Op de toren van de Jacobikerk aan het Jacobskerkhof in Utrecht staat een Jacobsschelp.

terug naar Vaantjeskaart van Nederland   foto's augustus 1991 en maart 2003
Utrecht (U): Jacobikerk (voormalige website) Lying a bit hidden behind a part of Utrecht's centre that is completely spoiled by modern buildings is this church. Once one of Utrecht's four parish churches, now a reformed church. The Jacobikerk (St. James church) is a late-Gothic hall-church consisting of three aisles of equal height and width, each with a choir and vaulted in stone except for a small part. The tower is enclosed on all of its four sides. Although the church has a transept, it does not extend the overall width of the building.
The history of the church goes back to the 12th century, when a predecessor was built, of which no traces are left. In ca. 1290 an early-Gothic cruciform church was built, together with a low, still externally positioned tower. Of this church parts remain in the central aisle of the current building. Probably in the second quarter of the 14th century a new transept was built against the east end of the old one, followed by three choirs; a big polygonal one, and two smaller square ones. Ca. 1340-1350 the tower was heightened, resulting in the current structure in Utrecht Gothic-style, characterized by the series of three narrow but tall niches in each tower segment. Between 1391 and 1404 the tower was enclosed by the addition of a new western part to the church. At that time this west facade consisted of a high middle part flanked by lower parts on both sides. This part of the church is called the Achterkerk ("back church"). Master builder Willem van Boelre removed the old transept ca. 1423-1433. At the same time new side-aisles were built that were as wide and high as the central aisle. Due to this the remaing transept no longer extends. In 1461-1462 the Achterkerk is adapted to the new state of the church as well, resulting in the current state with three identical gables. The row of small houses in front of it dates from the 18th century. The small lateral choirs are replaced by larger ones at the end of the 15th century.
In 1558 a storm destroyed the spire at the tower, dating from 1410. The new spire in its turn did not survive the storm of 1674, which caused great damage to most of Utrecht's other churches as well. Since then simple roofs had been added, until during a major restoration from 1942 until 1954 the current octagonal spire was added, which is about ten metres shorter than the original one.
Early during the Reformation the priest of this church declared that the Jacobi from then on was a protestant church. It has always continued to be so since.

Jacobsschelp (voormalige website) De Jacobsschelp is, wereldwijd bekeken, het belangrijkste schelpdier voor de visserij. In 1990 voerde men wereldwijd 0,57 miljoen ton aan, in 1992 was dat 0,74 miljoen ton en in 1994 1,3 miljoen ton.

De dieren zijn zeer beweeglijk, springerig zelfs, en hebben lichtgevoelige plekjes aan de mantelrand. Het was in de Middeleeuwen een soort reclameobject van de bedevaartplaats Santiago de Compostella in Galicië (Noordwest-Spanje). Pelgrims namen Jacobsschelpen mee als ze terugkeerden van de bedevaart.

De st. Jacobsschelp wordt vooral in Frankrijk en Engeland gegeten en wordt veel toegepast in 'haute cuisine'. Er zijn twee Nederlandse vissers, de UK 154 en de UK 307, die op deze schelp vissen. Eind 1996 kwamen deze twee vissers in conflict met de (veel kleinere) Franse schelpdiervissers. Het werd de Urkers daarbij belet de schelpen in Le Havre aan land te brengen.

Nederlands: Sint Jacobsschelp
Latijn: Pecten Maximus
Frans: coquille Saint Jacques
Engels: Great Scallop
Duits: Große Kammmuschel, Pilgermuschel
Deens: Jakobsmusling