Visiting the former Hervormde Kerk, Eijsden, The Netherlands: small church building with neo-Gothic elements
Significant in its name and location
Having said this, further qualification needs to be made. While in English it is accurate, if not yet ambiguous, to say this church building is (or was; see below) a Reformed church, the word 'Reformed' when translated into Dutch needs more precision. The fact is, in Dutch, there are two words which can be translated 'Reformed': Hervormd and Gereformeerd . The Reformed church to which the Dutch Royal Family traditionally belonged was the Hervormd church. However, in the early 21st century the Dutch Hevormd church amalgamated with other churches, including the Gereformeerde Kerken in Nederland (Reformed Churches in The Netherlands) and Dutch Lutherans, and formed the Protestantse Kerk in Nederland (Protestant Church in The Netherlands), although a number of congregations declined to participate in the amalgamation. To a general question about Reformed churches in The Netherlands, a complicated answer is thus likely to ensue (1).
What can be said without doubt, however, is that this building in Eijsden was built as a Reformed (i.e., Dutch: Hervormd ) church. This church building in Eijsden is now referred to as a Protestantse Gemeente (Protestant church), although for nearly the first century of its existence it was always known as the Hervormde Kerk : hence my reference to it thus in the title.
This is particularly noteworthy, because there were relatively few Hervormd churches in the Dutch province of Limburg, which has by tradition tended to be strongly Roman Catholic.
The architect for the building, executed in brick, was J. M. Odinot, of Wijk, who employed Neo-Gothic features, particularly in the window shapes, in what is a structure marked by relative simplicity. Built in 1906, the foundation stone was laid by Dominee S.G. Geertsema Beckeringh.
The spire on the belfry incorporates small windows; the belfry's eves contain arched brickwork. The window above the main entrance door is in the form of a pointed arch, as are the belfry windows.
The church building is situated at Wilhelminalaan, 1, Eijsden. It has been incorporated into the registry of Dutch national monuments.
(1) The history of Presbyterian churches in Scotland, with which Dutch Reformed churches have some affinities, is comparably complex.
Also worth seeing
In Eijsden itself, its moated castle, near the Dutch-Belgian border, has a long history.
How to get there: Airlines flying to Amsterdam Airport from New York include Delta Airlines and KLM; car rental is available from Amsterdam Airport. The Dutch railroad company NS (Nederlandse Spoorwegen) maintains rail services from Amsterdam to Maastricht, near Eijsden . Please check with the airline or your travel agent for up to date information. You are advised to refer to appropriate consular sources for any special border crossing arrangements which may apply to citizens of certain nationalities.
MJFenn is an independent travel writer based in Ontario, Canada.
Other of my hubpages may also be of interest
- Visiting Eijsden, The Netherlands and its remarkable, moated castle: a treasure of Limburg
- Visiting Maastricht, The Netherlands: a tale of the towers of two churches
- Visiting Mesch: first place in The Netherlands liberated by Americans in World War 2
- Visiting Holset, The Netherlands: the undulations of history in South Limburg
- Visiting Mamelis, The Netherlands: untypical hill country, and border complexities, too
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