Discover the collection of the oldest building in the city with more than 700 years of history. The largest object in the collection is the church building itself. As you explore the space further, you discover different objects and parts of the interior that together form the permanent collection. For example, one of the special side rooms or the pews with humorous scenes. With the audio tour, you will learn more about the rich history of the Oude Kerk and this diverse collection. We wish you an inspiring quest with many discoveries!
an impressive emptiness
As a result of the religious conflict that gripped Western Europe from the beginning of the 16th century, several uprisings broke out in the summer of 1566, defacing churches. The Beeldenstorm (Image War) caused an emptiness in the Oude Kerk that is an important part of the experience of the church today. The sobriety of Protestantism is sporadically nuanced by uncovered Catholic paintings and the remaining colourful stained glass windows.
old + new
At the Oude Kerk the past and the present go hand in hand. Look up, at the medieval paintings on the church’s wooden vaults; look down, at the floor covered with gravestones. The grave of Rembrandt’s wife Saskia van Uylenburgh is located here, under the small choir organ on the side. The work of contemporary artists relating to the building and its history can be found in various places in the church. Visit the Holy Sepulchre with its red stained glass window (2018) by Giorgio Andreotta Calò. Admire the picturesque light falling on the photographic work #0095 [Inside] (2017) by Misha de Ridder and visit the baptistry for the Jan Pieterszoon Coen sculpture (2017) by Iswanto Hartono that connects Indonesia’s colonial past with the history of the Oude Kerk.
The spring will also be dedicated to the care of the building. Visitors can see various parts of the Oude Kerk being restored and preserved. In the east façade of the Lady Chapel, scaffolding has been erected to repair damage to the walls and stained glass windows. To read more about the history of the windows and the restoration process, please click here. In the Mirror Room, the floral wall coverings are currently being repaired. Loose bits of linen and cracks around the doors are being repaired and reinforced. Once the cracks have been repaired, the damages will be filled and repainted. Next, the wall coverings will be thoroughly dusted and cleaned in their entirety, allowing the original colours to show through again. For more information, please click here. A large part of this restoration process is taking place in the Mirror Room itself, why not have a look?
Photo: © Gert Eijkelboom