sights / Religious

Westerkerk information

Amsterdam , The Netherlands
Prinsengracht 281
+31 624 77 66
Getting there
Tram: 13/14/17 Westermarkt
More information
Opening hours
10am-5pm Mon-Sat
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The main gathering place for Amsterdam's Dutch Reformed community, this church was built for rich Protestants to a 1620 design by Hendrick de Keyser. The nave is the largest in the Netherlands and is covered by a wooden barrel vault. The huge main organ dates from 1686, with panels decorated with instruments and biblical scenes.

Rembrandt (1606–69), who died bankrupt at nearby Rozengracht, was buried in a pauper's grave somewhere in the church.

A highlight is the Westerkerk bell tower , topped by the blue imperial crown that Habsburg emperor Maximilian I bestowed to the city for its coat of arms in 1489. The climb of the 85m tower can be strenuous and claustrophobic (it's inside a tower, after all), but the guide takes breaks on the landings while describing the bells. Children under six aren't permitted.

Carillon recitals take place on Fridays at 1pm (though check the schedule posted by the entrance, as this can vary); best listening is from the nearby Bloemgracht. The bells also chime mechanically every 15 minutes.