit out of place. But then, so do
many buildings surrounding this church. It's hard to believe
that the church once stood close to one of the city's harbours.
It must have been a very picturesque place back then, but the
harbour has been filled-in long since, and most of the old buildings
in the neighbourhood have been demolished and replaced by modern
buildings without even the slightest architectural value. The
church itself was closed in 1967. After a restoration the building
opened its doors again, now as a concert hall.