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Nieuwe Kerk

by danize.com@gmail.com

The Nieuwe Kerk (New Church) is a 15th-century church in Amsterdam, located on Dam Square, next to the Royal Palace. It was consecrated to Saint Mary and Saint Catherine by the bishop of Utrecht in 1408, as the second parish church of the city, since the Oude Kerk (Old Church) had become too small for the growing population. The Nieuwe Kerk was damaged by city fires in 1421 and 1452, and almost completely burned down in 1645, after which it was rebuilt in Gothic style. It underwent major renovations in 1892-1914, adding many neo-Gothic details, and again in 1959-1980. After the renovation in the 1970s, which became too costly for the Dutch Reformed Church, it was decided to transfer the ownership in 1979 to a newly formed cultural organization, called Nationale Stichting De Nieuwe Kerk.

The Nieuwe Kerk is the burial place of Dutch naval heroes, including Admiral Michiel de Ruyter, Commodore Jan van Galen and Jan van Speyk. It is also used for national and royal events, such as coronations, weddings and inaugurations. The church hosts high-profile exhibitions about art, photography, and inspiring individuals and cultures.

The Nieuwe Kerk is open daily from 11 am to 6 pm, except on some holidays.

The Nieuwe Kerk’s entrance fee is €12 for adults, €10 for students and seniors, and free for children under 12. You can buy tickets online or at the ticket office on Dam Square. You can also book guided tours for groups of up to 15 people, which last about an hour and cost €100 per group.

To get to the Nieuwe Kerk, you can take a 10-minute walk from Central Station. You can also take subway M52 to Rokin station or trams 2, 11, 12, 13 or 17 to Dam Square. There are three public car parks close to the church: De Bijenkorf (department store), Central Station and Nieuwezijds Kolk.

Some tips for visiting the Nieuwe Kerk are:

  • Check the website for the current exhibition and opening hours before you go.
  • Respect the silence and sacredness of the church.
  • Do not touch any objects or artworks on display.
  • Do not take photos or videos inside the church.
  • Do not bring large bags or backpacks into the church. You can leave them at the cloakroom for free.
  • Do not eat or drink inside the church. There are cafes and restaurants nearby on Dam Square.

Some of the highlights of the Nieuwe Kerk are:

  • The Great Organ, built in 1655 by Jacob van Campen and considered one of the finest organs in Europe.
  • The stained glass windows, dating from the 17th to the 20th century and depicting biblical scenes and historical events.
  • The royal tombs of William I of Orange-Nassau (the founder of the Dutch Republic), his wife Louise de Coligny and their son Frederick Henry.
  • The choir screen, carved in wood by Albert Jansz Vinckenbrinck in 1649 and featuring statues of biblical figures and Dutch rulers.
  • The pulpit, made of marble and wood by Albert Jansz Vinckenbrinck in 1649 and decorated with reliefs of scenes from the life of Christ.

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