Old Church in Amsterdam
Living up to its name, the Old Church of Amsterdam, to the locals known as the Oude Kerk, is indeed the oldest church in town. Sanctified in 1306, the building itself is located in Oudekerksplein square, in Amsterdam’s Red Light District. The church has three pipe organs, all of which were built well before the 19th century.
Buried inside the church is the body of celebrated organist and composer Jan Pieterszoon Sweelinck. Sweelinck was famous for being a leading Dutch composer and having spent his lifetime performing at the Old Church. Among others buried inside the historic building are Amsterdam regents Jacob de Graeff Dircksz, Cornelis de Graeff, and Andries de Graeff. Also inside Old Church you will find the grave of Frans Banning Cocq, the central figure in Rembrandts masterpiece The Night Watch.
Every year in March, Catholics come to Old Church to celebrate “The Miracle of Amsterdam”, an event that took place in 1345, involving a man who was miraculously cured of a terminal illness by Holy Sacrament and last rites. Today Old Church is also used for other regular religious and cultural activities, including parties, receptions, presentations, and the annual World Press Photo awards ceremony. In 2007, the statue Belle was installed at Old Church to honor the prostitutes of the world.
This is not a stuffy old church you might be more familiar with then....