Is it a house; is it a church?
The "Our Lord in the attic" Museum a.k.a. Museum Amstelkring Ons' Lieve Heer op Solder is one of the oldest Amsterdam museums. Behind what looks an average canal house, a hidden church is located. This church in the attic was built during the Reformation, when Catholics were forbidden to hold public services.
Mo - Sa: 10AM - 5PM
Su: 1PM - 5PM
Admittance: € 8,00 (adults)
The museum is being extended. The adjacent house at the North side is being renovated to house a new entrance and museum shop, so the old house can become even more original.
The Museum Amstelkring which is home to Our Lord in the Attic is a truly amazing complex in Amsterdam which was bought in 1661 as a private residence (there are in fact three houses on the site) and the new owner Jan Hartman, renovated all three to serve as a residence with a beautifully designed and crafted Catholic church on the top floor.
At this time in the 17th century, the Protestants took over Amsterdam and outlawed Catholicism and the Mass. However, the authorities tended to ignore the fact that they knew that Mass was being celebrated surreptitiously, so long as it was kept under wraps. Hence the Church in the Attic was able to provide a worthy home for the Catholic Mass.
When you visit the Museum you are treated to the best of both worlds with an Audio Guide around both the residence and the church.
This church in the attic is exquisite. Built on the top floor over the residence in the building that is now the Museum Amstelkring between 1661 and 1663 it was used for clandestine Catholic services after the Protestants took over Amsterdam. It has been added to many times since then.
The church can accommodate 150 worshippers and has two galleries overlooking the nave. In the rear of the church behind the altar can be found a confessional box and the priest's bed which is in a cupboard in the back room.
The church became the Amsterdam Parish Church after the troubled times and remained so until the 1880's when it was replaced by the newly built St Nicholas Catholic Church near the main train station.
The residence was created between 1661 and 1663 in such a way that it concealed the church that was being built on the top floor at the same time. The family of Jan Hartman, the owner resided there. The rooms are really quite beautiful most especially the drawing room in which everything is symmetrical. This includes doors matching doors, fireplace balancing off a huge cabinet and even the ceiling pattern being composed of squares which are exactly the same size as the floor tiles. The artwork is hung in a perfectly symmetrical fashion as well.
In the day room, there is a curtain which by day conceals a huge bed which of course was used for sleeping at night. There are also a kitchen and laundry still on display in the building. These are a little worse for wear at the present time but no doubt will be restored at some future time.
Note the two differing wall papers in the last photo. The paper on the door is the original and the paper surrounding the door is a reproduction which was made during a later revamp of the room.
Based in a 17th century canal house, Ons' Lieve Heer op Solder (Our Lord in the Attic) is a wonderful church and museum in the city center.
The church was built on the top three floors during the 1660s as a clandestine place of worship for Catholics during the time of the Reformation as they were unable to worship in public.
The unique hidden church has galleries, a large altar and some 150 seats.
Below the top three floors, the rest of the building is a museum housing rooms from the 17th and 19th centuries where you will find displays of paintings, sculpture and silver providing an overview of Catholic history in Amsterdam.
Opening hours :
Monday to Saturday from 10:00 to 17:00
Sundays and public holidays from 13:00 to 17.00
The museum is closed on 1 January and 30 April.
Admission (March 2008) :
Adults - € 7,00
Children (5 to 18 years) - € 1,00
Students/CJP/Stadspas - € 5,00
Children under 5 years - free
Museumjaarkaart/ICOM - free
IAMsterdam Card - free
You can not leave Amsterdam without visiting this wonderful museum called: "Museum Amstelkring-Ons' Lieve Heer op Solder-Our Lord in the Attic"!
The reason? Even in the so "liberal" Amsterdam, there was a time-after the Reformation (1578)-that the Catholic community was in a way "persecuted" and the only way to survive was to turn "invisible" and to meet in "incospicuous" places.
This is the story of this Museum: behind the characteristic facade of the house by the canal, "a secret church" was hidden.A wonderful Baroque Catholic church!
Please, do visit this museum and you will discover another "untold face" of the Dutch history!
And what is more: this 'ecclesiastical jewel" lies in the middle of the "Red Light District"!!!
This is a very old museum and the second oldest in Amsterdam. The beautiful 17th-century canal-house was bought by Mr. Jan Hartman and the remarkable fact is referred to the attic where in 1663 the priest Petrus Parmentier started to conduct services. So the attic has been specially constructed into a church.
During the 17th century catholics practised their faith in hidden places because of the Reformation. Priest Petrus Parmentier was assisted by about 20 spiritual virgins, the Solitary Sisters. His secratary wrote all down and the codex got famous as the "script of the Our Lord In The Attic" and the Hidden Women, Spiritual Virgins, Solitary Sister ...
Because of this very special item these spiritual virgins got attention from all over. Their names were published, the granted art-work of people could be watched and, we read about their sacred deeds. So in autumn 2007 there was a special exhibition in the museum named Spiritual Virgins at our Lord in the Attic ...
Monday until Saturday: 10am - 5pm
Sunday & holidays: 1pm - 5pm
closed on Januari 1 & April 30
This is a remenant of the hidden churches that occured in Holland after the catholic church was banned. (actually the only one left to my knowledge)
This church (now a muesem) is on the outskirts of the red light district and is well worth a visit..
It covers two floors over at least two houses and has a full pipe organ, the altar swings out to make the pulpit. It is great. It is still concercrated but only used (so I understand ) for weddings etc.
Also on the lower floors you can view the priests quarters that were hidden.
The whole complex shows the style of living in that era,
This was the last thing I had time for before going to the airport.
It looks like a house on the outside but is a Catholics church on the inside.
This hidden church 'in the attic' was built during the Reformation, when Catholics were forbidden to hold public services.
Please rate this and my other tips whey you find them useful.
You would never guess there is actually a Church inside the normal looking house in the red light district. Our Lord in the Attic Museum is actually a Rich Merchant's house in the 17th century. During that period, Roman Catholic church was not allowed in Amsterdam by the Protestant. A rich merchant named Jan Hartman bought the canal house and the adjacent house and built a secret altar at the attic of both house. The altar has 3 levels and it is well perserved. It is amazing that the altar is still being used for mass, wedding and concerts right now.
Inside the house, you can also see how a rich merchant lived during the 17th century. The museum also have special exhibitions from time to time.
This hidden (though hardly secret: its too big!) Catholic church, located in a attic of a merchants house close to the current red-light district is a monument to a dutch solution to a dutch problem. The city fathers would not have had to do a lot of investigating to find this place if they had wanted to.
Its very evocative as is the rest of the preserved Merchants house and well worth a visit.
This is one of several clandestine “secret” churches established after the Calvanist coup or the so-called Alteration in 1578. The Calvanists were a fanatical Protestant movement who roamed from city to city under the nickname geuzen (beggars), mudering priests, nuns & Catholic sympathisers smashing papist idolatry in churches. Catholics were forced to worship in these clandestine churches.
Jan Hartman & his family bought 3 adjacent buildings with his family living on the ground floor of the canal side, he had the loft converted into this secret church. Much of the construction is suspended from the roof. The Baroque alter is seldom used nowdays as it is rather delicate. There is a beautiful organ in the church & its workings can be seen under the gallery floor. There is a room dedicated to the Miracle of Amsterdam which took place on the night of 15 March 1345 at a house on Klaverstreet where the vomit of a man with the sacramental last rites was thrown into the fire & it did not burn. The wafer was kept at the Oude Kerk for safekeeping & then lost only to be rediscovered at the sick mans house.
Today it is still used for special masses, weddings & concerts. There is a tiny room halfway up the stairs which is thought to be the chaplain’s bedroom. I really enjoyed my visit here, well worth a visit & lots to see
Adults Euro 7, Children Euro 1 free with Museumkaart