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Photographer's Note

The clock tower of the Sint Janskerk (St John's Church) is one of the most striking pieces of architecture in a town where stunning pieces of architecture abound.

Named after St.John the Baptist, the church was originally built as a baptistery for the St.Servaas Chapter of Maastricht. In 1633, after a period in which it functioned as an autonomous parish church, it came into the possession of the Dutch Reformed Church, established in 1632. This as a result of the capture of Maastricht from the Spanish army in 1632 by the troops of the Seven United Provinces of the Netherlands under the command of Prince Frederik Hendrik of Orange. After the establishment of a state-church, i.e. the Dutch Reformed Church, all catholic churches had become protestant in the regions already conquered.

The Prince Bishop of Liège, the Duke of Brabant and Prince Frederik Hendrik agreed that in Maastricht in principle only smaller chapels should be handed over to the protestants. The bigger churches remained catholic, which was exceptional from a national point of view. However, already in 1633 the protestant chapels proved to be too small and after new discussions two churches, one of which was St.John's, came into the possession of the protestants. The first service of the Dutch Reformed Church took place on the 1st of January, 1634.

In the Middle Ages the church was painted red. The Canons of St. Servaas', who commissioned the building of the church, had all their property painted red in order to indicate their ownership. The paint was made from a mixture of marl and bog ore found in the marlpits. Grinding and burning yielded the base material for the paint: an oxblood coloured powder.

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Additional Photos by Hemant Buch (hemantbuch) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 163 W: 1 N: 252] (1649)
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