We visited Eindhoven during the summer that we thought had ended, but which paid us a return visit this week.
There is much to see and to do in that city, located in the province of Noord Brabant, a tech-science hub where Philips electronics was born, home to the Philips Stadium.
What captured most of our time and attention though, was the historic St. Catherine’s Church, the only church in the medieval town centre of Eindhoven. This neo-Gothic building opened in 1867 is still home to a current Roman Catholic parish.
St. Catherine’s Church was essentially a “replacement” building for a smaller church which was damaged by fire in 1486 when the Guelders army burnt the town. Its wooden spire was blown off in 1526; and in 1566 contents the interior fell prey to the iconoclasm. The old building was demolished in 1860.
The sanctuary boasts archival records dating back to 1340. Excavation yielded hundreds of human skeletons from the period dating 1200-1850. These were found buried (head) west-east(foot) mostly in wooden coffins; but there were some with lime-coated linings indicative of plague deaths in the past.
The current iconography is eye-catching. My son was really impressed to note the non-Europeanised depictions of Jesus and other biblical figures, and he made remarks to that effect. The atmosphere in the sanctuary communicated an invitation to prayer. I could not but stop and thankfully remember some of my Christian mentors including my parents.
And then I saw the baptismal font which, to me, is simply stunning! See it here.