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.
Surrounded by small souvenir shops and bars, this central square is popular for its hectic flea market.

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We built this tour because 
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