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Vlissingen (Z): reformed Jacobskerk

In the early 14th century the small settlement Vlissingen was turning into a small town. Between 1308 and 1328 a basilican church was built, the St. Jacob. Of this first church the closure of the choir and the lower part of the tower remain. In the 15th century the transept was added, as well as the lateral chapels on both sides of the choir. In 1501 a segment was added to the tower, partly supported by buttresses and decorated with layers of natural stone. After this, the nave was transformed into the current atypical hall-church; the central aisle is higher than the side-aisle. Due to the lack of a clerestorey the church can laso be described as a pseudo-basilica. Chapels were built on the outer sides of the side-aisles, one of which is dated 1558. Already in 1572 the whole church became protestant, before that the northern transept-arm had been used as a Walloon church for some time. In 1585 a portal was added to the south side of the choir. In the late-16th century the tower was heigthened with  a new wooden spire. In 1628 a wall was built to seperate the northern transept-arm, which was now destined to become an English church, from the rest of the building. Its exterior was rebuilt in Classical style and a small gate in the same style gave access to this 'church within a church'. This situation continued until 1911, when a fire destroyed the church and its tower. After this, the church was restored to its former state, but with new 'Gothic' traceries and a new copy of the destroyed wooden spire. The English protestant community moved to a new church and the transept became a part of the big church again. The gate was moved to the street on the south side of the choir. During the Second World War and the big flood of 1953 the church was again badly damaged, but in 1954 the damage was repaired.







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