Church of the Presentation of Mary

The current church wasn’t built until the end of the nineteenth century, but the Asten parish itself is centuries-old. The name “Asten” …

The current church wasn’t built until the end of the nineteenth century, but the Asten parish itself is centuries-old. The name “Asten” was already mentioned in official documents, which can be found in Den Bosch and Namur, as early as 1202 and 1212.   Who founded the parish is unknown. The first parish priest mentioned in the archives is Gerardus van Binderen. He was the shepherd of souls in Asten and Lierop between 1274 and 1301. Until 1569, these two villages formed a parish together.   Where the first church of Asten was located is also unknown. The much smaller predecessor to the current church was completed in the fifteenth century. The church was built at what is now the Koningsplein. The tower dates back to the thirteenth century and the cruciform church dates back to 1478. The floor plan of the church has the form of a cross and that is why the church was called a cruciform church.   The church was originally owned by the Catholics. That changed in 1648, when the Peace of Münster ended the Eighty Years’ War. In that year, the Spanish Catholic occupiers were forced to leave The Netherlands. Within the then Dutch government, the States General, the Protestants were in power and they wanted to prevent a Catholic dominance at all costs. For that reason, the Catholic faith was banned and the Church of the Presentation of Mary was handed over to the Protestants. It wasn’t until 150 years later, in the year 1798, that the Catholic faith was no longer considered a threat and the church was sold back to the Catholics.   In the years that followed, the church fell into disrepair and the decision to build a new church was taken. On July 8, 1893, Johannes Wilhelmus Smits was named master builder for the new church. Smits faced a problem very common in the history of church building: a lack of money. Thanks to loans and the money gained from selling church treasures, the foundations for the church were finally laid in September 1896. Led by architect Caspar Franssen, the new monumental Gothic building was completed in only two years. The Church of the Presentation of Mary was inaugurated on September 19, 1898.  

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Address:
Maria Presentatie Kerk
Wilhelminastraat 1
5721 GV Asten
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