After the Oude Kerk ('Old Church') grew too small for the expanding population of the town, the bishop of Utrecht in 1408 gave permission to build a second parish church in Amsterdam. The Nieuwe Kerk ('new church') was consecrated to St. Mary and St. Catharine.

The church was damaged by the city fires of 1421 and 1452 and burned down almost entirely in 1645, after which it was rebuilt in Gothic style. It underwent major renovation in 1892–1914, which added many neo-Gothic details, and was again renovated in 1959–1980. It was the renovation in the 70's that became too expensive for the Dutch Reformed Church, and when they said the church would be closed most of the time to save money on maintenance, it was decided to transfer ownership in 1979 to a newly formed cultural organization called the Nationale Stichting De Nieuwe Kerk.

The Nieuwe Kerk is no longer used for church services but is used as an exhibition space. It is also used for organ recitals. There is a café in one of the buildings attached to the church that has an entrance to the church (during opening hours). There is a museum store inside the entrance that sells postcards, books, and gifts having to do with the church and its exhibitions.

The Nieuwe Kerk is a burial site for Dutch naval heroes, including Admiral Michiel de Ruyter, Commodore Jan van Galen, and Jan van Speyk. The poet and playwright Joost van den Vondel is also buried in the church.



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Founded: 1408
Category: Religious sites in Netherlands


4.3/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Lou Fegans (3 months ago)
Beautiful church with rotating exhibits. Current exhibit is the history of Indonesia. Interesting but if you are visiting from outsidd Amsterdam it is not a priority.
Sergio Martínez (5 months ago)
A very beautiful church from the 15th century. It has a nice architecture and it’s worth visiting and taking pictures from every side it has. The inside is really cool and it is worth a visit if you go to Dam Square on your visit to Amsterdam. I also recommend taking the pictures and visiting it during the day because at night the lights on the outside make it really hard to take some pictures.
Michiel Buitelaar (7 months ago)
Indonesia exhibition: OK, not really special. Visually attractive. Informative.
Federica C (9 months ago)
We visited the exhibition World Press photo, very interesting, moving and powerful. The interior of the church is spacious and well lighted through the glass window. Beautiful wooden roof and carved parlor. You can buy tickets or museum card.
Flavio Pimentel (12 months ago)
Beautiful church with wonderful domes and stained glasses, it feels like a oasis of peace in the middle of the storm of Dam square. You can visit also the exposition of the world press photo that takes place every year on it. Inside the church you will find a small shop with little gifts and souvenirs.
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