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Zwaag (NH): St. Martinus (J. Bekkers, 1932-1933)

After the Reformation in 1572, when they lost their church to the protestants, the Catholics of Zwaag frequented several hidden churches and barn churches until in 1791 a modest church was built out of brick.This church was replaced by a new one in 1858-1859, a neo-Classical church designed by architect W.D. van der Horst and practically a copy of the church he designed for Spierdijk almost a decade earlier. By 1930 the church was in a bad state and serious plans were made to replace it.

Parish priest C. Nuijen had previously been responsible for setting up the new parish in Amsterdam, in which capacity in 1921 he chose to work with the young architect J. Bekkers. In 1929 the same architect was commisioned to design a, never quite completed, secondary church for Zwaagdijk, a village just North of Zwaag and part of the same parish. Obviously in both cases Bekkers' work was satisfactory, as Nuijen in 1931 commisioned him for a third time when the church of Zwaag itself was about to be replaced.

Bekkers designed a three-aisled cruciform pseudo-basilica in Expressionist style, with side-aisles divided in three traves with seperate roofs square on the main aisle. The choir is very undeep, giving the church an almost T-shaped ground plan. A sacristy stands apart of the church but is connected to it by an aisle starting at the transept. At the side at the front of the church is a tower of which the spire is the most notable part due to its protruding roof, an element Bekkers also used in some of his previous churches.



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