Jistrum church was built in the 13th century, the tower is a little older and dates from c. 1230. The church was once a Roman Catholic church dedicated to Saint Peter but was stripped of the Saints statues and painted/decorated walls in one week in 1581 during the Protestant Reformation and became a Protestant church. It is a well preserved and complete 13th century Romanesque church built of red brick.
The church has a gabled roof. On the corners of the nave is a buttress in brickwork, the outer walls are on the upper side decorated with so called keper friezen. The north wall has two Romanesque windows located in the higher zone of the wall, and the lower zone has two closed entrances with brick. The southern wall shows a similar layout but has two large lancet windows build in it, with one small Romanesque window at the tower side. The choir has five regular placed Romanesque windows and the nave is covered with a Romanesque-Gothic domevault. In each bay eight ribs come together in a ring. In the west bay the ribs are squire shaped. During a renovation two hagioscopes were discovered and restored. These windows are also known as leprozenruitjes (windows for people with leprosy).
The wooden pulpit from the third quarter of the 17th century is located against the north wall where the choir and bay meet.
Most of the Frisian churches have a golden rooster as weather vane, but on the 20.5 meters high tower of the church a horse is seen. The golden rooster is a symbol of Jesus Christ who breaks the power of the darkness, forgives sins and calls for a new day. The tower had also a rooster in the past, but it was blown of by the wind and could not be repaired. It was then replaced by a horse because it was cheaper. Apparently the price was more important than the symbolic value.
The original bell in the tower from 1759 was stolen by the Germans during World War II, the current bell dateing from 1949. In 2007, the renovation of the church started and the monumental Pipe organ from the other church in town was installed.References:
The Church of St Eustace was built between 1532-1632. St Eustace"s is considered a masterpiece of late Gothic architecture. The church’s reputation was strong enough of the time for it to be chosen as the location for a young Louis XIV to receive communion. Mozart also chose the sanctuary as the location for his mother’s funeral. Among those baptised here as children were Richelieu, Jeanne-Antoinette Poisson, future Madame de Pompadour and Molière, who was also married here in the 17th century. The last rites for Anne of Austria, Turenne and Mirabeau were pronounced within its walls. Marie de Gournay is buried there.
The origins of Saint Eustache date back to 13th century. The church became a parish church in 1223, thanks to a man named Jean Alais who achieved this by taxing the baskets of fish sold nearby, as granted by King Philip Augustus. To thank such divine generosity, Alais constructed a chapel dedicated to Sainte-Agnès, a Roman martyr. The construction of the current church began in 1532, the work not being finally completed until 1637. The name of the church refers to Saint Eustace, a Roman general of the second century AD who was burned, along with his family, for converting to Christianity, and it is believed that it was the transfer of a relic of Saint Eustache from the Abbey to Saint-Denis to the Church of Saint Eustache which resulted in its naming. Jeanne Baptiste d"Albert de Luynes was baptised here.
According to tourist literature on-site, during the French Revolution the church, like most churches in Paris, was desecrated, looted, and used for a time as a barn. The church was restored after the Revolution had run its course and remains in use today. Several impressive paintings by Rubens remain in the church today. Each summer, organ concerts commemorate the premieres of Berlioz’s Te Deum and Liszt’s Christus here in 1886.
The church is an example of a Gothic structure clothed in Renaissance detail. The church is relatively short in length at 105m, but its interior is 33.45m high to the vaulting. At the main façade, the left tower has been completed in Renaissance style, while the right tower remains a stump. The front and rear aspects provide a remarkable contrast between the comparatively sober classical front and the exuberant rear, which integrates Gothic forms and organization with Classical details. The L"écoute sculpture by Henri de Miller appears outside the church, to the south. A Keith Haring sculpture stands in a chapel of the church.
The Chapel of the Virgin was built in 1640 and restored from 1801 to 1804. It was inaugurated by Pius VII on the 22nd of December, 1804 when he came to Paris for the coronation of Napoleon. The apse chapel, with a ribbed cul-de-four vault, has at its centre a sculpture of the Virgin and Child of Jean-Baptiste Pigalle that the painter Thomas Couture highlighted by three large paintings.
With 8,000 pipes, the organ is reputed to be the largest pipe organ in France, surpassing the organs of Saint Sulpice and Notre Dame de Paris. The organ originally constructed by P.-A. Ducroquet was powerful enough for the premiere of Hector Berlioz" titanic Te Deum to be performed at St-Eustache in 1855.