(NB): St. Petrus' Banden (P.J.H. Cuypers, 1894-1897)
some sources state that as early as the 8th century there may have been
a church in Oisterwijk, there's is certainty that a church was built in
the 13th century. After protestants destroyed Oisterwijk completely in
1587 it took several decades before the church was rebuilt. This
rebuilt church, actually no more than a choir and transept, was
confiscated by the protestants in 1648. The catholic faith was
outlawed, although masses in a hidden church were tolerated after 1674,
provided protestants were not "provoked".
In 1809 the old church was returned to the catholics. It was in bad
shape and repairs weren't finished until 1823. By that time only the
choir remained; the transept had been demolished and a new three-aisled
nave had been built. This church was used until 1894, when it was
demolished and replaced by a new church.
This new church was designed by P.J.H. Cuypers. It is a neo-Gothic
cruciform basilican church with centralizing elements. The general
shape, including the oval-shaped ground-plan, was based on that of the
Liebfraukirche in Trier, Germany's oldest Gothic church. In each corner
where nave, transept and choir meet two diagonal chapels have been
built. The choir has seven sides and an ambulatory. At the crossing is
a big square tower with a polygonal spire and turrets at the corners.
Typical for Cuypers' second period is the use of both red and yellow
brick for the exterior and the interior. Cuypers also designed part of
the inventory and the stained-glass windows. His son Jos
Cuypers was responsible for part of the design. Cuypers Jr.
had previously made an alternative design for a truly centralizing
Unfortunately the church has not survived without damage. In 1944
British artillery damaged the tower on purpose but without any reason.
All corner-turrets were blown off. On May the 27th of 1998 a fire
destroyed the spire and much of the tower, including the vault at the
crossing. The church was soon restored to its former glory.