Springtime in Holland

Day 5 - The Church at Museum Onsí Lieve Heer op Solder


After the Reformation Catholics were not allowed to openly practice their faith. Many built churches in their houses and this is one of the best examples of a house church.


Hartman was a Catholic and removed the top three floors of his new house to build a church. Iron braces and tie beams on the galleries provided extra strength. The church has been restored to what it would have been like in 1862, when the second gallery was extended and a new altar added. The pink paint colour dates from that period and was revealed by peeling off layers of existing paint.

Museum Onsí Lieve Heer op Solder

There are gas lights and rush mats are on the floor. The pews at the side were reserved for wealthy worshippers. Poorer members of the congregation sat in the galleries. To save space, the pulpit folded up into a cupboard to the left of the altar. It is now too fragile to be used except for Christmas Mass.

Museum Onsí Lieve Heer op Solder

Museum Onsí Lieve Heer op Solder

Museum Onsí Lieve Heer op Solder

The painting above the altar shows the baptism of Jesus. Above is God the Father. It was painted fifty years after the church was completed.  Altar paintings were designed to be changed at different times of the year. Two of the other altar paintings are displayed in the room behind the altar.

Museum Onsí Lieve Heer op Solder

Behind the high altar is a small Lady Chapel dedicated to the Virgin Mary. The statue of Mary standing on a crescent moon and crushing a serpent under her feet dates from 1690 and was carved for the church.

Museum Onsí Lieve Heer op Solder

At the back of the church is a triptych dating from 1535. At the centre is Jesus in the arms of the Virgin Mary while St John and Nicodemus prepare his body for the tomb. On the left, Joseph of Arimathea holds the crown of thorns. On the right, Mary Magdalene holds pot of ointment.

Museum Onsí Lieve Heer op Solder

At the back of the church, a steep staircase leads up to the gallery with the organ keyboard. The organ was built in 1794 for the church. The bellows are in a cupboard by the window.

Museum Onsí Lieve Heer op Solder

The stairs continue up to the attic with good views down to the church.

Museum Onsí Lieve Heer op Solder   Museum Onsí Lieve Heer op Solder

The attic was used to store linen goods. It now contains statues of Mary and Joseph both with the Christ Child.
 
Museum Onsí Lieve Heer op Solder

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