Westerkerk (church)

Prinsengracht 279
Hendrick de Keyser
Stadsbestuur van Amsterdam
Tram 13-14-17-20
Maaike Behm, Maarten Kloos (ed.), 25 Buildings you should have seen - Amsterdam, Amsterdam, 2002. Zie voor meer informatie over dit gebouw ook de rubriek 'Typisch Amsterdams' op www.amsterdam.nl

Protestant church in 17th-century urban extension

In 1631, Westerkerk was the biggest Protestant church in the world. The 85-metre-high tower also served as a lookout post. It is a basilica in the Dutch Renaissance style with a regular ground plan, double transepts, tall gable ends, buttresses and wooden barrel vaults.

Because of the height of the nave and the abundance of light entering the building, the taut, geometric interior makes a regal impression, which contrasts with the Calvinistic restraint of the detailing. The church has a major symbolic significance and features in a great many songs about De Jordaan, the neighbourhood in which it stands. Indeed, it is still the icon of De Jordaan. (ARCAM/BU)