Westerkerk - Westertoren, Amsterdam

4 out of 5 stars 45 Reviews

Prinsengracht 281 +31-20-6247766

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  • MichaelFalk1969's Profile Photo

    Westerkerk

    by MichaelFalk1969 Updated Dec 22, 2013

    The protestant Westerkerk between Prinsengracht and Keizersgracht was built in 1631 and - with the highest bell tower of all Amsterdam churches - is a true landmark of the city. The interior is rather plain, but a hike up the church tower stairs will give you a great panoramic view of Amsterdam.

    Rembrandt and his lover Hendrieke Stoffels, and their son Titus, were all buried in the Westerkerk. If you take a close look at the tower spire, you will notice that it was fashioned after a crown. Medieval German emperor Maximilian allowed Amsterdam to carry his crown in the city`s coat of arms in 1489; it was also used as inspiration for the Westerkerk spire.

    Westerkerk

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  • swissfondue's Profile Photo

    My Amsterdam "Money Shot"

    by swissfondue Written Nov 22, 2013

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    This is my favourite photo looking down Prinsengracht canal. The reflections are stunning and show busy Amsterdam in a different, more mellow light.

    The majestic spire is part of Westerkerk which is one of the oldest and largest Protestant churches in the Netherlands.

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  • von.otter's Profile Photo

    Beautiful Church Tower

    by von.otter Updated Jan 17, 2012

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    “He who allows oppression shares the crime.”
    — Desiderius Erasmus (1466-1536, Dutch Catholic priest and theologian)

    Westerkerk, the oldest churches built specifically for the Protestant worship, was opened in 1631. It is one of the largest churches in the Netherlands.

    The people of Amsterdam are especially fond of the Westerkerk tower. Featured prominently on the tower is the imperial crown (see photos #3, #4 & #5) of Holy Roman Emperor Maximilian I of Austria (1450-1519). His Imperial Highness granted use of this symbold to the city in gratitude for its support given to the princes of the House of Hapsburg. The 279-foot tall tower, rising from the center of the west façade, was completed in 1638; it is Amsterdam’s tallest tower. The base of the tower, up to the first level, is built in brick, but the sections above this are made of wood and faced with sandstone. Further up, the sections are also made of wood and covered with lead.

    Rembrandt and his son Titus, were buried at Westerkerk. In 1966, Princess (now Queen) Beatrix and Prince Claus were married here. Anne Fank could see the tower of Westerkerk from her hide-away window; she drew inspiration from the sound of its bells.

    Admission to the Church is free. The guided tour of the tower is 3€.

    Westerkerk, Amsterdam, April 2011 Westerkerk, Amsterdam, April 2011 Westerkerk, Amsterdam, April 2011 Westerkerk, Amsterdam, April 2011 Westerkerk, Amsterdam, April 2011
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    The Westerkerk

    by zadunajska8 Written Jan 15, 2012

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    Built in 1631 as the 2nd place of worship specifically established for protestants this church is elegant on the outside but plain and bare inside (as the Calvinist tradition would have demanded). This doesn't by any means mean that it isn't worth seeing inside - quite the opposite in fact! The interior of the church has a spacious and light feel to it which comes directly from the lack of ornamentation. The church is also reputed to be the final resting place of Rembrandt in his paupers grave, but no-one seems to know where exactly.

    The Westerkerk The Westerkerk The Westerkerk The Westerkerk The Westerkerk
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    Western Church

    by goodfish Written Dec 10, 2011

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    This 17th-century church has the distinction of being the largest and one of the first in the Netherlands to be originally constructed as a protestant house of worship. It has an elaborate bell tower that can be seen from all over the city, and Anne Frank wrote about listening to the carillon chime from her secret sanctuary nearby.

    In contrast to the airy but plain interior is an elaborate white-and-gold organ and carved pulpit with a large canopy. Tombstones pave much of the floor and under one of them - unmarked but commemorated by a memorial on the north aisle wall - lies the pauper's grave of Rembrandt van Rijn. The only one of his four children to survive to adulthood, son Titus, is also said to be buried in this church.

    Services are held every Sunday at 10:30, and the carillon plays on Tuesdays from 12:00 - 1:00. Visitors are welcome Monday-Friday, 11:00 - 3:00, April - October. Entrance is free but there's a 6€ fee to climb the tower. The church is also a venue for concerts and other events: you can check the schedule for some of those here.

    Old stone - Westerkerk
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  • lina112's Profile Photo

    Westerkerk

    by lina112 Updated Mar 9, 2011

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    Construction on the Westerkerk began in 1620, at the same time as the Noorderkerk. The initial designer was Hendrick de Keyser, whose son Pieter took over after his father's death in 1621. It is the largest Protestant church in the Netherlands. It was officially opened on the day of Pentecostes in 1631. Although no one knows the exact location known to the famous Rembrandt was buried here on October 8, 1669. Anne Frank mentions in his diary several times to the church and its tower, visible from the window of his refuge, and tells how the comforting music of bells. In the plaza outside the church is a statue in honor of Anne Frank.

    La construcción de la Westerkerk comenzó en 1620 al mismo tiempo que la Noorderkek. El diseño fue de Hendrick de Keyser pero tras morir en 1621 su hijo Pieter le relevó. Es la iglesia protestante más grande de toda Holanda. Fue inaugurada oficialmente durante el día de petencostes del año 1631. Aunque no se conoce el lugar exacto, se sabe que el célebre Rembrandt fue sepultado aquí el 8 de octubre de 1669. Ana Frank menciona en su diario varias veces a la iglesia y a su torre, visible desde la ventana de su refugio, y cuenta cómo la reconfortaba la música de las campanas. En la plaza frente a la iglesia hay una estatua en honor a Ana Frank.

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    Free lunchtime Music at the Westerkerk

    by dustmon Written Jan 3, 2011

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    At times they have free lunchtime concerts inside the Westerkerk---this past trip I saw and organist and a lovely Soprano singing at a 1PM show. There are more than one organ in the sanctuary and this green one was delightful!
    Check places like Timeout magazine for times and days.....

    Organist
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    De Keizerskroon (The crown of the emperor)

    by pieter_jan_v Updated Dec 25, 2010

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    The Westerkerk was officially opened on Whitsunday 1631. It is built for Protestant services and is the the biggest Protestant church in the Netherlands.
    The tower bears the "golden" symbol of the imperial crown of Maximilian of Austria (Keizerskroon), which was his gift to the city in gratitude for support given tot the Austro-Burgundian princes. Rembrandt, one of the world’s most famous painters, was burried in the church.

    Visiting hours: Monday till Friday 11AM - 3PM (April - September).

    Church services (in Dutch) Sundays 10.30AM.

    Westerkerk - Amsterdam De Wester Westerkerk - Amsterdam Westerkerk De Keizerskroon
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    Climbing the Westerkerk

    by dustmon Written Jul 31, 2010

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    Try to go when you can get a good view from the top---it takes a few minutes of climbing but a really cool view of the city from the open top area. I think it costs 5 euros to climb.
    The church itself is very nice---they have free lunchtime concerts on occasion so check local arts magazines for more info on that---last trip I heard an incredible soprano sing along with one of the organs in the church, and all for free! There is one of the fresh herring stands just outside if you get hungry.
    also notice the tram goes right next to it with a stop nearby.

    Westerkerk across from Anne Frank House downstream
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  • MATIM's Profile Photo

    Westerkerk

    by MATIM Updated Feb 27, 2009

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    The Netherlands's most renowned church has been the source of inspiration for many musicians. The famous tower was completed in 1638; its bells manufactured by the renowned François Hemony foundry in 1658. Though the Protestant community owned the church, the tower was the property of the local authorities and served as a lookout. This marks the site of Rembrandt's burial, as well as the marriage of Queen Beatrix and Prince Claus.
    For Anne Frank the ringing of the clock was a beacon of hope during WWII.
    you can climb the tower until 60 metres to have a wonderful view over the city.

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  • spanishguy's Profile Photo

    Westerkerk, the tallest church

    by spanishguy Updated Sep 7, 2008

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    The Westerkerk ("western church") is a Protestant church, built in 1620-1631. Its spire is the highest church tower in Amsterdam, at 85 meters. It has a crown topping the spire which is the Imperial Crown of Austria of Maximilian I. Rembrandt was buried here in 1669 and there are also more painters buried here. In addition the Queen Beatrix I of the Netherlands (then Princess Beatrix) married Prince Claus von Amsberg in this church.

    The church is right next to Amsterdam's Jordaan district, at the bank of the Prinsengracht canal. The church is also located close to the Anne Frank House where she, her family and others hid from Nazi persecution for two years during World War II. The Westerkerk is mentioned frequently in her diary. That's why there is a memorial statue of Frank is located outside the church.

    La Westerkerk ("Iglesia occidental") es una iglesia protestante construida entre 1620 y 1631. Su campanario es la torre de iglesia más alta de Ámsterdam, con 85 metros, la cual está rematada por una Corona Imperial de Maximiliano I de Austria (presente en el escudo de la ciudad). Rembrandt fue enterrado aquí en 1669, al igual que otros pintores conocidos. Por otro lado, la Reina Beatriz I de los Países Bajos (entonces Princesa Beatriz) se casó con el Príncipe Claus von Amsberg en esta iglesia.

    La iglesia está junto al distrito Jordaan, a orillas del canal Prinsengracht. También está cerca la casa de Ana Frank, donde ella se escondió durante la persecución nazi de la II Guerra Mundial durante dos años, junto a su familia y otras personas. Menciona el Westerkerk en su famoso diario con bastante frecuencia y por eso que hay una estatua dedicada a Frank fuera de la iglesia.

    The crowned tower The Westerkerk The Westerkerk Prinsengracht canal and the church tower Me next to the Anne Frank memorial
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    Westerkerk (the Western Church)

    by yooperprof Written Aug 12, 2008

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    Built in 1631 (architect Hendrick de Keyser), the Westerkerk still dominates the "Jordaan" neighborhood it presides over. The 278 feet (85 meter) high tower sways a little bit in the wind, but they tell me that tall buildings are _supposed_ to have a little give and take.

    The story goes that painter Rembrandt (and his son Titus) are buried here - though no one is quite sure where, as the painter was bankrupt (and rather disgraced) at the time of his death. Amsterdam has always been a busy place - you can't expect the city to note _every_ genius who happens to live here!

    The baroque solidity of the Westerkerk adds a feeling of permanence to this part of the city - and it is a silent solemn witness to the nearby Anne Frank house as well.

    dark tower
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  • Rupanworld's Profile Photo

    Westerkerk

    by Rupanworld Written Feb 2, 2008

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    The Westerkerk (West Church) is situated just next to the Anne Frank House. It is a Renaissance-style building and is said to have the remains of the great painter Rembrandt and his son, Titus. In this Church The Queen of the Netherlands, Queen Beatrix and Prince Claus had pronounced their marriage vows.

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  • ealgisi's Profile Photo

    Westerkerk - Westertoren

    by ealgisi Written Nov 2, 2007

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    Great explanations about the church and great exibitions of the art of bell playing.

    Hendrick de Keyser, the city architect, built the church in Dutch Renaissance style, which is characterized by a combination of brick and stone.

    The long vertical lines are reminiscent of the Gothic style. The building is in the shape of a rectangle. Two rows of triplet-pillars support a clerestory in the form of a Greek cross. The church is 29 metres wide, 28 metres high, and has 36 windows.

    The nave is covered by a wooden barrel vault, of the type used extensively in coastal regions of the low countries, where the soft soil did not allow heavy vaulting. From 1985-1990 the church was completely restored. The electric chandeliers were then replaced by 12 replicas of the original chandeliers.

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    Climbing Up!!

    by WaRPer Written Oct 10, 2007

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    So many tourists might have visited Westerkerk. But ever think climbing up on top of that? This activity might be a bit difficult for some people (esp. ones with bad knees or fainted heart) but I really really recommend that you should give it a shot anyway. The climbing tour runs every half an hour witha group of 5-8 people. The ticket (6 EUR) must be purchased, come early, and book ahead cuz there're only very limited seats available each day. Up there, overlooking Amsterdam and Jordaan District, the view is breath-taking.

    View from the Westerkerk
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