How to get there
The Zuiderkerk is accessible through public transport. You can take tram line 51 till the Nieuwe Hoogstraat stop. You may also take metro lines to Nieuwmarkt station and exit there.
Latitude / Longitude: 52.370320, 4.9000200
Our Locals' Tip: To get the best view of the church in Amsterdam make your way down to the Groeburgwal canal is simply exquisite; the church throws a beautiful reflection upon the waters, which was what probably inspired Monet to draw his masterpiece from the same angle.
Built in the 17th Century, Zuiderkerk played a role in the life of two of the greatest painters in the world, Rembrandt van Rijn and Claude Monet. While Rembrandt's connection with the church was that three of his children were buried here, Monet used the Zuiderkerk as a subject in his painting. The Zuiderkerk is also honored with being the first Protestant church in Amsterdam.
What to see at the Zuiderkerk
The Zuiderkerk, literally translated as South Church, was built by the acclaimed Dutch architect, Hendrick de Keyser between 1603 and 1611. One of the earliest churches to be built in Renaissance style, the Zuiderkerk was built for the purpose of accommodating the Dutch Reformed Church.
Moving on, the Zuiderkerk's most distinctive feature is probably its church tower, which rises way above the rest of the building, and confers a unique appeal to the entire structure. Popular lore says that the revolutionary style of the building greatly impressed the renowned architect, Sir Christopher Wren, on one of his visits to the city. Wren is credited, among other churches, with the construction and design of the St Paul's Cathedral in London. On a more somber note, the Zuiderkerk was later used as a storage space to hold surplus corpses during the Hunger Winter in 1945.
Nowadays, the Zuiderkerk no longer holds religious services, due to lack of attendance. What visitors can see, apart from the building itself, is a permanent exhibit which has a collection of future building plans. These plans have been laid down by the City Planning Office. Other than that, visitors can go up the aforementioned church tower and gaze down upon the streets of Amsterdam. Though not as tall as the 85m Western Tower (read Westerkerk), the church tower is a formidable elevation in itself. Its church bells are played on every Thursday afternoon, so make sure you go then. You can also enjoy a guided tour, wherein you will be told everything of importance that there is to know about the tower, the church and its heritage.
(April - September)
Monday - Saturday: 12:00pm - 3:30pm
Best For Whom:
- Mature Travellers
Best For What:
- Cultural Experience
"A journey of a thousand miles must begin with a single step" - Lao Tzu