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Schoonhoven (ZH): Grote Kerk or St. Bartolomeus


The Bartholomeuskerk was founded in the first half of the 14th century. After a great fire in 1375 it was rebuilt as a one-aisled cruciform church. Ca. 1450 two lateral choirs and the lower part of the tower were added. After that the church was enlarged to a three-aisled hall-church of the width of the transept, which was completed prior to 1550. The tower, which was built in Campine Gothic style, was not finished. Work stopped probably because the tower was leaning. Only the lower segment and part of the second were finished. Until 1928 the tower was considered a great danger, and its continued leaning caused damage to the rest of the church as well. A plan to demolish the tower and rebuilt it elsewhere, thus making space for a square, was rejected by a majority with a difference of one vote in the city counsil in 1911. In 1925 the church had to be closed for safety reasons. In 1928 finally the tower was restored and secured.
After the reformation the church was confiscated by the protestants. From 1648 until 1650 a new segment in Classical style was added to the tower. Also the interior was rebuilt in the same style. This interior was largely altered during the restoration between 1928 and 1935, when the transept was widened with one trave in western direction, a measure taken to provide extra strength to the sagging building. A successful measure, but the church has lost much of its artistic and historic value since.







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