St. Walfridus Church

Bedum, Netherlands

St. Walfridus kerk was founded ca. 1050. Bedum became a place of pilgrimage because of the graves of martyrs Walfridus and Radfridus. Two churches were built, originally in wood. Nothing remains of the chapel of Radfridus, and the St. Walfridus church did not survive in good state either due to a downturn in pilgrimages after the 16th century.

In ca. 1050 work started on a three-aisled cruciform basilica in Romanesque style, which was completed in the 12th century. Of this church only the tower remains. Traces of arches indicate that this tower originally was part of a reduced westwork, with spaces flanking the tower on both sides. These were demolished soon after. The tower leans forward, more than any other tower in the country. It is argued that the tower leans more than the Leaning Tower of Pisa, due to restoration at the latter site.

Of the original nave only a few pillars and a small piece of wall have survived. In ca. 1484 the church was enlarged into a two-aisled hall-church. The southern side-aisle was replaced by a new one in Gothic style which was of the same height and width as the nave. The southern transept-arm was renewed in the same style and completely integrated in the side-aisle. On the northern side either a lower side-aisle or a series of chapels was added. An incomplete transept-arm is still recognizable. In the first decades of the 16th century a new Gothic choir with an ambulatory was built, fit for the church's use by a chapter, which was demolished by the Protestants in ca. 1600. In about the same period the walls of the northern transept-arm were lowered and partly rebuilt. Later the complete northern wall was renewed.

The sagging of the tower has been a problem for a long time. In the 17th century buttresses were added, which already needed replacing in ca. 1800 and were again demolished in the 1850s. During a restoration in 1953-1958 a more perment solution was found by adding an underground counter-weight. The same restoration resulted in the lozenge roof of the tower, which replaced a flat roof that had covered the tower ever since a fire destroyed the spire in 1911.

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Address

Kerklaan 2-4, Bedum, Netherlands
See all sites in Bedum

Details

Founded: c. 1050
Category: Religious sites in Netherlands

More Information

en.wikipedia.org

Rating

4.7/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

gertjan de nijs (3 years ago)
De kerk met de mooiste scheve toren van Nederland. De toren is schever dan de toren van Pisa. De kerk is vernoemd naar Walfridus (of Wolfryt). Hij  was een inwoner van Bedum leefde in de 10 of 11 eeuw. Hij is vermoord door de Noormannen. Door Jacob de Haan is een muziekstuk geschreven (Pilgrims of Wolfryt) dat op 3 november 2018 door muziekvereniging Wilhelmina uit Bedum voor het eerst uitgevoerd is.
Rowe Roy (4 years ago)
More leaning than the tower of Pisa.
Jacqueline Staal (4 years ago)
Mooie oude kerk, de toren staat inderdaad enorm scheef. Onder een prachtige treurwilg bevindt zich een tafel met stenen boek. Mooie foto plek.
Daan de Bruijn (5 years ago)
De toren staat behoorlijk scheef!
Joris Admiraal (5 years ago)
The Walfridus church is mostly famous because of its tower. The tower is leaning a whopping 4,19 degrees, which is more than the 3,97 degrees of the tower of Pisa. The church is already from the 11th century ac and is still standing, but changed a bit during the years. At the other side of the church the place where the old part of the church was standing is still visible and there is a nice monument where in the earlier days the altar stood.
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