Nijmegen – Mariken van Nieumeghen
M18
Nijmegen
1500

Nijmegen – Mariken van Nieumeghen

Nijmegen – Mariken van Nieumeghen
Nijmegen – Mariken van Nieumeghen
Nijmegen – Mariken van Nieumeghen
Nijmegen – Mariken van Nieumeghen
Nijmegen – Mariken van Nieumeghen
Nijmegen – Mariken van Nieumeghen
Nijmegen – Mariken van Nieumeghen
Nijmegen – Mariken van Nieumeghen
Nijmegen – Mariken van Nieumeghen
Nijmegen – Mariken van Nieumeghen

Mariken van Nieumeghen is without doubt the most famous individual in the long history of Nijmegen. But Mariken never actually existed. She is the main character in a miracle play that was written around 1500 and largely set in Nijmegen.

Rhetoricians
The story is the high point of rhetorical theatre in the Low Countries. Rhetoricians recited stories and poems, sang songs and put on plays for special occasions. They also held competitions in oratory. Mariken van Nieumeghen was one of the winning pieces. Mariken first appears in a 1515 print by an Antwerp publisher.

Mariken and Moenen
Mariken is a young girl who is sent to buy provisions in Nijmegen for her uncle, a priest. As it gets dark, she wants to stay overnight with her aunt, who sends her away. In desperation, she leaves the city and meets with Moenen, a charming young man. He turns out to be the Devil in disguise. Together with Moenen, she goes to Antwerp and for seven years leads a life of depravity. Eventually, she returns to Nijmegen and repents. As penance, she spends seven years praying in a convent with iron rings around her neck. Finally, thanks to the intervention of the Virgin Mary, God is prepared to forgive her.

Miracle play
The story of Mariken is a medieval miracle play: a piece of religious theatre in which the wonder of God plays an essential part in the story. The message is clear: forgiveness is always possible no matter the extent of your sins, through sincere repentance and penance. The key scenes at the beginning and end of the play take place in Nijmegen. Her statue now stands in the Grote Markt square. It is the image of the innocent Mariken carrying her shopping basket to market in the big city.

Nijmegen – Mariken van Nieumeghen
Nijmegen – Mariken van Nieumeghen
Nijmegen – Mariken van Nieumeghen
Nijmegen – Mariken van Nieumeghen
Nijmegen – Mariken van Nieumeghen
Nijmegen – Mariken van Nieumeghen
Nijmegen – Mariken van Nieumeghen
Nijmegen – Mariken van Nieumeghen
Nijmegen – Mariken van Nieumeghen
Nijmegen – Mariken van Nieumeghen

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