Friday, June 13, 2008

The St. Nicolas Church in Nieuwveen

This view is of the Roman Catholic Sint Nicolaaskerk (St. Nicolas Church) in the town of Nieuwveen around 1895, as seen from the "Dorpsstraat" (literally: Village Street), when you enter Nieuwveen from the direction of the village of Vrouweakker. This church was first used on the 19th August 1867, however, the church tower was still missing as money was in short supply. The church and the adjoining Presbytery were built by the carpenter-contracter Henricus Janmaat (1827-1912) from Nieuwveen for the sum of 36800 Dutch Guilders.
Prior to 1865 the people of Nieuwveen did not have their own local Roman Catholic Parish. As early as 1862 an approach was made to the bishop of Haarlem to allow Nieuwveen to have their own Parish with their own Church. Permission for this was finally granted in 1865. While, as noted earlier, the church was built in 1867, the tower was not added until 20 years later in 1887. The story has it that the bishop of Haarlem came to visit Nieuwveen in 1886 but could not find the church because there was no church-tower. This apparently so embarassed the local pastor that he decided to personally finance the construction of the church-tower, at a cost of 10770 Dutch Guilders. The cost of the church-bells was to be borne by the parishioners.
The top photo shows a close up view of the St. Nicolaas Church in Nieuwveen as it was around the year 1900. Note the Presbytery on the left and the gate leading to the cemetery on the right hand side of the church.

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