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Ijsselstein (U): St. Nicolaas (A. Tepe, 1885-1887)

After the old church of St. Nicolaas had been taken from the catholics by the protestants in 1577, it would take until 1635 until the catholics had a church of their own again, a hidden church which remained in use until 1780. That year it was replaced by a new one, which in many ways was still a hidden church. Within less than two decades later the catholics were granted more religious freedom, and they could have built a real church. However, it lasted for more than a century before they did. In 1887 the catholics of Ijsselstein finally had a church whichin size could compete with the old St. Nicolaas and perhaps was even more impressive.

This 'new' St. Nicolaas is one of architect Alfred Tepe's most important works. It's a three-aisled hall-church in a neo-Gothic style that, as with all of Tepe's churches, was to a high extent based on Lower Rhine and Westphalian Gothic. For his design for the St. Nicolaas combined a Westphalian type of hall-church, with side-aisles lower and narrower than the nave, with a Lower Rhine-inspired architecture. On the western side, flaning the tower, the side-aisles extend to become chapels. On the eastern side they are polygonally closed.

In 1891-1892 Tepe built a very similar, but smaller, church in Raalte (Ov).












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