The Noorderkerk ('northern church') was built between 1620–1623 to serve the rapidly growing population of the new Jordaan neighbourhood. The Jordaan already had a church, the Westerkerk, but the city government decided that a second church should be built to serve the northern part of the neighbourhood. The Noorderkerk became the church for the common people, while the Westerkerk was used mainly by the middle and upper classes.

The architect was Hendrick de Keyser, who also designed the Zuiderkerk and Westerkerk, among others. After de Keyser's death in 1621, his son Pieter de Keyser took over and oversaw the completion.

While the Zuiderkerk and Westerkerk have a more traditional basilica design, the Noorderkerk has a symmetrical, cross-shaped layout, reflecting the ideals of the Renaissance and protestantism. De Keyser's unique design combines an octagonal floor plan with a structure shaped like a Greek cross, with four arms of equal length. Annex buildings occupy each corner of the cross, and a small tower sits in the centre of the cross. Large Tuscan pillars dominate the church interior. The bell tower was built in 1621 by J. Meurs.

The church is still used for Dutch Reformed Church services and is also used regularly for classical music concerts.

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Founded: 1620-1623
Category: Religious sites in Netherlands

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4.4/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

A Google User (5 months ago)
Noorderkerk is a small Protestant church in the northern area of Jordaan, along the Prinsengracht. While there isn't much to see within the church, it is interesting from an architectural point of view. Opening hours 10am to 6.30pm (October 2016). This church was built between 1620-23 by Dutch architects, Hendrick and Pieter de Keyser. It is symmetrical and laid out in the shape of a Greek cross, demonstrating Protestant ideals over traditional basilica shape and design of other Hendrick de Keyser churches like Westerkerk and Zuiderkerk. The exterior can be viewed nicely from the Noorderkerk market grounds just outside the church and by walking around the building. The interior of Noorderkerk is very simple with white walls and ceilings devoid of painting and decor, tall and narrow windows with clear panes, simple iron chandeliers, pulpit and a centre stall area where services are held. The organ is presently covered, seemingly for repair. You can take a quick walk around and see everything in just a few minutes. In the end, Noorderkerk is a simple church that is fine to visit if you plan to be in this area of Jordaan and enjoy historic buildings. There is a open food market, Noordermarkt, held in the space just outside the church on Saturdays. A combined visit is sensible and convenient.
A Google User (6 months ago)
Beautiful church
A Google User (6 months ago)
Beautiful!
A Google User (17 months ago)
A lovely place to listen to a concert a fine experience.
A Google User (2 years ago)
Located in a charming little neighborhood. Not much tourists in this area. However, it was closed when we visited so we were only able to see it from outside. Its material is very true to classic Dutch engineering and somehow looks asymmetrical.
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