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Benschop (U): St. Victor (A. Tepe, 1887-1888)

After the Reformation the catholics of Benschop attended churches in Ijsselstein and Oudewater. In 1810 a church was built in the village itself, a modest building dedicated to St. Victor and standing at a 122 meters distance from the old, now reformed church. In the 1880's this church needed to be replaced by a more stable and bigger church. Architect A. Tepe was commissioned to design it, and in November 1886 a building permit was given. In July 1887 construction work began on the site just south of the church it would replace.

Meanwhile the reformed church-counsil  had applied a plea to the king in order to have the building permit revoked, claiming the new catholic church would be too near to the reformed church. In reality, the old church already was  at a 122 meters distance and the new one would be located even a bit more distant. Obviously the protestants feared the renewed catholic pride and confidence and it was mostly the size of the new church that bothered them. Anyway, the king refused and the church was built without further problems. On August the 1st of 1888 the completed church was consecrated.

Tepe designed a three-aisled cruciform basilica in neo-Gothic style, one of his first churches with bevelled transepts. It has a west tower of four sections with a constricted spire. On the west side of the tower is the main entrance, above which there is a large window. Against the south side of the tower is a small stair tower with next to it a large niche, the purpose of which is unclear. On the north side of the tower, as an extension of the side aisle, there is a baptistery. Although the entire church has stone vaults, there are no flying buttresses to support them.



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