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Dordrecht (ZH): Wilhelminakerk (Tj. Kuipers, 1898-1899)

The Wilhelminakerk, named after queen Wilhelmina whose inauguration was at the very same day work on this church started, is one of only a few designs by Tjeerd Kuipers which is based on the ideas of Abraham Kuyper, the leading figure of the Gereformeerden, who firmly believed in a centralized interior with a good view at the pulpit for all. Kuipers designed a front with two towers of different sizes, with in between a wide facade that was richly decorated with shapes derived from Romanesque architecture. For this reason the church is often called neo-Romanesque, although the execution of it is closer to neo-Gothicism. A few elements, especially the towers, hint at the Rationalistic direction Kuipers would soon adopt for most of his churches. A similar combination of styles was used on Kuipers' Zuiderkerk in Groningen in 1901.
Behind the facade is a circular centralized space covered by a low dome, with an amphitheatre-like interior. This interior was changed in 1967. The spire of the highest tower had been replaced by a taller one in 1952.
After this church Kuipers designed only one more truly centralized church, the Koepelkerk (dome-church) in Leeuwarden (Fr) of 1923.







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