St. Catherine's Church

Eindhoven, Netherlands

St. Catherine's Church, built in 1861-1867, is probably the highlight in the first period of P.J.H. Cuypers' long and fruitful career. It's a three-aisled cruciform basilican church with a three-aisled transept and a choir with an ambulatory and three hexagonal radiating chapels. At the front the church has three connected porches and two differently detailed towers. Its design was based on 13th-century French Gothic churches, especially those of Chartres and Reims. The church replaced a derelict medieval church. For this church Cuypers used many of the ideas about symbolism in Gothicism, published by J.A. Alberdingk Thijm, Cuypers' friend and future brother-in-law and one of the leading members in the movement for equal rights for catholics. In one important aspect Cuypers does not follow these ideas; the church is not oriented, which means that the choir is not built at the eastern part of the church. The difference between the two towers is an idea that Cuypers did follow.

Both towers are 70 metres tall. Alberdingk Thijm was convinced that a long lost secret symbolism was the reason behind the difference between the two towers, as seen on many French Gothic churches. For this church Cuypers designed two different towers. The southern tower is the more refined of the two and represents the Ivory Tower, symbol of the purity of Mary. The northern tower is decorated with turrets and battlements; this 'defensive' look represents the Tower of David, symbol of strength. It is nowadays widely believed that the difference between the towers of medieval churches was caused by financial reasons more than anything else, so Alberdingk Thijm was probably wrong. More symbolism is found in the many rose-windows, referring to St. Catharina, whose attribute is a wheel. The porches are decorated with sculptures, executed in natural stone.

In 1942 the church was heavily damaged by bombs, and was restored after the war by architect C.H. de Bever. Vincent van Gogh painted a pencil sketch of St. Catherine's church in 1885.

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Details

Founded: 1861-1867
Category: Religious sites in Netherlands

More Information

www.archimon.nl

Rating

4.5/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Alejandro Clemente Cabeza (21 days ago)
Beautifull industrial architecture.
Lisandro Gil (39 days ago)
beautiful church, very educational visit it is really worth visiting and taking the time to appreciate the immensity and spirituality of this church, a monument full of Catholic symbolism, apart from a museum and an incredible archeology source, impossible to walk through its Inside, and not marvel at the beautiful architecture, if you are going to visit the city of Eindhoven, be sure to visit this church, very close to the central station, and surrounded by very good shops and restaurants, an unmissable visit.
Alex Alves (3 months ago)
Beautiful Neo-gothic church in the center of Eindhoven. The exterior is beautiful and the interior is as great. There are alot of artifacts regarding the church inside.
SOURAV DAS MAHAPATRA (5 months ago)
Silent place.
Cezary Rak-Ejma (6 months ago)
Amazing precision of the builders and a pretty unusual church towers desing. Really impressive!
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