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Montfoort (U): reformed Grote of St. Janskerk

Montfoort is known to have had a church already in the late 13th century. This was probably an aisleless church which in 1400 was elevated to the status of a collegiate church, reason to expand the church considerably. Because a chapter of eight canons turned out to be too expensive, the church remained a collegiate church in name only.

After it was badly damaged during the Hook and Cod wars, in 1490 work began to repair and extend the church to its current form, a big cruciform pseudo-basilica in late-Gothic style built out of brick and with a tall tower. Work lasted until the second half of the 15th century. The nave was not built in one phase with the tower, and the side-aisles were later extended on either side of the tower. The choir, like the nave, has side aisles; these end with a straight closure. On the south side of the nave is the rectangular Chapel of the Holy Sepulchre. 

The church changed owners in 1581, when the province of Utrecht banned the catholic faith. Although catholics remained the vast majority of the population, including the lord of Montfoort himself, the church became protestant. In 1629, a fire after a lightning strike destroyed the inside of the tower and the roof of the church. The restoration was completed in 1634. The stair-turret on the south side of the tower dates from after the fire, as does the octagonal steeple on the crossing.

The tower has four sections, which are decreasing in height towards the top. In 1877, a spire was placed directly on the tower. This replaced an octagonal section with an open lantern, which had to be demolished to prevent the tower from collapsing.

Because the church was too big for the protestants, the choir was seperated from the nave by a wooden hoarding, later supplemented with an organ tribune. In ca. 1920 the catholic parish attempted to buy the church, but  failed. Instead a new, big catholic church was built a few years later.








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