"Hartebrugkerk" Churches Tip by OlafS

Churches, Leiden: 32 reviews and 52 photos

  Leiden: Hartebrugkerk
by OlafS

The Hartebrug Kerk from 1836 is a Roman Catholic church in neo-Classical style, designed by architect Th. Molkenboer. This church dates from a period when the catholics built many new churches. To understand this you must know that the protestants had stolen all of the old churches in the 16th century and were allowed to keep those in most cases after the catholic faith had become legal again in 1795. As some sort of compensation the government financed the construction of new catholic churches. To keep those as cheap as possible the Waterstaat-department (department of public works) supervised the design and construction, reason why churches such as this one are often called 'Waterstaatkerken' and the style is often referred to as 'Waterstaatstijl'. This however is a mistake; the style was internationally popular at that time, and not prescribed by the government in any way. Waterstaatkerken were also built in neo-Gothic style, for instance, but the name is usually associated with the neo-Classical ones. Typical for these churches is the inspiration taken from Greek temples and the lantern-tower at the front. The interior is often full of wood that is painted to look like marble.
Architect Molkenboer designed more similar churchyes, and for a while was the country's major church-architect. Until the rise of neo-Gothicism. Within two decades after it was built the catholics regarded churches like this as 'pagan' and many were quickly demolished. This one survives, thankfully. It''s an interesting building. If not for its beauty, but it represents an interesting period of history.

Review Helpfulness: 2.5 out of 5 stars

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  • Updated Mar 9, 2004
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