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Churches
Amsterdam Connect > Churches

Churches

Westerkerk

One of Amsterdam’s most famous churches is the Westerkerk with its Westertoren (tower) nearby the Prinsengracht and the Anne Frank huis, where Anne Frank hid during World War Two. Her diary even describes her hearing the bells of the Westerkerk. Because the Westerkerk is a protestant church it doesn’t carry the name of a saint but of the direction in which it is build, in this case to the west. 

The Westerkerk is one of the oldest protestant churches in the Netherlands and was officially opened on Whitsunday 1631. The church and the tower were built by Hendrick de Keyser. This 85 meters high tower which holds a special place in the heart of the people of Amsterdam was completed in 1638.

The Westerkerk is definitely a church worth visiting, especially in the summer when it is possible to climb the tower and enjoy the splendid view over the city. Also one of the worlds most famous painters Rembrandt is buried here and in 1966 the Dutch Queen (then princes) Beatrix and Prince Claus were married in this church.

To read more about the Westerkerk and its opening hours you should go to www.westerkerk.nl


Oude Kerk (Old church)

The Oude Kerk is the oldest church of Amsterdam and still is the main religious centre in Amsterdam. The church originates from the 13th century when Amsterdam was still a small village.  Originally the now protestant church was a catholic church devoted to Saint Nicolas of Myra and therefore was called the Saint Nicolas Church. But when a new church was built around 1400 they renamed the Saint Nicolas church to the Oude Kerk.

In 1566 the church suffered a lot from the beeldenstorm in which the reformed destroyed all sculptures and images of saints and religious figures. After the reformation in 1578 the old church was used by the reformed and only the statues which they couldn’t reach remained.  The church as it looks today with its tower is built in several fazes between 1300 and 1578.

Really special about the oude kerk is the fact that it didn’t only serve as church. Because of its size it also served as a place to repair sails, but not only that, it also served as kind of a meeting place for the city’s inhabitants, merchants. Many people of Amsterdam are buried here from which also Rembrandts first wife Saskia van Uylenburgh.

To read more about the Oude Kerk, its history, opening hours and more you should go to www.oudekerk.nl.


Nieuwe kerk (New Church)

The Nieuwe Kerk is actually not as new as it appears when only judging from its name. The church was built in the 15th century next to the Royal Palace at the Dam Square when the bishop of Utrecht gave his approval for the construction of a second parish church, the first parish church, the Oude Kerk which we have just described, is situated on Oudekerksplein Square. At first the church was to remain towerless, but the location on the Dam Square gave the building considerable prestige and the new church outranked the old church. After the Napoleonic wars, William I of Orange became the king and took his oath on the constitution in the Nieuwe kerk and this has been accustom for all Dutch monarchs ever since.

Since 1980 the church is no longer used for services, but it became the responsibility of a foundation with the aim of using the building for activities of a social, cultural and/or religious nature. The also use the church for organ recitals.

Of course, on special occasions the church is still used for religious services such as the marriage of Crown Prince Willem Alexander and Maxima Zorreguieta on February 2, 2002.

To read more about the Nieuwe kerk, its exhibitions, history, opening hours and more you should go to www.nieuwekerk.nl.


Noorderkerk (Northern church)

The Noorderkerk (Northern church) was built between 1620 and 1623 and was designed by the Dutch architect Hendrick de Keyser. The Noorderkerk was the second church built in the Jordaan and was build to serve the reformed community in the northern part of the Jordaan. The Noorderkerk is located along the Prinsengracht (canal) and on the Noordermarkt (square), where markets are still held. This church later became the church for the common people while the Westerchurch was used by the middle and upper class. 

Today the church is still used by the reformed community. Between 1993 and 1998 the church was restaurated. But because this had cost the local government a lot of money they stipulated that the church is now also used for cultural activities. Also concerts are held here quite frequently.

To read more about the Noorderkerk, its activities, history, opening hours and more you should go to www.noorderkerk.org.


Catholic Churches

St John and St Ursula
Begijnhof 30
Tel.: +31(0)20 622 1918
Tram 1, 2, 4, 5, 16, 20, 24, 25.
Open 1-6pm Mon; 8.30am-6pm Tue-Sat; closed Sun.
Services in Dutch and French; phone for details.


Dutch Reformed Churches

Oudekerksplein 33
Tel.: +31(0)20 625 8284
Tram 4, 9, 16, 20, 24, 25.
Open 11am-5pm Mon-Sat; 1-5pm Sun.
Services in Dutch; 11am Sun.

Westerkerk
Prinsengracht 281
Phone: +31 (0)20 6247766
Open: Apr-Sep 10am-4pm Mon to Fri. Service: 10.30 Sun.


Anglican Churches

Episcopal Church
Groenburgwal 42
Phone: +31(0)20 624 8877
Services in English 10.30am 7.30pm Sun.

Other

Liberal Jewish Community Amsterdam
Jacob Soetendorpstraat 8
Tel.: +31(0)20 642 3562
Office rabbinate +31(0)20 644 2619
Tram 4.
Open 9am-3pm Mon-Fri.
Office rabbinate 10am-3pm Mon-Thur.
Services 8pm Fri; 10am Sat.

Orthodox Jewish Community Amsterdam
Van der Boechorststraat 26
Phone: 646 0046
Bus 69, 169.
Open 9am-5pm Mon-Fri by appointment only.

Muslim THAIBA Islamic Cultural Centre
Kraaiennest 125
Tel.: +31(0)20 698 2526
Metro Gaasperplas.

Quaker Religious Genootschap der Vrienden
Voissiusstraat 20
Tel.: +31(0)20 679 4238
Tram 1, 2, 5.
Open 11am-4pm Tue; on other days call 070 363 2132.
Service 10.30am Sun.

English Reformed Church
Begijnhof 48
Tel.: +31(0)20 624 9665
Minister Mr. John Cowey
Tel.: +31(0)20 672 2288
Tram 1, 2, 4, 5, 9, 16, 20, 24, 25.
Open May-Sept 2-4pm Mon-Fri; closed Sat, Sun and Oct-Apr.
Services in English 10.30am Sun; Dutch 7pm Sun.

Salvation Army National Headquarters
Oudezijds Armsteeg 13
Tel.: +31(0)20 520 8408
Tram 4, 9, 16, 20, 24, 25.
Open 9am-5pm Mon-Fri; closed Sat, Sun

Total Members in Amsterdam: 982
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