Sunday, July 26, 2009

Abandoned Church

Detail of the Dutch church, LivornoThe Dutch-German Congregation was established in 1622 to represent the large community of Flemish and German merchants present in Livorno since the begin of the 17th Century.
The Gothic Revival temple of the Dutch-German Congregation is one of the few non-Catholic churches in Livorno and was built in 1864 on a project by the architect Dario Giacomelli. It was aptly built on the “Scali degli Olandesi” (“scali” is any street along a canal and “Olandesi” is Dutchmen) along the “Fosso Reale”.Old postcard of the Dutch church, LivornoIt is one of the three landmarks, all from the 19th Century, gracing the “Fosso Reale” in the tract where I live. The others are the “Mercato Centrale” and the the Benci elementary school.
Dutch church, LivornoThe Congregation in 1903 purchased an excellent organ of the renowned firm Agati-Tronci, probably the best instrument in Tuscany. The church survived unscathed the bombings of the last war but the organ was taken away by some connoisseur looter.Dutch church, LivornoThe temple is now abandoned and the risk of a collapse of the roof is high. The entrance and the front are protected by scaffolding and many of the ornamental parts of the facade are now lost. The second image is an old postcard where we can see the church in pristine conditions.

Search labels: Dutch church
See also: Scali degli Olandesi - Chiesa degli Olandesi - Sad Preview - A lecture - Finale - A Ray of Hope - Falling to Pieces - Flying Rats - Another Collapse - Fenced Off - Piazza Poerio - The Places I Love - A Few More Votes - Rose Window - Second Place?
External links: Temple of the Dutch German Congregation (Wikipedia)
Facebook Group: “Salviamo la chiesa degli Olandesi a Livorno” (Save the Dutch church in Livorno)

16 comments:

Saretta said...

It's a real shame to see that beautiful old building with so much history, just crumbling away!

Fio said...

Sembra un po' triste attornata dal traffico, pero' la storia molto interessante.
Belle foto, specialmente l'ultima :)

Vogon Poet said...

@ Fio - The last photo was taken from the top balcony of the Mercato Centrale (thank you Stefano).

Tinsie said...

What a shame! Isn't anyone interested in getting it restored?

brattcat said...

This is an excellent series of photographs, VP. You guide us into a tender relationship with this church and then break our hearts when we learn of its condition.

Jacob said...

What a fascinating and very sad story. I wonder why the building has been abandoned...no members, anymore? No Protestants left in Livorno?

In its present condition it would seem to be a danger to the community!

Thanks for such an interesting series.

James said...

Even in it's fragile state this church looks awesome.

m_m said...

It has beautiful details! Sad it is destroyed.

Nikki Beaumont said...

Oh, I hope that somehow someone will be able to save this beautiful church! Thank you for telling us this story and including so much detail. Maybe someone out there will see this and be able to do something about it. You could be the catalyst! I especially like the photo that you must have taken up high from another building or bridge or something. I like that sort of aerial view.

Hilda said...

That's so sad. It looks like it was a magnificent church.

Ming the Merciless said...

The window designs on temple is spectacular. It's a shame the building cannot be restored and given a new lease of life as a museum or something else.

Frank said...

Incredible history yet so sad that it is in such poor condition today. Would the government step in to provide funds for restoration or must it be private money? It is certainly worth saving.

tapirgal said...

Sometimes I wish I had tons of money just so I could fix places like this! I hope someone does that before it disappears completely.

Per Stromsjo said...

Sounds like it's too late for a restoration even if someone were to come up with the money tomorrow.

Steffe said...

That really is a shame and very sad at the same time.

Leif Hagen said...

What a bummer! I suppose the restoration costs would be astronomical?!