Velp (G): reformed Oude Jan
Velp has two
reformed churches within a short distance from each other. The oldest
of the two is this Oude Jan ('old John') which, despite being too small
and in bad state by the 1820's, was not demolished but replaced by a
second church in 1841, the Grote Kerk ('great church'), built just a
little bit to the north. Its popular name does not refer to a saint; in
catholic times the church was called St. Mattheus.
The old church is a largely Romanesque building. While the the
one-aisled nave is rather plain, the tower is ornamented with niches
and friezes. The nave is probably the oldest part and possibly dates
from the late-11th century. The tower was added in the 12th century. In
the late-14th century a Gothic choir was added. In the early 16th
century the church was extended with a large Gothic chapel at the north
side. The tower was heightened in 1629.
After the church had been closed in 1841, the Gothic choir was
demolished and the church was used for storage. The building was badly
damaged during World War Two. In 1949-1952 it was restored and a new
straight choir was added. The outlines of the Gothic choir are visible
in the grass behind the church.
Nowadays, the church is once again used for religious purposes.