Amstelkring Museum, also referred to as 'Our Lord in the Attic' (Ons' Lieve Heer op Solder), was once a secret place of worship for the Catholic faithful. It operated at a time when the Catholic faith was being suppressed in Amsterdam, as the newly formed Protestant religion gained popularity and acceptance during the Reformation period.
In 1578, the Catholic Mass was banned and, as a result, many Catholics could no longer worship openly. They were forced to clandestinely conduct their religious services and several of these secret churches were built. Many of the local Dutch Protestants tolerated them and turned a blind eye to the Catholic's religious practices.
The museum is located in the red light district of Amsterdam and is one of the best preserved buildings of its type. It was originally a house belonging to a rich Catholic merchant, Jan Hartman who, in 1661, began converting his attic into a Catholic Church. He also incorporated the upper floors of his two adjacent houses into the structure. The rest of the house was used as his place of residence and it also forms part of the museum.
Many of the original features such as large oak beams, dark Dutch furniture, painted porcelain tiles, paintings and sculptures have been well preserved. There is also a large silver collection.
Visitors gain access to the attic via a steep set of stairs that ascend to the third floor. On entering the attic, you will be struck by the grandeur and ambience of the interior. It is richly adorned with a beautiful Baroque altar, religious artifacts and a magnificent organ built in 1794. There is even enough room for a gallery.
The original attic church was not quite so grand; remodeling took place in the 18th century when extra features such as the organ and upper galleries were added.
The lower levels of the house also feature some wonderful stately rooms. The main hall called the Sael has a striking marble floor and detailed painted paneled ceilings. Hanging on the wall is a large painting depicting the Presentation of Jesus in the Temple. The kitchen is also well preserved and has very interesting floor and wall coverings in delft tiles.
Although it is now a museum, it is still used as a place of worship and can accommodate up to 150 people. Concerts are also held here and it is very popular with tourists. Guided tours are available but need to be booked prior to your visit.
Amstelkring Museum Reviews
Be the first to write a review about the Amstelkring Museum! See below for more information.
Have you already visited the Amstelkring Museum? If so, let everyone know what you thought about it by writing a review! No registration necessary. Just click here to start writing!