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Westerkerk Amsterdam - The Red Light District Amsterdam Guide - discover the secrets!
This is the book you should read before you visit the Red Light District!

Westerkerk Amsterdam

Date: 13. jul 2018.

Amsterdam is the city well known for its tolerance of prostitution and later legal prostitution and the major tourist attraction the Red Light District in the heart of the city. This part of the city also has other reality because it is the oldest part of the city with many significant historical landmarks that you could visit during your Amsterdam tour. In the vicinity of the city center, near the Anne Frank’s house in Amsterdam there is a Westerkerk Church which is the biggest church in Amsterdam and whose bell tower represents the pride of Amsterdam, regarded by many as the symbol of the city.

It is located in the central Amsterdam, next to Jordaan district, on the bank of Prinsengracht canal. The church was built in the first half of the 17 th century (1620-1631) and it was designed by the late Renaissance architect Hendrick de Keyser in the Dutch Renaissance style and in the form of a patriarchal cross. There are several older churches in Amsterdam such as Oude Kerk and Nieuwe Kerk that were originally built before the reformation in 1578 after which they were converted into Protestantism. The Westerkerek was one of the first purposely built Protestant churches and it is still in use by the PKN ( Protestantse Kerk in Netherland).

The tower called the Westertoern is the highest church tower in Amsterdam and its 87 meters high (around 286 feet). It remains unknown who was the designer of the tower. Hendrick de Keyser had designed an octagonal spire for the tower which was never built that way. The tower was completed in 1637. The construction of the tall Westerkerk Tower on a dumpy Amsterdam grounds was a marvelous architectural achievement. The two top sections of the tower are built from wood, plated with thick lead and painted to look like the sandstone, while the sections bellow are built with brick. The Austrian Imperial Crown at the top of the Westerkerk Tower comes from the shield of Amsterdam (The Imperial Crown of Austria above the shield has been added to the shield in 1489 by the Emperor Maximilian I Habsburg of Austria as a sign of gratitude for a huge loan he had received from the city of Amsterdam).

Just above the clocks is the carillon with 51 bells. The largest 14 out of 51 bells are casted in 1658. The modern bells are casted in 1959 as a replacement for the pollution damaged bells. The smaller harmony bells that are not in use can be seen in the tower, together with the original baton keyboard from the 17th century. This carillon is the only one in the city that is chiming the entire 24 hours over Amsterdam, on the request of the Jordaan residents.

The Westerkerk tower dominates most of the old city center. During the tourist season you may climb the Westerkerk Tower and enjoy a truly unique view of Amsterdam from its balcony. On all important days for the city of Amsterdam the big national flag is being hanged on a top of this tower. The church has a unique modest interior, typical for all of Dutch Protestant churches, bearing the signs of its rich history.