In memoriam – Valkhof Chapel

In memoriam – Valkhof kapel

In memory of all the important people that the Limes community has lost in recent years, a moment of remembrance has been set up in the Valkhof Chapel. In the Valkhof chapel will be placed a tree where one can hang a photo or card in memory of the deceased.

About the Valkhof Chapel

The Valkhof is situated on a steep edge of a hill facing the river Waal, in the oldest city of The Netherlands. On this strategic location, the Roman-Batavian settlement Oppidum Batavorum was built. Later the Romans built a Castellum on the Valkhof Hill. Following the Fall of Rome, Frankish colonists settled on the site and a small church was built there in around 620.

Charlemagne constructed a royal manor or palatine on the hill. Here, on March 30, 777, he celebrated Easter. Charlemagne’s successors, the rulers of Francia Media, visited Nijmegen regularly. Following partial destruction by the Vikings, the manor continued to receive important visitors, including the Empress Theophanu, who died at The Valkhof in 991. Emperor Otto III, her son who was born at the Valkhof, had the Saint Nicholas Chapel built in her honor. The shape of this sixteen-sided centralized structure with its octagonal nucleus referred to the Royal Chapel at Aachen and legitimized the power of the emperor, who saw himself as Charlemagne’s successor. In 1155 Frederick I Barbarossa, restored the palatine. At this occasion the emperor explicitly referred to Julius Caesar, whom he considered to have been the founder of the castle. To Barbarossa the rebuilt Valkhof symbolized the continuity of the empire, from the Roman emperors through Charlemagne in a direct line to the Hohenstaufen dynasty.

In 1795 The Valkhof Castle was demolished by its owner, the Provincial College of Gelria. The city of Nijmegen however succeeded in saving the Chapel of Saint Nicolas and the Chapel of Saint Martin. Within a few years a city park was created on the former castle grounds. The Valkhof Park with its chapels is a classified monument, the hill itself is an archaeological monument, and both form part of the protected townscape of Nijmegen centre.