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Tholen (Z): reformed church or Onze Lieve Vrouwekerk part 1/2

Tholen's reformed church is a big building in Brabantine Gothic style, except for the tower which is built in a Gothic style exclusive to Zeeland, most notably to the islands of Noord- and Zuid-Beveland. In 1577 the church was confiscated by the protestants and has remained in their possesion ever since.
The church was founded, as a catholic church of course, in the 13th century, and a chapter was attached to it in 1404. The church was then still named Onze Lieve Vrouwekerk (Church of Our Lady). A great fire destroyed most of the town in 1452, including the church. In c. 1460 the rebuilt was started, which was ended in the early 16th century.
The nave has stone vaults, which explains the presence of flying buttresses on the outside, something which isn't very common in this part of the country. Nave and transept were possibly designed by Evert Spoorwater, one of the leading master-builders of Brabantine Gothic. In the same period he worked on the St. Gertrudis in nearby Bergen op Zoom.
The choir was meant to have its own clerestorey, as well as an ambulatory with radiating chapels. This part of the church was not finished, and the main choir ends where the ambulatory was meant to begin, witness the arches and pillars. The finished part  beginning of the ambulatory was transformed into a northern choir in the second quarter of the 16th century. The brick south choir, which  probably dates from the early 16th century and was meant to be replaced by the ambulatory, has survived. The three choirs are seperated from the rest of the church by a wall.








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