Utrecht (U): Catharijnekerk
Catharine's church was originally intended to be the church of
the nearby Carmelite monastery, when it was still dedicated to
St. Agatha. But in 1529 another order took over the monastery
and finished the church in 1551. Probably Rombout
II Keldermans was responsible for the final design, which
included the finely decorated gable.
After the Reformation the building served several profane goals
before in 1636 it became a reformed church. In 1815 the church
returned in the hands of the catholics, first as the church for
the catholic members of the military garrison, from 1842 as a
normal parish-church. Despite the presence of a large catholic
community in Utrecht, the St. Catharina is the only church in
this city that was restituted to them.
When in 1853 the catholic hierarchy was fully restored in the
Netherlands, and the catholics had given up their demands for
the return of the big cathedral, this church was chosen to be
the new Roman Catholic cathedral. The interior was decorated
in neo-Gothic style, but during a restoration in 1955 the state
of the interior as it had been in 1636 was reconstructed, based
on drawings by Pieter Saenredam.
In 1898 Alfred
Tepe, court-architect of the Utrecht archdiocese, was commissioned
to enlarge the church. He lengthened the building with one trave
to the west. The new facade is an exact copy of the old one by
Keldermans. A new polygonal tower was also added in 1900, next
to the facade. This tower was inspired by the one of the townhall
in Kampen (Ov). On the other side of the facade a baptistery
with a stair-turret was built.