Museum Amstelkring

"Our Lord in the Attic" (Ons' Lieve Heer op Solder) is a Catholic church hidden away on the upper floors of ancient townhouses

"Our Lord in the Attic" (Ons' Lieve Heer op Solder)
"Our Lord in the Attic" (Ons' Lieve Heer op Solder) in Amsterdam.
Although the giant Gothic Oude Kirk (Old Church) is just down the block, this tiny, well-preserved baroque church is much more interesting because it was built to be a secret place of worship, spread across the connected third floors of a trio of 17th-century homes in the heart of the Red Light District.

Although Amsterdam is famed for its tolerance, it did go through a period in the 16th and 17th centuries when the practice of any religion save the official Dutch Reformed Calvinism was forbidden.

Museum Amstelkring, Our Lord in the Attic, Amsterdam
Museum Amstelkring, "Our Lord in the Attic," Amsterdam.
In order to worship, Jews, Mennonites, Lutherans, and, in this case, Catholics, had to go underground—or above ground, as the case may be—and hold services in secret.

One of the houses below the church has been restored for visitors—it's the oldest Amsterdam house open to the public.

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Unless otherwise indicated, all photographs © the Amsterdam Tourism & Convention Board


This article was by Reid Bramblett and last updated in May 2011.
All information was accurate at the time.

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Copyright © 1998–2013 by Reid Bramblett. Author: Reid Bramblett.