The Netherlands / Landmark

Tower of St Martin's church




The tower of St Martin's Church was built in the mid-15th century. In 1558, it lost its spire. In 1944, when the warfront moved to the river Waal, the German army placed look out posts on the tower. By doing so, they attracted Allied artillery fire, causing considerable damage to the tower.

From October 1944, the front between the German troops and the Allies was located near the river Waal. Opposite Tiel were artillery positions, from which shots could be fired at Tiel.

The St Martin's tower was equipped with guard and observation posts and from there German soldiers could observe Allied positions across the river. The church tower automatically became a target. On 21 November 1944, it suffered significant damage. At the end of the war, there was a large hole in the church. A storm on 14 May 1945 caused the upper section to collapse completely.

Until 1963, the tower and the rest of the church stood like a ruin. In 1963-1964, restoration took place. On that occasion, the Saint Martin tower also received a carillon, which, however, did not help the stability of the tower. Therefore, in 1987, the foundation had to be reinforced.