The ancient church
of Nederhorst den Berg
The ancient church of
Nederhorst den Berg
This church is situated upon a small hill surrounded by flat land.
The river Vecht is nearby, once an important part of the Rhine delta
in the Netherlands.
There is a story being told in this area, that this hill was artificially made by
a group of women. This seems to be an indication that this place was an ancient holy place
of the ancient religion before Christianity.
The staircase goes up to the church upon the hill.
Even from this point of view it is visible,
that the structure to the left of the tower is a later addition.
The church has the same pattern of design
as the churches of Vries and Anloo.
The middel part is a rectangular building with small Roman windows.
Much later the choir was added to it.
It seems that the tower is also of ancient design.
Since the windows of the tower are very small,
the purpose could have been to defend the place.
The tower is placed against the rectangular building to the right.
Much to the right is a later added entrance portal on the Southside.
The door in the tower is a later break through,
To the left of the tower also a later addition.
Like the church of Vries, this building has the symbolic ornaments.
All ornaments have a numerological meaning.
The people in Vries had biblical explanations for the symbolic numbers.
This is the South area of the hill.
Very likely there are also cellars in this area.
The North side of the hill is used as churchyard
and is much lower then the Southside.
The North part of the building is a later addition.
The door is very peculiar with an ancient frame with inscription.
It is clear that the North part of the hill is much lower.
Probably erosion did this, or maybe the soil of the hill was
used for extending the church yard.
A special frame with only half of a mysterious inscription:
The North door has a very old frame with an inscription
on the left half of the frame.
The inscription is not clear and several explanations are given.
Completely clear is that the inscription gives the name Alburga.
This suggests a relation with Liudger, the missionary
of the Frisians and Saxons.
Liudger also established the nearby churches of Muiden and Loenen along the Vecht.
The churches of Vries and Anloo were also tributary to Liudger and his cloister Werden.
The three churches Muiden, Nederhorst and Loenen were property of
the Benedictine cloister of Werden in Essen, Germany
So it could be that this frame dates back to around 780AD.
Very interesting would be the existence of another ancient frame,
somewhere in the world,
with the other half of the inscription.
The method of the missionaries in Western Europe is known:
first break down the local sanctuary of the ancient religion,
then build a church on exact the same place,
finally make the area tributary with feudal rights.
Liudger gave the feudal rights he created with his converted churches
to his cloister in Werden, which he founded in 799 or 800AD.
Liudger lived for about five years in York,
where he met the queen Alburga and
her daughter the later queen Alburga
The daughter Alburga became mother of king Egbert of England.
Daughter Alburga started her Benedictine cloister in Engeland in the same year
as Liudger started his Benedictine cloister in Werden
and 10 years later Liudger and Alburga died almost on the same time.
Alburga was sainted shortly after her death.
Liudger was a follower of the idea of peregrinatio.
A Christian has no home on this Earth and goes on from place to place
to bring the Word.
This movement also preached the possibility of a marriage in complete abstinention
On the Southside the original rectangular building is visible.
The two windows in the middele have the expected small size.
The windows on the left and the right have been enlarged
The East ending of the rectangular building.
The choir at the right was added later.
Very probably the little window in the middle is the original size.
The set up is very much the same as other Liudger churches
or churches tributary to the cloister of Werden.
Robert did not do any measurements yet.
Also the inside was not visited.
All pictures made by Robert.
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Updated July 31, 2009
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