Gerwen (NB): St. Clemens
churches called St. Clemens in Gerwen, both of them catholic. There's
catholic parish church, a modern building of little architectural
value, and the old village church, nowadays used by
the traditionalist Society of St. Pius X.
are sources that claim that a first, wooden church was built in Gerwen
already in the 8th century. A brick church was built between 1240 and
1250, a one-aisled building with a straight choir. Between 1440 and
1442 that church was demolished and replaced by a cruciform church with
a tower. In 1612 that church was converted into the current
basilica; the nave and the transept were heightened and a
clerestorey and side-aisles were added.
In 1648, when the
Eighty Years War ended with a protestant victory, the church
confiscated and handed over to the small protestant minority, who made
few changes to the building. In 1798 the church was returned to the
catholic community. Unlike most churches in this province that returned
hands after protestant rule ended, the St. Clemens has remained fairly
intact ever since.
In 1967 the Gerwen parish abandoned the old church for the new
one. The old church was sold to the municipality for the symbolic price
of one guilder, and was neglected until 1982, when it was
finally restored. The next year it was sold to the current owners.