Amsterdam by Night offers some great views of the churches of Amsterdam. These imposing buildings are very recognizable and contribute to the character of the different neighbourhoods. We have already seen a couple of them at the Facebookpage, and the Zuiderkerk, Oude Kerk and Sint Nicolaasbasilica have been featured previously in the Spotlight. This time we take a nightly look at the Noorderkerk at the Noordermarkt in the Jordaan area.
Construction of the Noorderkerk
Due to the large population increase in the 17th century, the city council decided to enlarge Amsterdam. The canal belt provided living space for the wealthy citizens, while the Jordaan offered housing for the many workers. All these new neighbourhoods required churches, and the imposing Westerkerk was built for the inhabitants of the canal belt. The population of the Jordaan had to do with the much smaller Noorderkerk. Both churches were designed by city architect Hendrick de Keyser. The similarity is clearly visible in the design of the windows. The Protestant Nooderkerk was constructed between 1620 and 1623 and has a strikingly small central tower that does not stand out above the neighbourhood. This contrasts strikingly with the Westertoren, which forms a very recognizable spot in the western city. Architect Hendrick de Keyser never saw the final result of his designs, as he died in 1620.
Februaristaking (February Strike)
In the vicinity of the church you can find several memorial plaquettes for the unrest in the Jordaan of 1934, the fallen inhabitants during the Second World War and the Februaristaking of 1941. This strike is one of the few general oppositions against the German occupation of the Netherlands.
At the 24th of February 1941, a public meeting was organized at Noordermarkt by the Dutch communist party (CPN). Because of razzias in the Jewish quarters during the previous days, it was decided to hold a general strike during the following days. This strike started in Amsterdam but quickly spread to most of Noord-Holland and Utrecht. Within two days the strike was ended violently by the occupant, after which most of the general opposition in the Netherlands was broken.
Renovation and Public Opening
The Noorderkerk was fully renovated between 1993 and 1998. A large part of this renovation was funded by the Dutch government and the city of Amsterdam. Afterwards, the church was also opened to the general public for cultural activities. The Noorderkerk nowadays is regularly used for concerts. The church is also still in use by the Protestant community. On Mondays and Saturdays, the church is opened during a couple of hours to the general public for viewing.
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