Amsterdam - Table of Contents  ................  Architecture Around the World

Oude Kerk
23 Oudekerksplein, Amsterdam, Netherlands

The origins of the Oude Kerk date from the early 13th century, when a wooden church was built in a burial ground on a sand bank.

The present Gothic structure is 14th century and has grown from a single-aisled church into a basilica. As it expanded, the building became a gathering place for traders and a refuge for the poor.

The church's paintings and statuary were destroyed after the Alteration in 1578, but the gilded ceiling and stained-glass windows were undamaged. The Great Organ was added in 1724, and the stark interior has changed little since.

Click on illustrations to enlarge

A combination of Dutch Renaissance (steeple) and Gothic styles

Dutch Renaissance steeple

Gothic style roofs

Gothic style roof. Note crockets

Barrel roof. Gilded ceiling: The delicate 15th century vault paintings have a gilded background.

Ribbed vaults supported by tie beams

Chancel (stripped by the Alteration)

Twisted columns and finials

Photos and their arrangement 2004 Chuck LaChiusa
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