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.
Hendrick de KeyserThe 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 two lower side aisles, six 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.
MonetFrench 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 at 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.
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.
ExhibitionSince 1988 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. Temporary exhibitions are also put on concerning new plans for the city - the area around the IJ banks, for example.
Climbing the Zuiderkerk TowerThe 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.
How to get there?By metro: 51, 53 or 54 stop Nieuwmarkt
By car: nearest car park Stadhuis-Muziektheater
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Famous churches in AmsterdamNieuwe Kerk
Ronde Lutherse Kerk