The old churches of Amsterdam

Are you interested in the historical background of the beautiful churches dating back to ancient times? Then you’ve come to the right place for today’s blog!

Many religious buildings were built in Amsterdam several decades ago, and a few impressive churches stand out in particular. Some of these churches are even among the oldest buildings still standing in the city.

The first church we can recommend is the Westerkerk, a Protestant church located between Prinsengracht and Keizersgracht, two of Amsterdam’s most famous canals. Right next to it is the famous Anne Frank House and the Homomonument, a monument dedicated to the homosexual people who were oppressed because of their sexual orientation.

If you want to learn more about the life of Anne Frank and the history of the Second World War, we can recommend our particularly popular walking tour in the footsteps of Anne Frank. On this tour you will get a guided tour through the Jewish cultural quarter and immerse yourself in the world of Anne Frank.

Now back to the Westerkerk Church; the Westerkerk Church was built by the famous Dutch architect Hendrick de Keyser, who was considered a master builder of the Golden Age. Many other famous buildings in Amsterdam were created by him, such as Noorderkerk, Children’s home of the Burgerweeshuis or Rasp House Gate, but Hendrick de Keyser is especially known for his towers, such as the Mint Tower. The Westerkerk church was built in the Renaissance style. The tower of the church is called Westertoren and, at around 87 metres, it is the highest church tower in Amsterdam. Even a royal wedding of Princess Beatrix and Claus von Amberg once took place in this church.

Another well-known church in Amsterdam is Niewe Kerk, a church right in the centre on Dam Square. Nieuwe Kerk was built in the 15th century by the architect Jacob van Campen. Nieuwe Kerk means translated “new church”. The name stands for its renewal and to differentiate it with the older church of the Oude Kerk. The older church unfortunately suffered some damage due to a fire in 1654. The church was rebuilt in a Gothic style. Nieuwe Kerk is often used for coronation ceremonies, but apart from religious ceremonies, the church is also used from time to time for more modern exhibitions.

We can also recommend a visit to the Moses and Aaron Church. This church was built by the architect Tieleman Franciscus Suys and is located in the Jewish Cultural Quarter, where our Anne Frank Walking Tours start. Moses and Aaron Church is a Roman Catholic church that was founded as a secret church so that members at the time could worship in secret during the ban on Catholicism. After the lifting of the ban on Catholicism in the 19th century, the secret church was demolished and replaced by a modern and public place of worship.

Of course, in addition to our three recommendations, there are many other interesting churches in Amsterdam that are worth seeing. Perhaps you will discover more beautiful churches with an exciting historical background during a walk through Amsterdam.

We hope you enjoy visiting these churches and hopefully we were able to broaden your historical knowledge!

See you soon!

360 Amsterdam Tours