Een nieuw beeld van een oud gebouw. Opmerkingen over de St. Servaaskerk in Maastricht in de elfde eeuw


  • Lex Bosman




Extensive archaeological research took place during the recent restoration campaign of the St. Servaas church in Maastricht. A number of spectacular findings, referred to before in publications of town archaeologist Panhuysen, shed new light on existing views on the building history of the church. The greater part of the results of the research into the building history are yet to be published. Since there seldom is immediate unanimity on reconstructions of building phases when such a complicated building history as the history of the St. Servaas church is concerned, the results so far of the various disciplines adopted with reference to a few essential parts of the building history will be compared here.

The memorial cross of provost Humbert (+1086), which was excavated from his tomb in the church, is of major importance for the interpretation of a building phase in the latter half of the eleventh century. My views on the interpretation of the text differ with Panhuysen's, whose translation, in my opinion, is more complicated than necessary. The parts of multilateral walls excavated in the transept have been provisionally interpreted by Panhuysen as the northern and southern enclosures of a transept with gallery, belonging to the church which was consecrated in 1039. What presents a problem, however, in this reconstruction is the fact that the connections to nave and side aisles and to the choir aisles have not been established.

The existing transept must date back to the building phase under provost Humbert (1051-1086), whereas here yet another phase preceded it, of which little is known. Evidently, the transept with gallery has only functioned for a few decades. So far, the hypothesis of a change of plan with respect to the nave arcade (approximately 1020), formulated on the basis of building traces, has not been contradicted yet from the side of building historians; l shall therefore stick to this hypothesis for the time being. The system of alternating pillars and columns is supposed to have been soon replaced by the still existing pillar arcade.

The text of Humbert's memorial cross also draws attention once again to the possible example for the eastern part of the St. Servaas church. As Humbert was also provost of the Cathedral Chapter in Luik, it seems to me more likely that the Saint-Lambert in Luik served as an example and not the Cologne Cathedral. The historical connections of the Servaas Chapter with other church institutions surely ought to play a part in the reconstruction of building phases.

Biografie auteur

Lex Bosman

Lex Bosman studeerde kunstgeschiedenis aan de Rijksuniversiteit in Utrecht, waar hij nu werkt als universitair docent architectuurgeschiedenis. In diverse tijdschriften en een tentoonstellingscatalogus publiceerde hij voornamelijk over architectuur en toegepaste kunst van de middeleeuwen; promoveerde in 1990 (De Onze Lieve Vrouwekerk te Maastricht. Bouwgeschiedenis en historische betekenis van de oostpartij). Hij verricht onderzoek naar achttiende-eeuwse architectuur en stedenbouw in de vroegere Nederlandse kolonie Berbice (Guyana).




Bosman, L. (1992). Een nieuw beeld van een oud gebouw. Opmerkingen over de St. Servaaskerk in Maastricht in de elfde eeuw. Bulletin KNOB, 91(5-6), 170–176.