Woudrichem (NB): reformed church or St. Martinus
are sources that claim that in the 7th century a chapel was founded on
current Woudrichem soil. This chapel stood on the location of the choir
of the current church.
true this story is, is unknown. The current reformed church, or St.
Martinus as it is also still called, was built in the 15th century and
In 1573 and 1574, during the Eighty Years
War, the church was badly damaged. Although a protestant church now, it
was entirely rebuilt after 1621.
St. Martinus is a three-aisled cruciform pseudo-basilica with a long
choir and side-aisles that run along both sides of the
tower. The oldest part of the church is probably the choir.
The last part of the church that was completed is the tower. Most of
the church is in a modest Gothic style, the most
obvious decorations being blocks of light-coloured natural stone in the
buttresses which, like the rest of the church, are mostly made out of
brick. Unlike the church, the tower is richly ornamented. While its
lower section, built in the 15th century, is relatively
modest, the upper two segments, from the first half of the
16th century, have friezes and niches while within these
niches are ornamental round and diamond-shaped medallions with heads,
which are an early example of Renaissance influence.
original tall spire of the tower was destroyed in 1573. After
1621 it was replaced by a lower one which in 1717 was also lost. The
tower is nowadays covered by a roof which lies hidden behind a
balustrade, added during a restoration in 1933.