Episode 15: Saint Andrew’s Chapel

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This week on the podcast we’re talking about a hidden gem – Saint Andrew’s Chapel! This spot is now a beautiful modern design and exhibition space but did you know it was once home to a community of beguines (begijnen in Dutch)?

There is also an episode 15A for this podcast as we realised there was something we just had to add to the Saint Andrew’s Chapel story. This little extra recording includes some information about the chapel’s life as the SHCL (social history) archives – enjoy! 

Saint Andrew’s Chapel (Sint Andrieskapel in Dutch) was originally home to a number of Begijnen or Beguines, who practiced a more relaxed religious and communal lifestyle than other monastic orders. Above left is a small section of a panel showing beguines in Mechelen going about their daily tasks in traditional clothing ( (c) brabantica.org). On the right is an illustration of later religious apparel in Maastricht as drawn by Philippe van Gulpen c.1840 ( (c) RHCL).

Above (top) are plans for the chapel as drawn up by Adolph Mulder in 1884 ( (c) Wikimedia Commons). As the religious and political climates shifted throughout history, these beguines were forced to become more monastic and a convent was added to the chapel, drawn above (bottom) by Philippe van Gulpen in c. 1847 ( (c) RHCL).

We can compare a photograph of the chapel from c. 1900 – 1905 with the aforementioned drawings and see that the convent is gone but a vestry (right) has been added ( (c) RHCL). The second photograph (top right) probably shows the interior of the chapel at an unknown date ( (c) RCHL).

The third image (bottom) is from a collection of charts showing the churches and monasteries of Maastricht, with ‘B’ showing the St Andrew’s chapel and convent ( (c) RHCL).

For many years the chapel and surrounds were used to educate poor children, male and female, and women. Above (top left and bottom) are pictures of the types of school children that would have attended. The first image shows young boys from one of the schools of the Brothers of the Beyart at Saint Joseph’s, all receiving soup provided by the Civil Pour Administration (c. 1935, (c) RHCL). The bottom photograph shows Chaplain Lemmens with a girls’ Sunday school group, probably outside Our Sweet Lady, in 1917 ( (c) Maastrichts Silhouet vol. 16).

Top right is a clear view of the chapel as it stood around this time, in 1913 ( (c) Wikimedia Commons).

Throughout the twentieth century and into the twenty first, the chapel was also used for various purposes including the studio of artist Charles van Eyck and as repository for the Social Historical Centre for Limburg (SHCL). The first two photographs above show the chapel as Eyck’s studio on 20/08/1951 filled with sculptures ( (c) RHCL – top left, & RHCL – top right).

The lower two photographs show the space as the depot of the SHCL before it moved to the second Minderbroederkerk on Sint Pieterstraat permanently in 2015 (c. 2015, (c) SHCL Facebook – bottom left, SHCL Facebook – bottom right).

Vist the SHCL website here!

The first photograph (top left) shows the interior of the chapel prior to restoration in 1978 ( (c) RHCL) while the second photo (top right) shows the interior during restoration in 1983 ( (c) Wikimedia Commons). The third picture shows the exterior work being done during this period of restoration and preservation, taken in c. 1982 – 1984 ( (c) RHCL).

The fourth photograph shows a portion of the exterior of the chapel as it stood in 2014 ( (c) Kleon3 via Wikimedia Commons).

Above are photographs of the modern interior of the chapel as it stands in 2020, taken by Alf Mertens. The chapel is currently home to René Holten Industrial Design and the 21st century renovations won the Victor de Stuers Prize in 2019. A big thank you to the team at RHID for sending us the photographs here! Visit their website to keep up with the design firm as well as any upcoming exhibitions.

As always, if you have something you have always wanted to know about Maastricht or wanted to ask a local, please contact us through social media or our website and we will do our best to answer your questions in future episodes!