Westerkerk - also Pancakes Amsterdam

Protestant church in the Jordaan
The Westerkerk was not the first Protestant church built in Amsterdam, but it was the biggest in the world at the time it was built. Both the Noorderkerk and Zuiderkerk were built for the Protestant service ealier, whereas the Nieuwe Kerk and the Oude Kerk were meant for the Roman Catholic mass. The Westerkerk was built in Dutch Renaissance style in the form of a patriarchal cross. The monument has a rectangular shape, it is 48 metres long, 28 metres wide and 27.5 metres high to the wooden barrel vaulting in the nave. Eye-catching is the bright, undimmed sunlight pouring in from every angle via the 36 large windows (the light is not obstructed by any adjacent buildings). This 'light effect' is further enforced by the whitewashed inner walls. Apart from the large windows, the church is also characterised by grey-white painted ornaments made of natural stone between the white plasterings. Pillars, arcs, joists, pilasters and the main frame of the lower floor are made of Bentheim sandstone painted dark grey. Since the Westerkerk was commissioned by the Amsterdam City Council at the time, the city arms are a recurring theme in the church. Both the nave and the two high side aisle bays are covered with wooden barrel vaults, forming groined vaults at their crossbeams. The remaining low side aisle bays have stone cross-ribbed vaults.

Opening Times

Monday to Friday: 10am - 3pm
12 May to 1 November: 10am - 3pm on Saturday
Sunday (only open for service): 10.30am


Canal District
Prinsengracht 279,1016 GW Amsterdam