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Pijnacker (ZH): reformed church

The first church of Pijnacker was built in the 12th century and was probably a wooden building. A tower was added in the 12th or 13th century and was heightened in the 15th century. The original church had by then been succeeded several times, the last time by a  three-aisled pseudo-basilica in Gothic stye. In 1583 it became a protestant church.

Little is known about the history of this church. For unknown reasons it was demolished in 1891. Pictures taken before the demolition show the church in a fairly good condition, although part of the roof was already gone, with no visible faults a restoration could not fix. The 13th-century tower was retained while a slightly shorter church in neo-Gothc style, designed by A. Henkemans, replaced the old one. The pillars and arches as well as the foundations of the old nave were retained as well. In 1932-1933 a transept in Traditionalist style was added, designed by H. van der Kloot-Meijburg. This included a consistory which in ca. 1995 was replaced by the current one.

When the new church was built it was not connected with the tower. A lucky decision, as the tower was increasingly leaning forward. In April 1940 it collapsed, leaving only part of the lower walls standing amidst the rubble. Eventually these were demolished as well. Because of plans to rebuild the tower, the stones were preserved for several decades until in the 1960's they were sold off and were used for the restoration of the castle of Medemblik. But in the 1990's the wish to rebuild the tower returned, and while an exact replica with its thick walls would be too expensive it was possible to reconstruct the outer walls around a core made of concrete. The reconstructed tower was completed in 2001.

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