About the ChurchThe old church has been here for over 700 years, in the Red Light District. It was built as a modest chapel in 1213, built of wood, but in 1306 it was replaced by a stable church made of stone. It was first inaugurated by Bishop St. Nicholas. Since then and for fifteen generations, the church has been repeatedly remodeling.
The word "Oude " in its name means "old," and therefore the name of the church translation to "the old church," thanks to its glorious history.
During the 16th century the church was looted and destroyed several times and the main building suffered heavy destruction. The ceiling paintings are perhaps the only left authentic remains from that period, thanks to their height that saved them from destruction.
Over the years, the church was not only a religious gathering place but also a shelter for beggars and peddlers looking for a place to sell their wares. The Calvinists, who took the church under their protection from the Catholics during the Spanish revolt, tried to remove the beggars. Thus, beginning in 1578, the church also became an archive of the city of Amsterdam and it was possible to register there for marriage.
Like many ancient buildings with a significant history, this church was also built on a cemetery. This is why its entire floor is composed of rows of tombstones. Here are buried close to 10,000 citizens of Amsterdam. Among them: the painter Peter Lesterman, who was the teacher of an equally famous painter - Rembrandt. Rembrandt's wife is also buried here, beginning in 1642. The poet Laurence Bake, and the object of Rembrandt's inspiration are also buried here from the famous "Night Watch" painting, Frans Banning Cocq.
In the church there is a tall, imposing tower, considered one of the most beautiful, thanks to its decorations and its giant bell-ringing system.