Begun in the 15th century, the Nieuwe Kerk (it celebrated its 600th birthday in 2010) is a soaring Late Gothic structure whose tower was never completed because the authorities blew all their money on the building of the Palace next door. Whereas the Oude Kerk had the blessing of the Bishop of Utrecht, the Nieuwe Kerk was supported by the local well-to-do merchant class—the result was an endless competition between the two parochial factions. Don't miss the magnificently
sculpted wooden pulpit by Albert Vinckenbrinck constructed after the Great Fire of 1645. It took him 19 years to complete, though there is now a bit missing: the scales from a Lady of Justice were an impulsively generous gift to the Canadians, who liberated Amsterdam. Other features include the unmarked grave of the poet Vondel (the "Dutch Shakespeare") and Rombout Verhulst's extravagantly sculpted eulogy to naval hero Admiral Michiel de Ruyter (you can peer through a glass to see his actual coffin in the crypt).
Dam, Amsterdam, 1001 AE, Netherlands