Dating from the 14th century, Amsterdam’s second parish church – The Nieuwe Kerk, was built as the population outgrew the Oude Kerk. Located on Dam Square, next to the Royal Palace, it had a turbulent history. The structure was destroyed and rebuilt several times. The great fire of 1645 destroyed most of the building. The carved and gilded ceiling above the choir miraculously survived the tragedy. The church reached its present size in the year 1650.
Royalty, history and modern times
During it existence, the Nieuwe Kerk was used as a church by the Dutch royal family (for coronations and weddings) and as a burial site for different Dutch naval heroes. It also features beautiful stained-glass windows. The lower-right section of the colorful arched window in the south transept was designed by Otto Mengelberg in 1898. It depicts Queen Wilhelmina surrounded by courtiers at her coronation. There is also the Great Organ, designed by Jacob van Campen and decorated by marbled-wood cherubs and angels. It offers organ concerts and recitals from June and August. Another interesting element is the unusually flamboyant pulpit that was carved during 15 years by Albert Vinckenbrinckt. It will take you in a different wood experience. Last but not least, brass candelabra were hung from the ceilings of the nave and transepts during restoration work following the fire in 1645. As we mentioned before, there are also tombs of various naval heroes. One of them is the tomb of the admiral Michiel de Ruyter who died at sea in battle against the French at Messina. This is only one part of all the treasures that will recall the past and offer a unique experience to the visitors. As part of its modern life, the Nieuwe Kerk includes all the mentioned elements and much more. Besides the concerts, art treasures and beautiful altars, it hosts different exhibitions from all over the world.
From 21st February to 30th March, The Nieuwe Kerk is open daily from 10 am to 5 pm. The location is closed 3rd – 20th February, 25th – 26th April, 3rd – 4th May, 25th December and 1st January. The admission with reservation costs 8 Euros per person. The best way to go there is by tram, numbers: 1, 2, 4, 5, 9, 16, 24 and 25. You can also book a guided tour that will include extra costs. After your visit, you can enter the The Museumshop of De Nieuwe Kerk that offers an entirely new collection with every exhibition.
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