Pieter (L): Allerheiligste Verlosser en St. Petrus (J.H.J. Kayser,
1874-1875) part 1/2
when it was annexed by Maastricht and became a neighbourhood of the
city, St. Pieter was a village and a municipality in its own right. The
village is known to have had a church as early as the 12th century.
This church, named St. Petrus, stood more to the north and was several
times demolished and rebuilt for being in the firing range of
Maastricht. In 1755 a new church was built on the slope of the hill St.
Pietersberg. This was a small one-aisled building, more a chapel
actually, and built of marl, the type of limestone the hill was made
of. Later this small church was extended with a side-aisle, but in 1872
the decision was made to replace it with a new church. This new church
was built next to the old one and was completed in 1875. The old church
was demolished in 1897.
The St. Pieter op de Berg (St. Peter on the mountain), as the new
church was soon called, was the first church designed and built by J.
Kayser. This architect had just left the employment of P.J.H. Cuypers'
office. The St. Pieter was designed in a neo-Gothic style
based on early French Gothic, much like many of Cuypers' churches.
It's a three-aisled basilica with a robust tower on the east side;
obviously the wish to have the tower facing the village prevailed over
the "holy" rule to have the choir pointing towards the east.
Ironically, while the church was literally built on top of marl, this
traditional material was not used, and instead the church was built of
locally made bricks.
In 1939 a new church was built in St. Pieter, not far from where the
medieval church of St. Petrus had been. The church on the hill was
closed and served several profane uses until it was reopened in 1954,
this time called Allerheiligste Verlosser en St. Petrus to prevent
confusion with the "new" St. Pieter.