Church of St. Mary, Leerdam

 

Beautifully, like as in a painting, stands at the Meent at Leerdam the little church of St. Mary, built by Dom Bellot and his associate Hendrik van de Leur in 1928-1930. Typical for this church is the fine way the front of the church matches the surrounding architecture, and the strange place the tower is built: In the middle of a passage from the vicarage to the rear end of the church! This strange setting has a reason: The vicarage is a gift, inherited from the Thöne family: It was their home. And the only place to build the new church near this house was behind this house. The church is built actually in the back-yard!

On the roof, at the back-side, is a window. It enables day-light to enter the sanctuary of the church. The sanctuary has no top-stone in the middle, but a piece of glass.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In the interior of the church the belt of colored brick is made of glass-brick. In Leerdam is a famous Dutch glass-factory!

The patterns of the stained-glass-windows are designed by Dom Bellot, and are similar to the ones we see at Waalwijk. In this church the brick pulpit is still used and the brick communionrails are still present too. The part of the nave in front of the sanctuary is different: Not a parabolic arch supports the brickwork, but an arch made of holes in the wall, supported by a small-sized pillar. It suggests the church has a latin-cross plan with transepts, but in fact it's only a nave.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bellot’s Dutch associate, Hendrik van de Leur, has made several churches which resemble this Leerdam church very much. His first own churches (St. Francis at Groningen, St. Lambertus at Vorstenbosch) are made with Leerdam as an example.

 

 

 

Photo's: A.W.A. Lukassen and A.A. Lukassen, july 2013