Renaissance Amsterdam Hotel

Kattengat 1
Adriaan Dortsman (Koepelkerk), Gerard de Klerk (hotel)
5 minuten lopen vanaf CS
Marlies Buurman & Flora van Gaalen, Room Service, Amsterdam 2007 p. 12-13.
1671 (Koepelkerk) 1975 (hotel)

Dome church and hotel

The Renaissance Amsterdam Hotel is located between Amsterdam’s Central Station and the Dam. When the architect Gerard de Klerk built the Amsterdam Sonesta Hotel in 1975, he sought a synthesis between the old city district and a modern functional design.

The most spectacular feature is the seventeenth-century round Lutheran ‘domed church’, which is connected to the hotel by an underground passage. The architect Adriaan Dortsman built this New or Round Lutheran Church for the Lutherans between 1668 and 1671. The church owes its name and fame to its dome, which is semi-spherical and is covered with copper sheets. The dome is interesting because in that period only the Reformed Church was allowed to build church towers. The Lutherans therefore decided to build a domed church with a turret topped by a lantern. On top of the lantern there is a Lutheran swan.

The building is the only Protestant church in the Netherlands with a circular ground plan and it is architecturally important because of its sober classical style. Doric pilasters and rectangular windows characterize the building’s exterior. In 1822 the domed church was almost completely destroyed by fire, only the outer walls remained standing. The church was rebuilt in 1826. The original smooth, ribbed dome was replaced by a slightly higher dome with Roman coffers. Since the Lutheran communion left the church in 1935, the building has had various uses. Since 1975, it has functioned as the conference facility of the Renaissance Amsterdam Hotel. The characteristic dome has been an arresting landmark on the city’s skyline for centuries, but the view from inside is even more impressive. (ARCAM/BU/FG)