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Oude Kerk (Old Church)

Amsterdam’s Oude Kerk was consecrated over 700 years ago. Before the Reformation of 1578, it was a Roman Catholic church; afterwards, it became an important centre of Calvinism.

TravelCurious Tip

Keep an eye out for the bronze relief of a hand cupping a breast among the cobblestones outside the church door.

Oldest in town

Amsterdam’s Oude Kerk was consecrated over 700 years ago. Before the Reformation of 1578, it was a Roman Catholic church; afterwards, it became an important centre of Calvinism, and remains so today.

The church is set in a square called Oudekerksplein, situated at the edge of the city’s red light district. The square is overlooked by prostitutes’ windows, and is adorned by a 2007 bronze statue named Belle, inscribed with the message ‘Respect sex workers all over the world:’ an arresting conjunction of the city’s oldest building and its oldest profession.


Heavenly music

Oude Kerk’s sober Protestant interior makes for a contrast to the city’s Roman Catholic churches. It hosts a magnificent Baroque organ, and its medieval wooden vault ceiling is the largest in Europe, providing extremely good acoustics.

Owing to its previous use as a cemetery, the church floor remarkably consists entirely of gravestones: Johannes Vermeer, perhaps the foremost artist of the Golden Age, is buried here among many other Dutch notables. Rembrandt was a frequent visitor, and the church holds the tomb of his wife Saskia van Uylenburgh.

Nearby Attractions

See all attractions in Amsterdam
Dam Square
Lying in the very heart of the Dutch capital, Dam Square is surrounded by scenic and notable buildings.
Koninklijk Paleis (Royal Palace)
Amsterdam’s Royal Palace is one of the best examples of Dutch Baroque.
Nieuwe Kerk (New Church)
Used for Dutch royal investiture ceremonies, this magnificent church is full of history.
Magna Plaza
Built in the 19th century as a post office, Magna Plaza is today an iconic shopping centre.
Central Public Library
One of the most comprehensive libraries in Europe, with great architecture to match its impressive archives.
Waterlooplein
Surrounded by small souvenir shops and bars, this central square is popular for its hectic flea market.

Related Tours

Full Day Private Highlights Tour including Tickets: Canal Cruise and Amsterdam's Architecture
Discover the vibrant culture, architectural beauty, and fascinating history of Netherlands' capital.

  • Enjoy a canal cruise through Amsterdam
  • Explore the bustling Dam Square
  • Visit the oldest building in Amsterdam, Oude Kerk
  • Learn about Amsterdam's royalty at Koninklijk Palace
  • Cross the famous Torensluis Bridge and pass by Anne Frank's House
  • Meander through the unique and trendy Jordaan District
  • Discover the hidden gems of Amsterdam at Nine Streets and Spui Square
  • Conclude by the beautifully-lit bridge, Magere Burg
Venice of the North
You will begin your tour with a comprehensive cruise that will take you through the warren of canals that define the great city of Amsterdam, giving you an introduction to the history of Amsterdam and a deeper appreciation of the diverse districts that make up this fantastic city. 

After your canal cruise, you will explore Amsterdam’s bustling Dam Square where you will get to visit the astonishing 800 year old Oude Kerk (Old Church), the oldest building in Amsterdam, which is such a part of the Dutch identity, that is called “Amsterdam’s living room”. 

You will then venture on to the magnificent Koninklijk Palace (Royal Palace), once the residence of Louis Bonaparte, the brother of Napoleon. Luckily this beautiful building is now open to the public, and you will get the chance to visit the Citizen's Hall (Burgerzaal), clad in marble which is particularly striking on a sunny day.

You will then cross the quintessentially Dutch Torensluis Bridge where you will pass Anne Frank’s iconic home and the 17th century Westerkerk (West Church) with its gigantic 85m high tower.

Authentic Amsterdam
You will go on to explore the beautiful Jordaan District, traditionally a rather poor neighbourhood, attracting amazing artists and poets, including Rembrandt and the famous 17th century Dutch writer Joost van den Vondel. You will also explore the picturesque Nine Streets with its myriad independent boutiques and beautiful cafes. 

From here you will make your way to the world famous Flower Market, where you may grab a bite to eat and perhaps buy some colourful and fragrant tulips. You will also get to experience some of the hidden gems of Amsterdam, including a visit of the Spui Square where local booksellers and artists vie for your attention, as well as a visit to the enchanting courtyard of Begijnhof- a place of quiet sanctuary in the heart of Amsterdam. To finish this epic tour you will get the chance to take some absolutely stunning photos of Magere Burg, the “Skinny Bridge” lit up beautifully at night.

We built this tour because 
Amsterdam is packed with culture and history, therefore a full-day walking tour is the ideal form of exploring the capital. 
The Dutch Golden Age: Stories of Rise & Fall - Private Tour
Learn about the prosperous Dutch Golden Age, the fall of the Dutch East India Company, and its relevance in today's world. This tour is for all culture vultures and history buffs out there!

  • Commence your tour at Museum Van Loon, home to the Van Loon family from the 19th century
  • Marvel at the architecture of Oost-Indisch Huis, the headquarters of the Dutch East India Company
  • End at the harbourside, where The Amsterdam is docked
History of the Dutch East India Company

Founded in 1602, the Dutch East India Company (VOC) flourished for two centuries, navigating European trade networks with Asia. VOC's primary purpose was trade, exploration, and colonisation, particularly the  monopolisation of the intercontinental spice trade. On this tour, you will view architectural landmarks from the Dutch golden age such as its headquarters and the shipping house. Hear stories of the merchantry networks that allowed Amsterdam to flourish for two centuries. Gain an understanding of how the repercussions of these trading networks remain relevant in the modern-day. 

 We built this tour because traces of the Dutch East India Company  can be seen  throughout Amsterdam, but a guide is necessary to gain a comprehensive understanding of the Dutch golden age.
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