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Lichtenvoorde (G): St. Bonifatius (W. te Riele, 1912-1913)

Although the town is much older than that, the parish of Lichtenvoorde was not founded until 1672, the year when the army of the Prince-bishop of Munster occupied the town and temporarily restored religious freedom. Originally the town belonged to the parish of Groenlo while in 1616 the catholic faith had been banned by the new protestant rulers, who also confiscated the local chapel for their own use. After the troops from Munster left in 1674, protestant rule was restored and the catholics first used several churches and chapels built for them just over the German border, until a simple church could be built in the town itself. In 1819, more than two decades after freedom of religion had been declared, a true church was built, a building in Neo-Classical style.
In 1912 architect W. te Riele was commissioned to design a new, bigger church. Like many churches designed by this architect, it's an unconventional building in Neo-Gothic style. Te Riele was one of the last Neo-Gothic architects in The Netherlands, still designing in this style in the 1930's, but always with a very personal touch. The long nave has a wide central aisle and narrower side-aisles. The whole is covered by intricate vaults. Instead of a more traditional clerestorey, the interior is illuminated from above by a series of dormer windows. At the north side at the front is a tower which at first glance appears to be square except for the octagonal upper part, but in reality the middle part combines both shapes.








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