The oldest buildings of Amsterdam

The Old Church Amsterdam
The Old Church Amsterdam

The Old Church located in The Red Light District


The beautiful Old Church is Amsterdam's oldest building. It was probably dedicated to Saint Nicholas in 1306 by Guy van Avennes, bishop of Utrecht. The church, which was called the Alteration of 1578 Saint Nicolas Church, is an example of Dutch brick art. The construction is light, with wooden tin wedges and high elbow windows. Thus, a relatively high building could be formed on the limited surface.


The church has a rich building history 


In an early construction phase, an original wooden chapel was replaced by a stone hall church. After 1300, the then narrow three-legged stone church, with a rectangular choir and the core of the present tower, was transformed into a hall church with three equally wide and even high beeches and a widened choir. The parish church has continually expanded over the centuries. Soon sidebucks were pulled and a five-sided choir bypass was added. Between 1380 and 1412, the Saint Joris Chapel was built on the north side and between 1450 and 1460 the Saint Sebastian Chapel on the south side. The so-called appearance of a cross church was later destroyed by the construction of more new chapels. The current Old Church Tower dates from 1565.
When Amsterdam did not exist at all, around the year 1250, a chapel with a cemetery was located north of the Dam across the Amstel. Whoever stands before the Old Church in the midst of the Rosary, will see this original church nowhere in sight. 

The wooden chapel was replaced by a stone hall before 1300. After that, almost 300 years were permanently upgraded. The appearance may have changed over time, the Old Church is and remains the oldest building in Amsterdam.


The Old Church Amsterdam
The Old Church Amsterdam


De Waag on the Nieuwmarkt


One of the oldest buildings in Amsterdam, de Waag, is located on the Nieuwmarkt. The building was originally built in 1488 in Sint Anthoniuspoort, one of the three city gates of Amsterdam. Later the building was converted into Waaggebouw, where all goods were weighed from the port. In the following period, several guilds settled in the Waag, also the well-known surgeon source that built the Theatrum Anatomicum. Anatomical classes were organized here. Every year, even one public analysis of the body of an executed criminal took place, where Rembrandt van Rijn made another famous painting.



De Waag on the Nieuwmarkt Amsterdam
De Waag on the Nieuwmarkt Amsterdam

Medieval city tour


The Waag on the Nieuwmarkt in Amsterdam is the most important building in the Middle Ages that Amsterdam still owns. Originally, the Waag was a city gate, the Sint Antoniespoort, and formed the building as part of the medieval city structure along the present Singel, the Kloveniersburgwal and the Geldersekade. The wall was built in the 1481-1494 and consisted of defense towers and city gates, interconnected by a city wall. There is nothing left of the city wall, but there are still pieces of sandstone from the city wall in the quayside of the Geldersekade.





The Saint Antonies Gate was built in 1488


The gate was exactly in continuation of the Zeedijk and Sint Antoniesbreestraat. The Zeedijk was located within the city walls and Sint Antoniesbreestraat outside. Originally, the Sint Antoniespoort consisted of a gatehouse with two towers on the city side and a front gate with also two towers on the canal side. The building is made of brick with some limestone ornaments from Gobertange.

In the sixteenth century, the Saint Antonies Gate lost its meaning through city extensions. The city wall was demolished and the current New Market was created.


The Sint Antoniespoort received a new function in the seventeenth century: the gate was converted into a daring building. This new venture had to relieve the Waag on the Dam. The guilds of the smiths, painters, masons and surgeons were housed in the upper floors. Each guild got its own entrance: this led to the gates around the building. Above the gates, the emblems of the guilds can still be seen. Around 1690, the Waag received its current form by the construction of a large dome-shaped space, crowned by a central tower.



Old canal houses in Amsterdam
Old canal houses in Amsterdam



Amsterdam hotel tip:


ibis Amsterdam Centre
ibis Amsterdam Centre



Hotel ibis is located in Amsterdam's Old Town, close to the main railway station with all forms of public transport and just a 10-minute walk from Dam Square. A very nice location to explore the city. A very good breakfast is served every morning in the breakfast room and this 3-star hotel has non-smoking rooms. Directly in the area there is a large choice of bars and restaurants. Free Wi-Fi is available in the rooms and in all public areas. 
More information ibis hotel Amsterdam