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Pannerden (G): St. Martinus (A. Tepe, 1877-1878)

It is almost certain that Pannerden already had a wooden church before the year 1000, but very little is known about that church or about the churches that succeeded it. The oldest, and possibly only, image of the church is dated 1741 and shows a Romanesque tower and a Gothic choir, with the nave in between lying in ruins.

The Romanesque tower, which has survived up to the present day albeit underneat a cloak of much more modern bricks, was built of tuff and must have been built before 1300. The Gothic church was probably built in the 14th or the 15th century. After 1599, when the Republic conquered the area and banned the catholic religion, the church must have been assigned to the tiny protestant minority. The new owners however neglected its maintenance, and eventually the nave became a ruin as shown in the print mentioned above.

In 1795 the church was retaken by the Catholics and in 1797 it was officially restituted. Until 1813 there is nothing to be heard of any construction activities. Announcements about repairs to the church and tower can be found almost annually between 1813 and 1870. The old church stood until 1877.

In 1875 it was decided to build a new church. Architect Alfred Tepe, who had designed the churches of the nearby villages Loo and Doornenburg, was commisioned to design it. In 1877-1878 the new church was built, a three-aisled basilican church in neo-Gothic style. The old tower in Romanesque style was incorporated but was unrecognizably hidden beneath layers of brick. In 1944 the church was damaged and its old spire completely destroyed. After the war, the original tall spire was not rebuilt but was instead replaced by the current pyramid roof.

While the actual church is rather modest in style, its general appearance is made more interesting by the presence of various external spaces, like the chapels flanking the tower and the sacristy on the north side, which itself has a polygonal apse-like space.

In 2021 the church was closed for services. Plans to rebuild it into a community center and apartments have been made. When executed, this would result in the replacement of most of the nave by a new construction.







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