The RK Sint Janskerk in Nieuwstadt (200 meters from Erbuca B&B)
THE SAINT JAN'S CHURCH
The St. John's Church, in full St. John the 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 Limburg churches, this church is built from marl.
The church marks the transition from Romanesque architecture to Gothic. The nave, and in particular the clerestory, shows unmistakably Romanesque shapes. The clerestory contains large round windows. The windows in the side aisles are executed in the shapes of the Romanesque style, combined with details that show style characteristics of the Maasland Gothic. On either side, the eastern bays of the aisles have been raised to pseudo-transepts. The choir was added in the 14th century and is 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 still depicted on a map from 1623. The distances between the buttresses and the various windows are quite different from each other and on the left and right. The buttresses were probably installed later in case of subsidence, where the support was more important than an aesthetic appearance.
In 1862 architect PJH Cuypers made 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 carried out. 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 whether they were designed and built by Cuypers. There is no other comparable architectural style in Cuypers' oeuvre, so it can be assumed that it is original; moreover, the ruins of the church of the Beyart Monastery in Maastricht show 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, himself a resident of Nieuwstadt. He replaced the small tower with a new, lower, portal. he extended the aisles and placed a completely new tower, in which a large number of stones from the ruins of the Montfort castle were incorporated. Fighting during the Second World War caused great damage to the church, but it has been rebuilt to its pre-war state.