According the legend, the Gertrudiskerk was founded the church in 654 by Saint Gertrude of Nivelles, abbess of the abbey in Nivelles. The older part of the church consisting of the towers, dates to around 1370. These were later incorporated in probably the 14th and 15th century when changes were made to the church. The current church building, completed in 1477 was designed by Evert Spoorwater. He devised a new chancel with chancel ambulatory and vaults in the ship style of the Brabantine Gothic.
In 1489 Anthonis submitted to Keldermans a design for a new church in the Late Gothic style. In spite of a constant lack of money, a new chancel and transept were realized. During the troubles of 1580 the church was plundered and thereafter used as a military warehouse. A cannonade by the French in 1747 left the church devastated. In 1750 rebuilding efforts started again, albeit with a more sober character. The church was 9 meters lower after being rebuilt.
In 1586 the church was arranged for reformed services. The new chancel and transept were completed and in 1698 were demolished. Thus only a small part remained of the second transept. Material was needed at this time for the construction of fortifications.
From 1586 to 1966 the reformed congregation had this building in possession. In 1747 the building burned down after the bombardment by the French. Rebuilding took place using Protestant funds and Protestant stones. The reformed congregation retained control through the 1950s and 1960s and people began to regret that more and more. It appeared an impossible task to maintain such a large building. In 1966 the church was transferred to the municipality so the government could restore the building.
New misfortune struck the church again in 1972 when a fire broke out. The whole interior including the 18th century pipe organ by Louis Delhaye II was lost. In the 1980s restoration started anew. In 1987, the church was again inaugurated by the bishop of Breda.
Engraving by Erasmus Quellinus and Richard Collin of the Tomb of Willem van der Rijt and Judith van Aeswyn, 1641Among the interior features are a stained glass window honoring Saint Gertrudis, two pulpits, three Flemish confessionals and an Ibach pipe organ from 1863. Also some sepulchral monuments and several ecclesiastical objects are on display.References:
Angelokastro is a Byzantine castle on the island of Corfu. It is located at the top of the highest peak of the island"s shoreline in the northwest coast near Palaiokastritsa and built on particularly precipitous and rocky terrain. It stands 305 m on a steep cliff above the sea and surveys the City of Corfu and the mountains of mainland Greece to the southeast and a wide area of Corfu toward the northeast and northwest.
Angelokastro is one of the most important fortified complexes of Corfu. It was an acropolis which surveyed the region all the way to the southern Adriatic and presented a formidable strategic vantage point to the occupant of the castle.
Angelokastro formed a defensive triangle with the castles of Gardiki and Kassiopi, which covered Corfu"s defences to the south, northwest and northeast.
The castle never fell, despite frequent sieges and attempts at conquering it through the centuries, and played a decisive role in defending the island against pirate incursions and during three sieges of Corfu by the Ottomans, significantly contributing to their defeat.
During invasions it helped shelter the local peasant population. The villagers also fought against the invaders playing an active role in the defence of the castle.
The exact period of the building of the castle is not known, but it has often been attributed to the reigns of Michael I Komnenos and his son Michael II Komnenos. The first documentary evidence for the fortress dates to 1272, when Giordano di San Felice took possession of it for Charles of Anjou, who had seized Corfu from Manfred, King of Sicily in 1267.
From 1387 to the end of the 16th century, Angelokastro was the official capital of Corfu and the seat of the Provveditore Generale del Levante, governor of the Ionian islands and commander of the Venetian fleet, which was stationed in Corfu.
The governor of the castle (the castellan) was normally appointed by the City council of Corfu and was chosen amongst the noblemen of the island.
Angelokastro is considered one of the most imposing architectural remains in the Ionian Islands.