Old Church - Oude Kerk, Amsterdam
Set in the middle of the Red Light District (a real paradox), this large church is worth a look. there is a nominal admission fee to explore the large interior. There is an impressive organ inside as will as several gravestones on the floor. This is one of the oldest churches in the city.
This is something that can only happen in the Netherlands. A church on a square surrounded by houses with hookers. It is strange to see all those scarce-dressed ladies on one side and just some footsteps away from the church.
This church, built in the 15th century, was the favourite church of the sailors. The interior is simple but nice. You will notice a lot of 'souvenirs' from the sailors (painted and sculpted boats) and graves of Dutch admirals. You can visit the octagonal tower but you need to pay.
The original Gothic St. Nicolaaskerk, nowadays known by its Protestant name of Oude Kerk (Old Church) is Amsterdam's oldest building, although its looks have changed drastically ever since it was built, the tower in Renaissance style being just one of many changes. You can go inside, but they'll charge you FOUR euros! I love churches, but this is ridiculous. Of course every church needs to be maintained but charging four euros is just taking advantage. But if you don't think four euros is much to ask for a few graves and an old organ, go ahead.
For those who care to know; this church is at an end of the so-called Red Light District, where women who sit or stand behind glass doors might invite you to come in to spend some "quality time". If you're a man, that is. Even if you only want to take some pictures of this church, they might try to distract you. Very annoying. Better not point your camera in the direction of the ladies, it could be the last thing you ever did with it.
From a small wooden chapel from 13th century grew this church, originally called Church of St. Nicholas, through centuries to a large church with many chapels. The most parts of this church are built in the 14th century and are built in the Gothic style and is the oldest building in Amsterdam. For a while the Oude Kerk was the main church of Amsterdam.
The church has a large, well-known Vater-Mueller organ (1724). It is a peaceful place surrounded by shops, restaurants, prostitution and drug trade.
The Old Church of Amsterdam is officially known as the Sint-Nikolaaskerk (St. Nicholas's Church). It was constructed in 1250 in the late Gothic style but the beautiful clock tower was actually not built until 1566. The interior of the church is very bright because of the whitewashed walls. Otherwise it is unremarkable except perhaps for the astonishing organ.
Interesting enough the Old Church is located in Amsterdam's Red Light District, sitting at it's Northern edge. In fact as I went to visit the church, I saw the local police bust a young man for what I assume to be a drug related crime. This involved an exciting footchase where a local pedestrian assisted the police by giving the feeling felon a solid bodycheck that would of done Scott Stevens of the NHL proud. Just a stones through from the church you can see numerous scantly clad young lasses sell themselves from the storefront windows.
The church is open on Monday to Saturday from 11am to 5pm and on Sunday from 1pm to 5pm.
The old church is also the oldest building in Amsterdam. Approximately around 1306 this church was devoted to Saint Nicolas, bishop of Myra. Until the “Alteration” (the time that Catholics suddenly were discriminated as their supposed collaboration with the enemy Spain) it was called the Saint Nicolas church, named after the patriot saint for sailors (and children). Before the first church there was already a wooden chaple and a cemetery. In 1334 it became the middle point of the independent church(group) of Amsterdam, but the growth of the town resulted in more then one group. The church survived miraculously the cityfires of 1421 and 1452, but during the “Beeldenstorm” (Statuestorm, in 1566 the start of the 80 years independence war of The Netherlands) a lot of statues and interior decorations were either destroyed or removed. It became a protestant church and traders were allowed to use the building as well. The church lost it’s important role after the New church arose and became more in the picture because it’s situation alongside the city hall (present royal palace).
The history of the Old Church starts back in the 13th century. However the building you can see now is from the 14th century. The church became bigger and bigger during those years and a meeting place for entrepreneurs and a hiding place for the poor. After the Alteration the paintings and sculptures were all destroyed, but the ceiling and glass are still present in the state they used to be. In 1724 the organ was built and since then noting much has changed.
For a fee you can climb the tower from where you will have a great view!
Amazing architecture and it's located in the Red light district which is kind of ironic.. maybe. It is also the oldest building in Amsterdam and serves as a center for cultural activities. With it's tall elegant windows, it's is a must see.
Strange fact about this church 1: It is located in the middle of the red light district.
Strange fact about this church 2: Around it there are built several little houses.
Strange fact about this church 3: You can rent it for parties, exhibitions etc.
During the weekend, they had special entrance and my new friend Janka and I toured the inside of the church with the sun shining in through the stained glass windows----
We got a free concert at Oude Kerk during the weekend of the magnificent organ----the picture included is from the bottom of the organ-----
Sex and religion can't be seperated - can they? Amsterdam is no exception with the old church slap bang in the middle of De Wallen. But its still a beautiful building in its own right.
The sacred meets the profane in Amsterdam ;-) The beautiful old church is located close to the red light district. Check the website for more info on its history.