Our Lord in the Attic, Amsterdam

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This Catholic church in a canal house of the Red Light District is the only surviving schuilkerk (clandestine church) that dates from the Reformation, when open Catholic worship was outlawed.

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Our Lord in the Attic
Oude Zijde Voorburgwal 40
Amsterdam, Netherlands
52.375083° N, 4.899363° E
Date Published
October 8, 2013
Last Updated
April 11, 2015


Jan Hartman buys canal house; builds Catholic church inside

Jan Hartman, a wealthy Catholic merchant of Amsterdam, buys a stately canal house and two houses behind it. A devout man with a son in the priesthood, he builds a Catholic church inside the house. Later known as the Church of Our Lord in the Attic, it is dedicated to St. Nicholas, former patron of the Oude Kerk...


The priest Ludovicus Reiniers purchases the property and makes some renovations, including the addition of another stairway in the church, remodeling of the facade, and removing the stag outside. By this time the church is known as the Church of Our Lord in the Attic.


The new St. Niklaaskerk is dedicated, replacing Our Lord in the Attic as the Catholic parish church in Amsterdam. To save the latter from demolition, a group of Catholics pool their funds to purchase and preserve it.

April 28, 1888

The Church of Our Lord in the Attic opens to the public on weekdays, making it the second oldest museum in Amsterdam (after the Rijksmuseum).

November 25, 2006


  1. Official Website of Museum Amstelkring Official website.