Zuiderkerk   Southern Church

Amsterdam's first Protestant church from 1614

The Zuiderkerk was built between 1603 and 1611, and was the first Protestant church of Amsterdam. The splendid tower was completed in 1614.


Zuiderkerk (1603-1614), located in the Nieuwmarkt neighbourhood, was Amsterdam's first church built specifically for Protestant services

Renaissance style

The design of the church in Amsterdam Renaissance style is by Hendrick de Keyser , who was also buried in the church in 1621. A memorial stone was placed on top of his tomb in 1921.

De Keyser designed the church as a pseudo-basilica with a central nave and 2 lower side aisles, 6 bays long, with Tuscan columns, timber barrel vaults and dormers.

The top gables facing north and south and crowned by balustrades remind us of the Noorderkerk and the Westerkerk. However, the rectangular shape of the windows is unique to the Zuiderkerk.


French Impressionist painter Claude Monet painted the church during a visit to the Netherlands. There is some confusion about the date of this painting, but it was probably one of 12 paintings made by Monet in 1874 during a visit to Amsterdam. The composition is centred on the church spire, with the Groenburgwal canal leading up to it in the foreground.


Three of Rembrandt's children were buried in the Zuiderkerk, which is very near to Rembrandt's house in the Jodenbreestraat.

According to local legend, he painted the Night Watch in the church because his own studio was too small, but that is a highly disputed claim.

Ferdinand Bol, one of Rembrandt's most famous pupils, was buried in the Zuiderkerk in 1680.

During WW II

The Zuiderkerk was used for church services until 1929. During the final (1944-1945) winter of World War II, known as the Hongerwinter ("Winter of Hunger") in the Netherlands because food was so scarce, the church was in use as a temporary morgue because people were dying faster than they could be buried.


From the bridge in the Staalstraat you can take a magnificent picture of the church tower and beautiful canal houses of the Groenburgwal. This must have been exactly the same place where Monet was standing.

Exhibition space

Today the Zuiderkerk serves as a municipal information centre, with regularly changing exhibitions as well as a permanent section that gives a complete view of the urban development of the city from the Middle Ages up until present day.

Climbing the Zuiderkerk Tower

The Zuidertoren (tower), which offers stunning views of the surrounding area, is open to visitors during the summer months from April to September. A guided tour starts every half hour between 12:00 and 15:30 hrs.

View on the beautiful Zuiderkerk Tower from different angles

 view from Kloverniersburgwal at Rusland
 view from Staalmeestersbrug (Staalstraat)
 view from the Kloveniersburgwal at the Zandstraat