De Waalse Kerk   Walloon Church

Protestant church building in the old centre


The church is also known as Église Wallonne, Franse Kerk ("French Church"), Walenkerk ("Walloons' Church"), Oude Walenkerk ("Old Walloons' Church"), or Oude Waalse Kerk ("Old Walloon Church").


De Waalse Kerk, view from Oudezijds Achterburgwal

From medieval monastery chapel to modern church podium

The church

The current building dates to the 15th century and has been in use as a Walloon church since 1586.

Its members originally came from the Southern Netherlands and France and spoke French. Many refugee Huguenots* in their exile, joined to already existing Walloon churches and flight from persecution.

At the beginning of the 15th century, a Roman Catholic monastery was located on the present site of the church, until its chapel was handed over to the French-speaking Protestant refugees after the 1578 Alteration (the city's transition to Protestantism).

The adjacent monastery courtyard went to the city, which established the headquarters of the VOC here, the East India House adjacent to the church.

The Müller Organ

Christian Müller, an Amsterdam organ builder originally from present-day Germany, was commissioned in 1733 to build an entirely new organ, which was taken into use the next year. This organ is still in use and is considered the best-preserved of the Müller organs still in existence.

The Müller organ has played a prominent role in the Walloon Church for centuries. All psalm singing during services is accompanied with it. It is also used during some concerts and sound recordings.

* The Huguenots were a religious group of French Protestants who held to the Reformed, or Calvinist, tradition of Protestantism.

Christian Müller is also renowned for building the great organ (1735-1738) in the Grote Kerk, Haarlem, which at the time was deemed as the largest organ in the world.

Music venue

Thanks to its excellent acoustics and extraordinary organ, De Waalse Kerk has become a music venue.

Apart from church services, the building is nowadays also used for concerts, lectures, music recordings and organ lessons.

Free lunch concerts

Every second Tuesday of the month (with the exception of July and August) between 12:00 and 12:30 you can see and hear the organ in action during a lunchtime concert.

Students of the organ class of the Conservatory of Amsterdam play the beautiful church organ as part of their training as organists.

Admission to this concert is free, but a voluntary contribution (to the upkeep and maintenance of the organ) is welcome.


De Waalse Kerk is located in the Old City Centre near today's Red Light District. Other nearby attractions are Oudemanhuispoort and Zuiderkerk.

The small square in front of the church is known colloquially as the Walenpleintje ("Little Walloon Square").

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more impressions
waalse kerk
waalse kerk
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The Classical gate at Walenpleintje dates from 1647

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In 1616, a gateway was built by Hendrick de Keyser on the north side of the former monastery grounds between the residential houses on Oude Hoogstraat. The gate is decorated with skulls, a nod to the funeral processions that took place on this side of the Walloon Church.

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waalse kerk
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The extraordinary church organ that was built in 1734 by the famous organ builder Christian Müller

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waalse kerk

Magnificent view of Amsterdam from the church's attic