The Zuiderkerk ('southern church') was the city's first church built specifically for Protestant services. It was constructed between 1603 and 1611. The distinctive church tower, which dominates the surrounding area, was not completed until 1614 and contains a carillon of bells built by the brothers Hemony, installed in 1656.

The Zuiderkerk was used for church services until 1929. During the final (1944-1945) winter of World War II it was in use as a temporary morgue because people were dying faster than they could be buried. The church was closed in 1970 because it was at the point of collapse. In the years 1976-1979, the church underwent renovation, and since 1988 it serves as a municipal information centre. The tower has a separate entrance and is also open to the public.

The design of the church in Amsterdam Renaissance style is by Hendrick de Keyser, who was also buried in the church in 1621. A memorial stone was placed on top of his tomb in 1921. De Keyser designed the church as a pseudo-basilica in Gothic style, with a central nave and two lower side aisles, six bays long, with Tuscan columns, timber barrel vaults and dormers. The stained glass in the rectangular windows was replaced by transparent glass in the 17th century. The richly detailed tower is a square stone substructure, on which an octagonal sandstone section stands with free-standing columns on the corners. On top of this is a wooden, lead-covered spire.

French Impressionist painter Claude Monet painted the church during a visit to the Netherlands. The painting now hangs in the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Three of Rembrandt's children were buried in the Zuiderkerk, which is very near to Rembrandt's house in the Jodenbreestraat. Ferdinand Bol, one of Rembrandt's most famous pupils, was buried in the Zuiderkerk in 1680.

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Founded: 1603-1611
Category: Religious sites in Netherlands

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User Reviews

petcu alina (10 months ago)
Amazing views and incredible guide. Thank you Sandro for the amazing tour!
Anas amir el idrissi (11 months ago)
A very wonderful place to visit ! The show inside is so vivid ! The show was projected on the cathedral's walls, and the storyline was really well told and designed, the show lasted for one hour and the number of people was limited so one can really sit and enjoy the show.
Alvaro Peña Torres (12 months ago)
Climb the tower and admire the views over Amsterdam. The climb to the tower is done with a local guide that explains the history of the church and the surroundings. A must do in Amsterdam since all other church towers are currently closed to visitors
No NI DUTCH (12 months ago)
#LetsGuide yes a church I really visit a church. ? Not for a service... ? But for the booze
Khalil Hindawi (12 months ago)
The Zuiderkerk ("southern church") is a 17th-century Protestant church in the Nieuwmarkt area of Amsterdam, the capital of the Netherlands. The church played an important part in the life of Rembrandt and was the subject of a painting by Claude Monet.[1] The church is open to the public and currently serves as a municipal information center with exhibitions on housing and the environment.
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