Daventria or now called Deventer, the place where I live together with my Family
Deventer is one of the oldest towns in Holland. A considerable number of monuments give testimony to its great past. By far the most important of these buildings is the Grote- of Lebuinuschurch and its tower.
In 768 Saint Lebuinus built a small wooden chapel. This chapel was destroyed in 770 by the Saxon heathens. Saint Lebuinus rebuilt the chapel in 771 and died there one year later. In 774 the chapel was destroyed once again and rebuilt in 776 by Saint Ludger.
The first stone church was built in 937 by bishop Balderik. In 1040 the church was rebuilt by Bernulphe to be a roman basilica. Between 1235 and 1334 the church was destroyed by fire.
The present church was built between 1450 and 1525. It is a gothic hallchurch and was built on the foundations of the roman basilica of the 11th century. Considerable parts of this roman basilica can still be seen in the upper structure, more particularly in the interior of the church.
A roman crypt is situated undernearh the somewhat higher placed choir, vaulted by non-sectioned crossvaults, supported by three pairs of sculptured columns.
The entire church has star-, net-, and crossvaults. In 1927 and subsequent years the plaster was removed from the walls and columns, with the exception of those areas that are decorated with wallpaintings.
The big gothic tower was built towards the end of the 16th century. The adjacent Our Lady's chapel made it impossible to build the second tower, although its foundation was laid, as it is still to be seen today.
In the beginning of the 17th century the tower was crowned with a lantern, designed by the architect Hendrick de Keyser from Amsterdam, so as to house a new carillon. It is the oldest Hemony-carillon still existing.
The church is decorated with many vault- and wallpaintings.
The pulpit, made of oak, in the Louis XVI-style, dates from 1781. There are two motto's:
"One is your master, namely Christ"
"Lend your ear and your soul shall live"
The impressive organ is a Holtgräve organ in neo-renaissance style, built in 1836-1838, and incorporates many parts of an earlier organ, dating from the 16th century. This organ was thoroughly restored in 1722 by Franz Caspar Schnittger.
In 1891 the organbuilder Petrus van Oeckelen from Groningen restored the Holtgräve-organ. On this occasion he changed the complete disposal. All reedpipes, mostly dating from 1722, were lost.
It was thoroughly restored in 1972-1975 by the firm of Flentrop from Zaandam with Dr. M.A. Vente from Utrecht as advisor. In the organ all reedpipes, reconstructed on the basis of the historic pipes of the organ of Alkmaar, were replaced.
The coir-organ, donated by mr. D.L. Ankersmit, was built after 1940 and has been in use since 1950.
The church's interior was redone between 1930 and 1950; the exterior was subject to extensive repairs at the beginning of the 20th century. On that occasion the medieval roofs were replaced by a modern roofconstuction. The windows and the roofslates were renewed between 1950 and 1970. The facades are repaired; wornout or broken stone sections are renewed and the wroughtiron grips are replaced by rustproof steel. In the last years the wall- and vaultpaintings are also restored
A few dimensions of the church
• Length: 99,10 metres.
• Breadth: 38,65 metres.
• Length of the central nave: ca. 32,80 metres.
• Height of the vaults: ca. 18,00 metres.
• Height of the tower: 62,50 metres.
Here are some pictures of the Church..
Deventer received city rights in 956. From this date fortifications were built around the city for defense. Between 1000 and 1500, Deventer grew to be a flourishing trade city because of its harbour on the river IJssel, which was reachable for large ships. The city was a member of the Hanseatic League
Deventer is the place of birth of Geert Groote and home to his Brethren of the Common Life, a school of religious thought that was of great influence on Thomas a Kempis and Erasmus in later times.
In its long history, Deventer has seen very few military engagements but her industrial area and harbour were bombed heavily during World War II. Luckily, her city centre was largely spared and the city has a scenery which has remained largely unchanged for the past few centuries.
A female Jewish poet and writer, Etty Hillesum, lived in Deventer during the war before being deported to Auschwitz
Deventer has been somewhat popular with the film industry; the famous film A Bridge Too Far shot all of her scenes taking place in nearby Arnhem in Deventer as Arnhem herself no longer had a historic center
More recently, the city hosts two events of national and even international fame. In August there is a book-fair, attracting some 125,000 visitors and being the largest in Europe. In December there is the Dickens Festival, which sees some of the oldest streets and alleys in the city dressed up in the style of the Victorian era, as per Dickens' writings. The latter attracted 135,000 visitors in 2004
I hope you all enjoyed this tour in and around Deventer and I hope you will be able to visit our beautiful old city sometimes.. ;)