Fodor's Expert Review St. Nicolaaskerk

Red Light District Religious Building/Site/Shrine

The architect A. C. Bleys designed this Catholic church with its large dome, twin steeples, and colorful stained-glass windows as a replacement for all the clandestine churches that operated during the Reformation. After the Oude Kerk and the Ons' Lieve Heer op Solder (Our Lord in the Attic) chapel, this church, completed in 1887, became the third (and probably final) Sint-Nicolaas church in Amsterdam. Saint Nicholas, the all-purpose patron saint of children, thieves, prostitutes, sailors, and the City of Amsterdam, transforms into Sinterklaas in mid-November, when he is popularly said to arrive from Spain on a steamboat with his helper Zwarte Piet (Black Pete). The eve of his birthday on December 6 is celebrated as a family feast when everyone exchanges presents and poems. In recent years, the Black Pete phenomenon has received a lot of flak, with some claiming that Sinterklaas's sidekick is nothing but a slave. There are church tours for groups with a minimum of seven participants;... READ MORE

The architect A. C. Bleys designed this Catholic church with its large dome, twin steeples, and colorful stained-glass windows as a replacement for all the clandestine churches that operated during the Reformation. After the Oude Kerk and the Ons' Lieve Heer op Solder (Our Lord in the Attic) chapel, this church, completed in 1887, became the third (and probably final) Sint-Nicolaas church in Amsterdam. Saint Nicholas, the all-purpose patron saint of children, thieves, prostitutes, sailors, and the City of Amsterdam, transforms into Sinterklaas in mid-November, when he is popularly said to arrive from Spain on a steamboat with his helper Zwarte Piet (Black Pete). The eve of his birthday on December 6 is celebrated as a family feast when everyone exchanges presents and poems. In recent years, the Black Pete phenomenon has received a lot of flak, with some claiming that Sinterklaas's sidekick is nothing but a slave. There are church tours for groups with a minimum of seven participants; call for reservations on Thursday 10–noon. The church hosts a Gregorian chant vesper service on Sunday at 5, September–June.

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Religious Building/Site/Shrine

Quick Facts

Prins Hendrikkade 73
Amsterdam, North Holland  1012 AD, Netherlands

020-624–8749

www.nicolaas-parochie.nl

Sight Details:
Rate Includes: Free

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