Sint Nicolaaskerk, Amsterdam
This majestic basilica is a Roman Catholic church dedicated to Saint Nicholas. Its status was raised from church to basilica only in 2012. Adrianus Bleijs is the architect responsible for the beautiful Baroque-revival design, which came to life in 1887. The basilica is located at the northern end of the historic centre of Amsterdam and can be seen quite clearly from the railway station.
The first thing what struck me when entering is that the St Nicholas church had escaped the iconoclast fury for the simple reason that this church was build between 1884 - 1887 well after the "beeldstorm" of 1566.
Facing the Central Station and dominating the skyline with two front towers and one imposing octagonal tower with a baroque dome, stands the St. Nicolaas church a basilica since 2012 and major Catholic Church of Amsterdam.
Sint Nicolaas is the patron saint of sailors. It is the third St Nicholas church of Amsterdam. The first was the Oude Kerk taken over by the Protestants in 1578 after the devastating visit of the iconoclasts. The second was a clandestine church "schuilkerk" at the Oudezijds Voorburgwal and well know today under the name of "Ons Lieve Heer op Solder" museum.
The architect of this neo baroque catholic church is A.C. Bleys who designed also the high altar. The interior décor is unusually rich (to Dutch standards after the iconoclast fury) with precious marbles, sculptures and wall paintings inspired by the Italians.
Above the high altar is the crown of Maximilian I, which is a symbol seen throughout Amsterdam.
Maximilian I, Holy Roman emperor (1493–1519), married Mary of Burgundy and became regent of the Netherlands "Seventeen Provinces". He symbolically gave his imperial crown to the city of Amsterdam in 1489.
The dedication of the altar coincided with the 400th anniversary year of the donation of the imperial crown to the city.
On the sides of the altar stand statues of patron saint of the church, Saint Nicholas and Saint Gertrude not a patron saint but the Christian name of Geertruida Schmitz, who had donated 30.000 guilders for the creation of the altar!
The organ is from Wilhelm Sauer and belongs to a small group of Sauer organs that kept their original character.
The Church of St. Nicholas (Sint Nicolaaskerk) is named after Amsterdam's patron saint and it is the city's most important Catholic church. In December 2012 it was even upgarded to the status of a basilica.
The church with its neo-Baroque and neo-Renaissance elements was completed at the end of the 19th century after designs of the architect Adrianus Bleijs. The building is dominated by a large octagonal dome in the middle part and two towers at the facade.
The Church of St. Nicholas is located in the old centre of Amsterdam, right across of Amsterdam's Central Railway Station.
Address: Church of St. Nicholas, Prins Hendrikkade 73, 1012 AD Amsterdam
“By a Carpenter mankind was made, and only by that Carpenter can mankind be remade.”
— Desiderius Erasmus (1466-1536)
The art displayed inside interior is from a variety of artists, working in various media.
The Flemish sculptor Perre van den Bossche has his Classical- and Baroque-inspired sculpture decorating the altars and pulpit.
My favorite works are those of Dutch painter Jan Dunselman (1863-1931). His Stations of the Cross are part of thirty years’ worth of effort that Dunselman carried out for the church. These are my favorite Stations of the Cross in a pre-Raphael style. A series of 16 paintings follow the life of St. Nicholas is also the work of Dunselman. His illustration of the Eucharistic Miracle of Amsterdam can be seen in the left transept of the church.
“The best way to know God is to love many things.”
— Vincent Van Gogh (1853-1890)
Because it is located across the street from Amsterdam Centraal Station, Sint Nicolaaskerk (St. Nicholas Church) is one of the first city monuments visitors see when arriving by train. Sint Nicolaas is the patron saint of Amsterdam and the church is the city’s principle Roman Catholic church.
The church’s 190-foot tall dome, lantern and crowning cross, resting on an octagonal drum, is one of its most noticeable features; the dome’s style is a mix of neo-Baroque and neo-Renaissance elements. The architect, Adrianus Bleijs, used the cruciform footprint when he designed the church, built between 1884 and 1887. This was a departure from the neo-Gothic style popular for Catholic churches at the time. The floor plan follows the classic three-aisled cross-basilica form, with a nave, two side aisles and a single transept.
The entrance façade is crowned by two towers with a rose window between them. At the center of this window is a bas relief of Christ and the four Evangelists (see photo #3); it was made in the Van den Bossche and Crevels workshop in 1886. A likeness of Our Saint can be found in a niche in the upper section of the gable. The sculptor Bart van Hove (1850-1914) created the sculpture in 1886.
Amsterdam's history being inextricable linked to the sea, it's appropriate that its most imposing Catholic church is named for the patron saint of sailors. Before the Alteration and the suppression of public Catholic services in 1578, Oude Kerk (see previous tip) was known as St Nicolas Church. In the early 1800's, the ban was eased and Catholics were again allowed to worship outside of their homes and hidden chapels. New churches sprang up around the city and this largest - St. Nicolaaskerk -was built in 1884-1887.
The designer, Adrian Bleijs, was a former employee of Centraal Station and Rijksmuseum architect Pierre Cuypers; Centraal is right across the street from the church and was under construction at about the same time. St. Nicolaaskerk is unique because its neo-Baroque/neo-Renaissance style is a departure from the Gothic style so popular with Bleijs's former boss and heavily incorporated into other churches of this era.
It's hard to miss: the soaring towers and lantern are visible all over Amsterdam, and the dark, peaceful interior is decorated with colorful murals and a beautiful glass dome. Visiting hours are 12-3:00 Monday and Saturday, and 11:00 - 4:00 Tuesdays through Fridays. Entrance is free - a rarity in this city! You're also welcome to attend 5:00 evensong held daily from September - June. See the website for masses (Dutch and Spanish only) and musical events throughout the year.
See this link for 2 great 360-degree looks at the interior.
The new church of St. Nicholas is among the better known of the ‘new’ Amsterdam churches. The tall and spacious building occupies a prominent place in the city centre, opposite the Central Station and is a rare example of the neo-Baroque style. It was build between 1884-1887
The official name of the St. Nicolaas is St. Nicolaas binnen de Veste ('St. Nicolas inside the Walls'), referring to its location within Amsterdam's original borders.
Sint Nicolaas is the patron saint of Amsterdam and of the sailors. The church is designed by A.C. Bleys and dates from 1887.
The Sint Nicolaaskerk has a very beautiful, well-kept interior and still has catholic services. In 1999 a costly restoration of the interior and exterior was completed.
The Saint Nicolaas Church is a cathedral and probably the first church you will see when arriving by train at Amsterdam.
The church is named after the Saint guarding over Amsterdam: Nicolaas.
In 1999 a big restauration was completed.
The building is designed by archtect A.C. Bleijs (1842-1912); it was constructed between 1884-1887 and has the form of a Latin cross.
The church is known for:
-The Miracle of Amsterdam- and Marters of Gorcum Pictures by Jan Dunselman.
-The legend of St. Nicolaas picture by Jan Dunselman.
-Stained glass window by Jan Dibbets.
Translated as the Saint Nicholas Church is located near the Amsterdam Central Station. When you get out of the station turn to your left and just after the GVB ticket office go straight and cross the small bridge.
The neo-baroque and neo-rennaisance church is a roman catholic church.
This large church was completed in the end of the XIX century, and is the largest Catholic church in the city. In my opinion it is the most impressive building in the city, but unfortunately its view is marred by the transport interchanges of the train station square.
I wandered into this church near our hotel because I needed a break from the hustle and bustle of the day ...... a wonderful visit to boot!
St Nickolaas Kirk near Centraal Station is actually the second church by that name. The Oulde Kirk near Dam Square was originally known as St Nickolaas Kirk. In the 1700s (I think) Catholocism was banned and the churches given to the ruling Protestants. In the 1800's, Catholics were again given religious and political rights, and they began to rebuild their churches.
In 1887, the new St Nickolaas Kirk was built, and it was renovated in the 1990's. The stained glass windows are beautiful, carvings are found all over the church, and the main alter is awe-inspiring.
Of the 20 or so pictures I took, this one of the main altar, and the baptismal font to the side, is a favorite - if you can, take the time to explore this wonderful building ;)
A one minute walk from the Centraal Station lies the Sint Nicolaaskerk, one of the better known churches in Amsterdam. Dedicated to the patron saint of the sailors, the church was completed in 1887 and it became the leading Catholic Church in the city, replacing a number of Amsterdam's secret churches from the era of the Alteration. During the Alteration the city council was overtaken by Protestants and the Catholics lost their Sint Nicolaaskerk (the present-day Oude Kerk) and were officially forbidden from holding religious services in public. They were forced to gather in shelters or in secret homes. That period lasted from 1578 until about 1795, when finally the Catholics were allowed to build churches again. The architect, A.C. Bleys designed the church using a combination of styles of which neo-Renaissance and neo-Baroque are the most notable. The basilica has the shape of a cross with a nave, two aisles and a single transept. The facade has two imposing towers with a rose window in between. The interior is richly decorated and very beautiful. Catholic services are still performed here.
Coming out of the train station, you cannot miss this huge church on the left hand side. This is the St. Nicolas church where catholic services take place. St. Nicolas is the patron saint of the sailors and of Amsterdam.
This pic shows the church seen from the Red Light District.
This church is a rare example of a catholic church in neo-Renaissance style. It dates from 1887, a time when most catholic churches were in neo-Gothic style and neo-Renaissance was the protestant style par excellece. Architect A.C. Bleys had a different opinion about that and managed to get away with it a few times. Not many catholic architects did! You can admire a smaller but otherwise very similar church by Bleys in Hoorn.
This church is one of the first sights to strike you after leaving Central Station. Today almost unusual for a church; it's used as a church, and still by its original owners too. When you see its doors open, check first if there isn't a service going on. If not, walk in and admire. Unlike some other churches in Amsterdam you don't have to pay a ridiculously high entrance fee, and there's probably more to see too.