1 April – 30 September: Monday to Saturday 11.00 a.m. – 3 p.m.
Westerkerk may be closed subject to changes. We apologize for any inconvenience.
You are also very welcome to join us for worship:
Sunday, 10.30 a.m.
Morning Prayer Monday – Friday (September – May) 9.00 a.m.
Advent Evening Prayer (December) Friday, 5.00 p.m.
Evening Prayer in Lent (February/March) Friday, 5.00 p.m.
Regular organ lunchtime recitals:
Wednesday, 1.00 p.m. (approx 30 mins)
We don’t charge your visit. Please help us maintaining the upkeep of our church with a donation!
You can also book a guided tour. Information and conditions via firstname.lastname@example.org
School classes are most welcome and tours can be arranged to your specifications.
Guided tours by third parties are not permitted without prior appointment and permission.
BRIEF INFORMATION ABOUT WESTERKERK
Hendrick de Keyser (1565-1621) was the architect of Westerkerk. Commissioned by the Amsterdam City Council, the church was built between 1620 and 1631.
Although Westerkerk was not the first Protestant church built in Amsterdam, it was the first biggest Protestant church in the world.
This church has a rectangular shape and is 48 metres long, 28 metres wide and 27.5 metres high to the wooden barrel vaulting in the nave.
Since Westerkerk was commissioned by the Amsterdam City Council, the crests of the municipality of Amsterdam are applied and can be seen across the church.
At the end of his life, the world-famous painter Rembrandt van Rijn (1606-1669) lived near Westerkerk. He was buried at Westerkerk on 8 October 1669. It is not known exactly where he was laid to rest. He is commemorated by a plaque in the north aisle.
The Burning Bush at Westerkerk is a very special ‘prayer chapel’ for prayer and quiet reflection and for lighting a candle. It was designed by sculptor Hans ’t Mannetje in 2007. At a time when religious and social differences can have a major impact on society, the Burning Bush stands for all those things that Christian, Jewish and Islamic traditions have in common. You are warmly invited to light a candle. Near the Burning Bush, you will also find a book where you can write down your personal thoughts or prayer.
The large organ rises high above the west entrance of Westerkerk. When Westerkerk was opened on Whit Sunday in 1631, there was no organ, since instrumental music inside a church was considered ‘popish’ and too elaborate in those days. It took many years of consultation until an organ was finally allowed. In 1681, Westerkerk decided to commission organ builder Roelof Barentszn. Duyschot for the construction of an organ. The organ panels – beautifully painted – were made by Gerard de Lairesse, one of the most popular Dutch painters of the 17th century.
Westerkerk also has a smaller organ of a much later date. It was built by D.A. Flentrop in 1963 and is used for cantata services and choral performances.
Westerkerk also has a wonderful gift shop, which is staffed by professional volunteers either from the congregation or associated with Westerkerk. They will be happy to give you advice on gifts, souvenirs and books.