The Oude Kerk is Amsterdam’s oldest church and a fascinating tourist attraction for those staying in the best holiday rentals Amsterdam has to offer. Consecrated in 1306, the Oude Kerk today serves as both a religious and cultural centre. The building itself is magnificent, and the interior is breath-taking; stained glass windows, antique medieval furnishings and spectacular wooden vaults combine to make a powerful impression.
Intriguingly, the church was build on top of an existing cemetery and the floor was constructed entirely from gravestones. Above this floor lies another fascinating architectural highlight; a medieval vaulted wooden roof, the largest of its kind in Europe. Over the centuries, the Oude Kerk has been extended, altered and renovated, but the building still retains its historic ambience. Today, the church covers an area of over 3,000 square meters.
Over 10,000 Amsterdam citizens have been buried in the grounds of Oude Kerk, and some of the famous Dutch names laid to rest here may be familiar to those visiting from holiday rentals. Amsterdam can lay claim to a whole host of important historical figures, but by far the most notable to have frequented the Oude Kerk was Rembrandt. While the artist himself was not buried in the Oude Kerk, his children were all christened in the church and his wife, “Saskia” van Uylenburgh, was buried there in 1642.
For music lovers staying in holiday rentals, Amsterdam and the Oude Kerk provide plenty of interesting sights and sounds. Three spectacular pipe organs, the oldest dating from the 17th century, can be found in the church; the building also hosts numerous concerts including the BBC Singers and the Academy of St. Martin in the Fields. The acoustics in the Oude Kerk are regarded as amongst the best in Europe. If there is a performance scheduled then it is certainly a good time to visit.
The Oude Kerk is located on the Oudekerksplein square in De Wallen, one of Amsterdam’s main red-light districts. The church is within a five minute walk from Central Station which is easily reached from all holiday rentals. Amsterdam canal boats also stop at the Oudekerksplein.
The church is open Monday to Saturday from 11.00am to 5.00pm and from 1.00pm until 5.00pm on Sundays. The entrance fee is €5.00 for adults, €4.00 for students and free for children of 12 years and under. For more information have a look at the Oude Kerk website: www.oudekerk.nl.