The Basilica of St. Nicholas was built over 125 years ago and owes most of its beauty to Adrianus Bleijs. Known as Sint-Nicolaasbasiliek in Dutch, the church sits in the Old Centre in Amsterdam. Acting as the city’s main Catholic church, visitors can be seen attending services all throughout the week.
Bleijs used a variety of revival styles during his construction of the church. Baroque and Renaissance are the two most prevalent styles that are seen. The beautiful façade has a rose window situated perfectly between the two towers and is the main focal point of the exterior. There is a stunning bas relief depicting Chris that was created in 1886. The relief was made by Van den Bossche in his workshop and includes the four Evangelists with Christ.
The floor plan is taken from the well-known three-aisled layout which meets to form a cross. The nave has intricate designs and is the area where the choir can still be seen singing today. There are two chapels inside of the church which are devoted to the parents of Christ: Mary and Joseph.
During its 125th anniversary, the church was allowed to be elevated to a Basilica. This was done over a period of time wherein the church had to apply and get the ultimate approval of the Vatican to be allowed to become a Basilica. This was finally allowed on December 8, 2012 and marks a momentous occasion where the church finally received true recognition.
Currently, the church is open Monday and Sunday from 12 – 3 pm. These hours are noted as if possible, so checking if they are opened before arriving is a smart choice. Tuesday through Friday, visitors are welcome from 11 am – 4 pm. Mass is held from 12:30 – 1 on these days and walking around at these times is not accepted.
There are guided tours that can be scheduled for a modest fee. These tours must include groups of 7 or more members. Requesting a tour has to be done through the church secretary prior to arrival. Outside of mass and religious ceremonies, the only other activities allowed within church walls is that of concerts. Banquets are typically not allowed.
Those wishing to visit the church or that want to request further information are encouraged to visit the church’s main website. Visiting hours and information are always updated as well as a calendar with upcoming events.