8 BREATHTAKING Amsterdam Churches, Netherlands
In Amsterdam, numerous religious structures have been constructed over the years, including a number of significant and beautiful churches that are still in existence today. These amazing churches include some of the city’s oldest standing structures, while others were built in response to the Reformation in the 17th century.
Oude Kerk – Church Amsterdam
Netherlands’ Oude Kerk as seen through the lens of A. Storm Photography via Shutterstock
It should come as no surprise that Oude Kerk has a fascinating past given that it is the oldest structure in Amsterdam. The church was initially used for Catholic services after being dedicated by the bishop of Utrecht in 1306. In order to transform Oude Kerk into a Calvinist church during the Reformation, Dutch Protestants ransacked it and destroyed all of the iconography that showed God or his saints. The church has been relatively intact since the 17th century and still has many ancient features, such as its vaulted wooden roof that dates back to the Middle Ages, despite having seen more than its fair share of difficulties over the years.
Nieuwe Kerk – Church Amsterdam
The city of Amsterdam received approval from the bishop of Utrecht to erect a new church on Dam Square in the early 15th century. When it was finished in 1509, it was given the name de Nieuwe Kerk (the New Church) to distinguish it from the older Oude Kerk. Unfortunately, a fire that devastated much of central Amsterdam in 1654 caused significant damage to this structure. A few years later, Nieuwe Kerk was rebuilt in the style of Southern Gothic construction. Because of its close proximity to the Royal Palace, it was the ideal location for formal events, and coronations are still held there. The church now holds exhibitions in addition to religious services, such as the annual World Press Photo fair.
Ons’ Lieve Heer op Solder – Church Amsterdam
The newly Protestant Dutch government outlawed Catholicism after the Reformation in the 17th century, forcing adherents to practice their religion covertly. As a result, several covert Catholic churches were built throughout Amsterdam, including Ons’ Lieve Heer op Solder, a chapel in de Wallen that was located on the top floor of a canal house. The small, hidden sanctuary managed to survive during this trying time, and at the end of the 19th century it was transformed into a wonderful museum that seems to have stopped time entirely.
English Reformed Church – Church Amsterdam
This tiny chapel, now known as the English Reformed Church, was taken from a Catholic convent residing inside an enclosed commune called Begijnhof behind Spui when the Dutch government converted to Calvinism in 1578. The church was made available to the English-speaking Protestants of the city as a place of worship in 1607. The church has continued to serve Amsterdam’s English-speaking congregation almost without interruption since that time, and its weekly rituals still take place today. In 2007, to commemorate the church’s 400th anniversary, Queen Elizabeth II paid a visit.
Moses and Aaron Church – Church Amsterdam
This enormous Roman Catholic church developed from an earlier covert congregation that met in a townhouse on the outskirts of Amsterdam’s Jewish neighborhood to allow its founding parishioners to worship covertly while Catholicism was outlawed. The church grew and moved into other structures as its membership increased. Before the congregation in question bought one of these homes, Spinoza is said to have grown up there. When the Catholic ban was lifted in the middle of the 19th century, the covert church was destroyed, and it was later replaced by a modern, open place of worship.
Church of St. Peter and St. Paul (The Parrot) – Church Amsterdam
This tiny church, hidden inside the busy Kalverstraat in Amsterdam, was built to serve the city’s persecuted Catholic population. The church’s original Catholic congregation built it without the aesthetic flourishes associated with the faith to cover up Calvinism’s dominance. Parishioners were able to practice their faith in a relatively peaceful environment thanks to this simple design’s success in fooling the authorities. A life-size statue of St. Joseph and a sizable parrot perched atop a stand serve as its entrance markers.
Westerkerk – Church Amsterdam
The iconic canal belt that runs through Amsterdam was built in the 17th century, and Westerkerk is located on its western side. It was built specifically for Calvinist services, like Zuiderkerk, and is one of many outstanding examples of Dutch Renaissance architecture in Amsterdam. Its 86-meter-tall steeple is home to 51 enormous bells that can be heard ringing throughout de Jordaan. Numerous of Amsterdam’s most well-known historical residents, including Rembrandt van Rijn, are laid to rest in the church, which is the city’s biggest and arguably most significant Calvinist place of worship.
Zuiderkerk – Church Amsterdam
During the Reformation, the majority of the city’s inhabitants converted to Calvinism, prompting the municipality of Amsterdam to choose to construct a brand-new Protestant church just outside of Nieuwmarkt. The Zuiderkerk name was given to the completed church in 1611. (the Southern Church). Unlike the Oude Kerk, this new structure was created specifically to house Protestantism, so its interior was kept largely bare to adhere to the religion’s modest sensibilities. However, Zuiderkerk is incredibly lovely and is connected to a massive bell tower that rings happy tunes all day.
Topic: 8 BREATHTAKING Amsterdam Churches, Netherlands
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By: Travel Pixy