Nieuwe Kerk, Amsterdam
The Nieuwe Kerk as seen from Dam Square
|Architectural style||Gothic, neo-Gothic|
|Town or city||Dam Square, Amsterdam|
|Construction started||c. 1385|
The Nieuwe Kerk (Dutch: [ˈniʋə ˈkɛrk], New Church) is a 15th-century church in Amsterdam located on Dam Square, next to the Royal Palace. Formerly a Dutch Reformed Church parish, it now belongs to the Protestant Church in the Netherlands.
The Nieuwe Kerk is no longer used for church services but is used as an exhibition space. It is also used for organ recitals. There is a café in one of the buildings attached to the church that has an entrance to the church (during opening hours). There is a museum store inside the entrance that sells postcards, books, and gifts having to do with the church and its exhibitions.
The church is used for Dutch royal investiture ceremonies (as per Article 32 of the Dutch Constitution) most recently that of King Willem-Alexander in 2013, as well as royal weddings, most recently the wedding of Willem-Alexander to Máxima in 2002. The investitures of Queens Wilhelmina, Juliana and Beatrix also took place there.
After the Oude Kerk ("Old Church") grew too small for the expanding population of the town, the bishop of Utrecht gave permission to build a second parish church, the Nieuwe Kerk ("New Church"). Construction on began in 1380 and finished in 1408. This new church was consecrated in 1409 to St. Mary and St. Catharine, and the first services were held in 1410.
The church was damaged by the city fires of 1421 and 1452 and burned down almost entirely in 1645, after which it was rebuilt in Gothic style. In 1578 the building became a Dutch Reformed church. It underwent major renovation in 1892–1914, which added many neo-Gothic details, and was again renovated in 1959–80. The second renovation proved expensive for the Dutch Reformed Church, forcing the church to be closed most of the time in order to save money on maintenance. To keep the church open, ownership was transferred in 1979 to a newly formed cultural foundation called the Nationale Stichting De Nieuwe Kerk.
The Nieuwe Kerk is a burial site for Dutch naval heroes, including Admiral Michiel de Ruyter, Commodore Jan van Galen, and Jan van Speyk. Despite being Roman Catholic, the poet and playwright Joost van den Vondel is buried in the church.
Choir gate by Johannes Lutma
Pulpit by Albert Jansz Vinckenbrinck
Michiel de Ruyter coffin under the monument
Michiel de Ruyter memorial (detail) by Rombout Verhulst
- Martin Dunford (2010). The Rough Guide to The Netherlands. Penguin. p. 64. ISBN 978-1-84836-882-8.
- "Dutch prince marries his Maxima", BBC News, 2 February 2002
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