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Neerijnen (G): reformed church (A.M.A. Gulden, 1866)

Neerijnen is known to have had a church for several centuries before the current church was built. Little is known about that church, except that it had a tower and its almost total demolition and replacement were tendered in August 1866. If any part of the old church was retained, as the tender suggests, is unknown. Oddly, in most sources 1865 is mentioned as the year of construction of the new church, which is obviously incorrect.

This small single-aisled cruciform church with built-in tower is a good example of a protestant church in early neo-Gothic style. Although influences from Gothicism are present here in abundance, the result as a whole is a far cry from both actual Gothic and the more historically backed neo-Gothic that was emerging in the same period. This church was designed by A.M.A. Gulden, town-architect of Zaltbommel, obviously not an experienced builder of churches, although he did also design the church of nearby Haaften in 1851, another building in early neo-Gothic style.

By 1866, when this church was built, Gothic architecture had been studied by several architects and investigators, but only a handful of (catholic) architects had put this knowledge to good use. Other architects were struggling to get their churches to look authentic. The architect of this church appears not even to have tried that. His church is plastered and has plastered wooden vaults. The various shapes are undeniably inspired by Gothic, but otherwise there is absolutely nothing here that reminds of medieval Gothic churches in the Netherlands.

Originally the church was painted yellow ochre, a colour which was replaced by white during a restoration in 1975 and was reapplied in 2004. The pictures on this page were made before that year. 




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