Westerkerk church on Prnsengracht, Western Canal Belt.


Western Canal Ring

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. Its bell tower can be climbed.

Look out for free 30-minute lunchtime concerts in the summer months. Year-round, carillon recitals are held from noon to 1pm on Tuesday; the best place to listen is from the nearby Bloemgracht. The bells also chime mechanically every 15 minutes.

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