Oosterbeek – Old Church
M9
Oosterbeek
1000

Oosterbeek – Old Church

Oosterbeek – Old Church
Oosterbeek – Old Church
Oosterbeek – Old Church
Oosterbeek – Old Church
Oosterbeek – Old Church
Oosterbeek – Old Church
Oosterbeek – Old Church
Oosterbeek – Old Church
Oosterbeek – Old Church
Oosterbeek – Old Church

The Oosterbeek church was built here as early as the 10th century. This makes it one of the oldest existing church buildings in the Netherlands.

Romanesque
The early Roman church is mainly recognisable from the nave and the choir of the present church. Typical of that period is the use of round arched windows and tufa stone. This building material may have come from Roman fortifications on the other side of the Rhine, in Meinerswijk and Driel. Another striking feature is the Roman gate at the entrance, with a decorated pediment above the door. The church was originally a hall church, and was not extended until the 14th century, when it acquired a tower.

Father Bernulphus
Oosterbeek is also mentioned in the 14th century chronicle of Johannes de Beke. At the beginning of the 11th century, Emperor Koenraad II ruled the Holy Roman Empire, which stretched from the Netherlands to deep into Italy. In 1027, during a journey to Utrecht, Empress Gisela was successfully delivered of a daughter in the parish of Oosterbeek. In gratitude, the parish priest, Bernulphus, was rewarded with the bishopric of Utrecht.

Canonised
This story later took on a life of its own. According to folk myth, the later Emperor Hendrik III was born in Oosterbeek, but there is no truth in this. Bernulphus really did exist and was even canonised at a later date. He has been the patron saint of Oosterbeek ever since. But even a saint could not stop the old Roman Catholic Church from falling into Reformed hands following the Reformation.

Battle of Arnhem
For eight days long, a field battle was fought around the church of Oosterbeek. In September 1944, the church was one of the last bastions for the allied forces before they withdrew across the Rhine. 250 wounded soldiers lay in the old rectory next to the church. Ms Kate ter Horst tried to care for them as long as possible. Her British patients gave her the affectionate nickname of ‘the Angel of Arnhem’ Market Garden was a failure. Arnhem was a bridge too far. The church in Oosterbeek was left in utter ruin. Following a thorough restoration, it was brought back into use in 1949, and British and Polish war veterans and their families have been regular visitors ever since.

Oosterbeek – Old Church
Oosterbeek – Old Church
Oosterbeek – Old Church
Oosterbeek – Old Church
Oosterbeek – Old Church
Oosterbeek – Old Church
Oosterbeek – Old Church
Oosterbeek – Old Church
Oosterbeek – Old Church
Oosterbeek – Old Church

Oude kerk in Oosterbeek

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