The RC Sint Janskerk in Nieuwstadt (200 meters from Erbuca B&B)
THE SAINT JANSCHURCH
The Sint Janskerk, in full Sint Johannes de Baptist, in Nieuwstadt is a Roman Catholic church that was originally built as a chapel (without a tower) in the second half of the 13th century. Like many churches in Limburg, this church is made of marl.
The church marks the transition from the Romanesque architectural style to the Gothic. The central nave, and in particular the clerestory, shows unmistakable Romanesque shapes. The clerestory contains large round windows. The windows in the side aisles are in the shape of the Romanesque style, combined with details that show style characteristics of the Maasland Gothic. On either side, the eastern bays of the aisles are raised to pseudo-transepts. The choir was added in the 14th century and stands at an angle to the longitudinal axis of the nave. A low tower was later added to the church, but after the destruction of the city in 1398 little of it was left. A remnant of this tower is depicted on a map from 1623. The distances between the buttresses and the various windows vary considerably from left to right. The buttresses were probably added later when subsidence was found, where the support was more important than an aesthetic appearance.
In 1862, architect PJH Cuypers drew up plans for a restoration of the church. However, this restoration was not started until 1880. Cuypers wanted to raise the walls of the choir and add a tower, but these parts of the plans were never implemented. Cuypers added a neo-Romanesque portal to the lower part of the original tower. Because no images are available of what the church looked like before the restoration, it is not known to what extent the aisles are original or designed and built by Cuypers. A comparable architectural style does not occur in Cuypers' oeuvre, so it may be assumed that it is original; moreover, the ruin of the church of the Beyartklooster in Maastricht shows a similar style.
After 1899 Cuypers added the sacristy to the south side.
Between 1927 and 1933 the church was restored again, this time by architect Jos Wielders, a resident of Nieuwstadt. He replaced the small tower with a new lower portal. he lengthened the side aisles and placed a completely new tower, which incidentally incorporated a large number of stones from the ruins of Montfort Castle. Fighting during the Second World War caused great damage to the church, but it has been rebuilt in its pre-war state.