De St-Nicolaaskerk te Denekamp: klein begonnen, groot geëindigd
The church of Denekamp is important for various reasons. Just as the mother church in Ootmarsum and the church in Heek, it is one of the few religious buildings erected in the region of Twente in the 13th century that is still largely preserved. As far as this region is concerned it is the oldest preserved single-bay church, though no longer completely intact.
By regional standards, early Gothic forms were applied in the nave. Especially the triumphal arch shows rich and interesting details, in line with the Romanesque-Gothic period. The heavy, squat tower from the late Gothic period could be dated quite accurately on the basis of dendrochronological research.
And finally, the church was adapted to the increased number of parishioners these past centuries. The floor plan of the east section of the church, which was added in the early 19th century, is exceptional compared to other churches in Twente from the same period: a cross-shaped floor plan.
The new construction from the early 20th century shows the attempts of some Catholic architects in those days to liberate themselves from the monopoly of the Gothic style and to find inspiration in other traditional building styles, especially those dating from pre-Gothic times.
The present visitor of the church of Denekamp is not only confronted with elements of styles from the distant past, notably Romanesque-Gothic and Gothic, but even more with an imitation of the Romanesque-Gothic style in the recent past. This latter phenomenon is found just as rarely as what used to be called the Transitional style.