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Maastricht (L): St. Martinus (P.J.H. Cuypers, 1856-1858)

In the eastern part of Maastricht, in Wyck, we find one of P.J.H. Cuypers' early works, the St. Martinus from 1858, a replacement for an older church which was severely damaged by the French in 1794, considered beyond repair and demolished in 1854. A competition was held and Cuypers' design won, although the commissioners were quite surprised when Cuypers told them he charged 10% of the total costs; that was an awful lot of money for some pencils and few pieces of paper! This was Cuypers' first church built in a city, and his name was obviously still not nearly as famous as it would soon become.

The church is quite similar to some of Cuypers' other early churches. The tower is an improved version of the one he designed for the church in Kranenburg (G). Like that church, the St. Martinus is a three-aisled basilican cruciform church, only with flying buttresses. The tympanum at the porch, depicting St. Martin sharing his robe with a beggar, is the church's major outside ornament but is an addition from 1946. In 1923 a sacristy in moderate Expressionist style, designed by A.J.N. Boosten, was built next to the choir.




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