The Netherlands has historically been a very religious country with many different strands of Christianity represented. This has declined in the 21st century with many fewer people attending church, but the magnificent religious buildings constructed during past centuries still dot the city and are worth visiting.
Oude Kerk is on the edge of the Red Light District and is the oldest church (and building) in Amsterdam, dating from the 14th century. Inside there’s an impressive organ, gilded vaults and fabulous stained glass windows.
Close to the Royal Palace on Dam square this is where Dutch monarchs have traditionally been crowned and some married. It’s now used for exhibitions and organ recitals. On May 4th each year the Remembrance Day service is held here.
Dating from 1623, it was built for the working class population of Jordaan. These days it still holds well-attended Protestant services every Saturday as the popular organic market happens outside the doors, the Noordermarkt.
On the edge of the Vondelpark, Vondelkerk has not functioned as a church since 1977. But it’s worth a look because it was designed by Cuypers who also designed the Rijksmuseum and Centraal Station.
English Reformed Church
This is hidden away in the courtyard of Begijnhof, a series of 14th century womens’-retreat cottages which are one of the city’s top free attractions. The church was established in 1607 for English-speaking worshippers and still holds regular services in English.