Churches and Towers
Churches and individual towers
Striking to many churches in Oldambt is the freestanding tower. Usually the church tower is part of the church, but in Oldambt, the towers stand about twenty meters away from the churches. There are not always services or Holy masses that take place in the churches. Most of them now serve as a stage for art exhibitions, shows and performances. Old churches are now a landmark for curious visitors. Climb the towers and look as far as you can.
The church on the Marktplein in Winschoten is from the 13th century. The Romanesque and Gothic architecture, the stained glass windows and oil paintings from Biblical themes (made by Jannes de Vries from art circle De Ploeg) make the church special. Also unique is the White organ dating from 1868. The organ has 23 registers, divided by the Great Organ, Ancillary Work and Pedal. The console is located at the side of the organ. Take a look at free-standing tower d'Olle Witte (the old white). Who makes the climb to the top is rewarded with a magnificent view of Winschoten. The carillon of the tower guarantees beautiful melodies.
In the 12th century a settlement with simple farmhouses arose in the bog. In the 13th century the village received a tough cruciform church with a freestanding tower in Romanesque Gothic style. Around the church and farms lay the rye fields, pastures and hayfields. In the sixteenth century the civilians of Scheemda had to abandon their village to the encroaching waters of the Dollard. Slightly to the south, at a higher point, the farms, church and tower were renovated. Originally, when the church in Scheemda was still Roman-Catholic, there was a totally different organ. This organ went to the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam, but for this was no space due to the reorganization and renovation. If and when it will return to Scheemda, is yet unknown.
The Reformed municipality Nieuw Scheemda immediately started with the construction of a new church in 1659. Nowadays little reminds of the former church. The facade that was replaced in 1906, resembles the facades of rentiers homes from that era. The two windows in the west facade have round arches which due to its decoration with two color bricks resemble horseshoes. The interior is basic. Beside the pulpit hangs a whip to chase away dogs from the church and an iron charity box. The notable benches are on either side of the chancel. During the restoration in 2008, the imitation wood layer of banks was renovated to its original state as well as the blue-green color of the ceiling. Striking is the large amount of candleholders. A feature of this church is the magnificent Schnitger organ.
The church of Finsterwolde was originally built in the 13th century and later, around 1586, followed by a refurbishment. The church owns an organ from 1807-1808 by the famous organ builder H. F. Frijtagh. There are often church services on Sundays. On the men's bench you see the weapon of the peasant family Heddema from Finsterwolde. The pulpit decorated with woodwork is probably from around 1806. Separate from the church tower, the striker is not a rooster, but a horse. In May 2012, the church and the tower restored. Tower key lies in the opposite restaurant.
Midwolda received their church tower in 1708. Here hangs a big loud bell. The clock survived World War II and was one of the few surviving examples from the 19th century. In 1738 the construction of the church was completed. The church is basic. In the church there are ten old gravestones of ministers, notables and prelates. The oldest is from 1625. The church contains a magnificent Hints organ from 1772
The church of Beerta is a single-aisled late Gothic building from 1506. The facades contain water tables of stone. The roof is covered with black glazed Dutch tiles. The stone vaults were replaced in 1783 by a wooden arbor. During the restoration in 1961, the interior changed dramatically, leaving the old church interior almost completely lost. The pulpit from 1625 is preserved, as well as the organ from 1862. Church services are no longer held. Sometimes classical concerts in the church are held instead.
The church and cemetery of Nieuw Beerta lay next to the road, from Beerta to Bad Nieuweschans. The church dates from 1856 and a year later it was given the still working organ. The relatively richly decorated church hall has a three-sided apse. The vessel consists of five bays, articulated on the outside by pilaster strips. The exterior is built of masonry. The facade has a gaseous ending, on which a beautifully designed, fairly large Flèche shines. The interior is covered with a plastered barrel vault. Recently the church was fully restored and concerts are regularly held.
The former garrison church of Bad Nieuweschans was built for the soldiers residing in the fortified village. The year of construction from the text of a bricked stone reads: ’Jonkvrouwe Magdalena Adriana Canter Visscher lay the first brick to this church on 7 August 1751.’ The attic has been directly used by the military as ammunition and hayloft. Behind the church the punished soldiers were arrested in the so-called banking. The church services are alternately held in Finsterwolde and in the Garrison Church. The church serves as a wedding venue and you can attend concerts.