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Haarlem (NH): Nieuwe Kerk (Jacob van Campen, 1645-1649)

The first church in Haarlem specifically built for protestant services replaced the older former St. Anna church on the same location, of which it inherited the tower. This tower is the real eye-catcher of this church. It was designed by town architect Lieven de Key and is in his typical Renaissance style and often considered his best work. The rest of the church is much simpler. Compared to the much more prestigious protestant churches other cities, towns and villages built in the same period it is rather modest, as it is also compared to some of Van Campen's other churches. It's an almost square building of three aisles wide and three traves long. Behind the tower and at the back of the building are rectangular facades which are taller than the actual building. The roof consists of several parts; one saddle roof covers the central aisle, with seperate roofs square on it covering each trave of the side-aisles. Outside are the typical buttresses Van Campen also used on his previous churches. These, and in fact the building as a whole, were meant as a symbolic reference to the temple of Jerusalem, a popular theme in those days when the Dutch protestants often thought of themselves as the new Israel. Apart from these the church shows very little decorations. Despite its modesty, or perhaps even because of it, this church is often considered one of Van Campen's best works.

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