Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Chiesa degli Olandesi

Chiesa degli Olandesi (Dutch Church), LivornoThe “Chiesa degli Olandesi” (Dutch Church) was owned by the Dutch German congregation, which ceased to exist in the 1960s. The lack of an active congregation was the prime cause of the decline in the state of conservation of the temple.Chiesa degli Olandesi (Dutch Church), LivornoSome basic maintenance was assured by the descendants of the members of the former congregation, but this was not enough to block the construction of an apartament building just behind the church or to avoid the demolition of the spires for safety reasons. Already in 1996 there was some water damage inside the church due to leaks, the walls were unsafe and the great glass panels of the windows had been shattered.Chiesa degli Olandesi (Dutch Church), LivornoIn 1997 the congregation was formed again and a new project was presented with the idea of opening the temple for cultural events and not just for worship. After the last war the church, with its excellent acoustics due to its slender shape, was already being used as an auditorium . Sadly, the organ, one of the best in Tuscany, was stolen during the war.Dutch Church Livorno, old postcardWith the new millennium the roof was somewhat fixed and the windows repaired, but a few years after, in 2005, part of the ceiling collapsed on the old wood benches. Another minor collapse was visible in 2008 on the structure to the left of the main entrance.Dutch Church Livorno, old postcardThe congregation has no funds to finance any rebuilding without outside support and it is not even able to suggest a practical project for this temple. The lack of public interest about this building is amazing; people and politicians seem really not to care about it. The wall of the canal in front of the church collapsed 15 years ago and has still to be rebuilt.Dutch Church Livorno, old postcardTo publicize this situation letters have been sent to the press, to the local council, to the Department of National Heritage and even to the Embassies of The Netherlands and Germany.
To raise awareness of this situation a Facebook group was created: “Salviamo la chiesa degli Olandesi a Livorno” (Let's save the Dutch church in Livorno) by our friend Stefano, whose comment to another post I have just translated above.

Search labels: Dutch church
See also: Abandoned Church - Scali 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:

Luis Gomez said...

What a sad story for a great looking church.

http://novi-sad-daily.blogspot.com/ said...

what a nice old photos to copare with today looking of church!

ρομπερτ said...

What an important, beautiful entry of yours ! Please have a good Tuesday.

Halcyon said...

It looks like quite a simple, but beautiful structure. I hope they are able to raise the funds to maintain it.

Randy said...

Bravo! I love the old postcards too.

Dina said...

Good luck to Stefano and his campaign for the nice old church.
Hope you find a modern Montefiore-type patron for the cause.

Small City Scenes said...

Is it a sign of our times that people just don't seem interested in saving this beautiful temple. the historic value alone ought to raise some thoughts. I hope Stefano and his group can raise enough interest. Nice pictures and great info too. MB

joo said...

Credits to Stefano!
The church is beautiful withits round windows.

cieldequimper said...

I always think it's such a shame when this kind of thing happens. Hope he does raise awareness and that it can be saved.

Cezar and Léia said...

It's a pity to see so beautiful church in this way, I hope they can do a proper restoration and save this important historic spot.
Wonderful post VP, congratulations!
Léia

Birdman said...

Sad to say lots of relics of a past time are in the midst of these financial struggles today. Thanks for the story.

B SQUARED said...

Sadly, it's best days are behind it.

Small City Scenes said...

A good tutorial for a mosaic:
http://cocapitspot.blogspot.com/

MB

Francisca said...

This, if anything ever did, needs angel investors! Good luck to Stefano. VP, a terrific post, this and the previous ones. Like everyone else, I enjoyed seeing your today's images with the old ones. Bravo!

JM said...

It's beautiful but it seems to be stuck now... and shame on the sphires too.
The other night I was looking at the photos on a very interesting book called 'Vanished Lisbon' and it's absolutely heartbreaking to figure out all that's been demolished or badly transformed (ruined, I mean!) in the 20th century! And there's nothing you can do now...

P.S. Benches in Lisbon on my blog today. :-)

Hilda said...

That is so sad. I hope the fundraising efforts succeed. If the acoustics are good, this beautiful historic church would make for a great choir and symphony concert hall.