Locations

Old Catholic Church Maria Maior

Old Catholic Church Maria Maior. This church building is hidden between the houses on the Voorstraat; a reminder of the hidden church that once stood here. With the Reformation in Dordrecht in 1572, Catholicism was outlawed and Catholics met in secret. Later the government pursued a kind of tolerance policy; churches were allowed to be built, but invisibly behind the houses. Due to dilapidation, the hidden church was demolished in 1842 and the current church was built on approximately the same spot. Where the entrance gate now stands, there was a house (the presbytery) before 1842. With the release of the entrance to the church, the present path was created: the only front garden on the Voorstraat. Inside the building, a centuries-old religious interior can be admired. In the tympanum of the facade is a wood carved image of the Lamb of God, with a halo in the background. In 2011, after intensive research, the facade was painted in the original colors as part of the Dordrecht color project. In the Dordt color chart, this ivory-white hue is included as color number 56 under the name "Maria Maior". The outbuildings of the church were thoroughly rebuilt in 2014 into a multifunctional ancillary space called 'De Maiorij'. For this purpose, a treasured old walnut tree had to be cut down. The wood from this tree was given a special new purpose at the entrance in the form of a statue of the Mother of God carrying a blessing Christ child.

  • Year built: 1842-1843
  • Style of construction: Neoclassical and Classicist
  • Architect: G.N. Itz
  • Original function: Parish church of the Old Catholic parish of St. Maria Maior

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