never completely finished, the tower of the St. Jan (also known
as St. Johannes de Doper, St. John the Baptist) is an impressive
piece of work, an example of the last phase of Brabantine Gothic.
It was intended to be a copy of the tower of the Great church
in Breda, albeit mostly executed in brick, with natural stone
used in decorative layers only. Work started in 1519, and when
all activities stopped in 1527 (other sources say 1547 and 1552)
only the first two segments and half of the third were completed.
The church itself is older. Starting from ca. 1470 a three-aisled
Romanesque church was replaced by this late-Gothic church. The
choir with lateral chapels, the transept and the western part
of the originally three-aisled pseudo-basilica were finished
before 1500. The rest of the nave was finished shortly
In 1648 the church was confiscated by the protestants. In 1809
king Lodewijk Napoleon returned it to the catholics.
Due to a restoration by P.J.H.
Cuypers the age of the church is not clearly visible. From
1880 until 1883 the church was restored by Cuypers, assisted
by J.J. van Langelaar, and as often the architect had little
respect for the old church and its historic value. Two more side-aisles
were added, with gables for each trave. The transept was widened,
as well as given an octagonal stair-tower. Several chapels and
a portal were added to the church as well, but these were all
removed again during a restoration between 1974 and 1977.