Oude Kerk in Amsterdam
A big and monumental church – De Oude Kerk (The Old Church) dominates over the Red Light District. Although originally built as a Catholic place of worship, today the Oude Kerk is one of the unique buildings expressing the national character of Dutch Protestantism. Through its exceptional architecture, high windows full of light, beautifully sculpted misericords in the choir, impressive old granite gravestones on its floor, as well as through its unique history omnipresent in the building, the Oude Kerk symbolizes the tradition and the present-day of Amsterdam.
Standing in the church’s main entry, you will be amazed to see the coffee shop just left to it, windows with sex workers in front and the Princess Juliana Nursery School left right the church (at no.8 on the Oudekerksplein). Contrast could not be bigger and the Oude Kerk, the oldest and for centuries the most important church in Amsterdam, although now having lost this name to the Nieuwe Kerk, remains one of unique sights to visit.
If you feel like touring the town with a knowledgeable guide, then have a look at our guided Amsterdam tours website.
The Oude Kerk has also a famous historical 17th century grand organ, as well as a smaller transept organ and one more, modern cabinet organ. The church is all year long the venue for an important series of concerts of organ music and a home for The International Organ Festival, held in summer each year, July through September.
While all Protestant churches in The Netherlands have modest interiors and enclose very few artefacts so characteristic for the Catholic cathedrals across Europe, the Oude Kerk with its unique architecture, sculpted misericords in the choir, and impressive old gravestones on its floor, is one of the tourist highlights of Amsterdam.
Visiting days and opening hours
You may visit the church and you may also climb its tower to have a view at the oldest part of Amsterdam.
Mon - Sat: 10am – 6pm
Sun: 1pm – 5:30pm
Oude Kerk’s tower is open from April to September, on Thursday, Friday and Saturday between hours 1pm and 5pm, with guided tours leaving every 30 minutes. For a tour beyond opening hours, please call: +31 20 689 25 65
|Students and <21, CJP:||€5|
Madam Saskia van Uylenberg, Rembrandt’s beloved wife fas been buried in the church (grave stone no.29, middle of the left nave’s floor).
In the right nave, you may see on the column the bronze plaque to commemorate Jan Pieterszoon Sweelinck (1562 - 1621), one of the biggest Dutch composers, author of organ music, who was an organist at the church.
Oude Kerk is one of Amsterdam's top ten attractions.
How to get there
Oude Kerk is located at the walking distance from the Central Station and from the Dam square. Avoid arriving there by car, since many streets in Red Light District are not accessible for the traffic. The closest parking garage is at The Bijenkorf.
Oude Kerk in Amsterdam