Nieuwe Kerk (Amsterdam)

Nieuwe Kerk

The Nieuwe Kerk as seen from Dam Square
Location within Amsterdam
General information
Architectural style Gothic, neo-Gothic
Town or city Dam Square, Amsterdam
Country Netherlands
Coordinates 52°22′26″N 4°53′30″E / 52.3739°N 4.8917°E / 52.3739; 4.8917
Construction started c. 1385

The Nieuwe Kerk (Dutch: [ˈniʋə ˈkɛrk], New Church[1]) is a 15th-century church in Amsterdam, located on Dam Square, next to the Royal Palace.

Current uses

The Nieuwe Kerk is no longer used for church services but is used as an exhibition space.[1] 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.[2] The investitures of Queen Wilhelmina, Juliana and Beatrix also took place there.[1]

Burial site

The Nieuwe Kerk is a burial site for Dutch naval heroes, including Admiral Michiel de Ruyter,[1] Commodore Jan van Galen, and Jan van Speyk. The poet and playwright Joost van den Vondel is also buried in the church.


After the Oude Kerk ("Old Church") grew too small for the expanding population of the town, the bishop of Utrecht in 1408 gave permission to build a second parish church, the Nieuwe Kerk ("New Church"). This new church was consecrated to St. Mary and St. Catharine.

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[1] style. It underwent major renovation in 1892–1914, which added many neo-Gothic details, and was again renovated in 1959–1980. 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.


  1. 1 2 3 4 5 Martin Dunford (2010). The Rough Guide to The Netherlands. Penguin. p. 64. ISBN 978-1-84836-882-8.
  2. "Dutch prince marries his Maxima", BBC News, 2 February 2002
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