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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.







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