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Sint Nicolaasga (Fr): St. Nicolaas (J.D. van der Weide, 1885-1887)


Jan Doedes van der Weide (1849-1901) is a relatively unknown architect whose work is mostly found in Leeuwarden, the city where he had his office and where he was an overseer for the construction of P.J.H. Cuypers' St. Bonifatius church. The influence of his former employer is very much present in this church, which is probably his only one.

Despite the fact that Sint Nicolaasga wasn't a rich village, it did have a vast catholic majority that was waiting to replace the simple and small neo-Classical church of 1835 by something bigger and prouder. In 1883 the first funds were collected, and in 1884 the architect was commissioned to design a big and richly ornamented church.

It's a three-aisled cruciform basilica with a 61-meter tall tower. The entire building is in neo-Gothic style and shows similarities with several of Cuypers' churches, especially the St. Bonifatius in Leeuwarden, which was built with Van der Weide as the overseer. Some of the main similarities are the front of the lower part of the tower and the configuration of the transept walls.

In 1969 the church was in serious danger of being demolished because the costs of maintenance had become too much of a burden. By popular demand and support, but without the approval of the Groningen diocese which preferred a new church, the church was restored.









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