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medieval misericords misericord misericorde misericordes Miserere Misereres choir stalls mittelalterlichen Miserikordie Chorgestühl.  středověké miserikordie. miséricordes médiéval.  middeleeuwse misericords.  Misericordia misericordias.  Misericordia medievale
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The misericords and history of Amsterdam,

Oude Kerk (St Nicholas).


Amsterdam Old Church has thirty five, 16th century misericords.

Click to launch a description of the misericords at Amsterdam Oude Kerk



Please click on the thumbnails for larger images.

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History of Amsterdam Oude Kerk

The Oude Kerk was founded around the turn of the 12th to 13th centuries, and at that period, Amsterdam was a rapidly growing, owing to having been granted municipal rights by  the Count of Holland.  This resulted in the need to expand the church a mere 30 years later.

The church was built as a nave, with 2 identical narrow aisles, but by 1370 the small choir was replaced by a larger choir with additional chapels.  In 1390, the whole nave and aisles were demolished, and replaced with a new longer nave, both north and south aisle were re-built, this time they were not only the same length as the nave but each aisle was the same width as the nave. 1460 again saw change. The east walls of both aisles were demolished, and an ambulatory was built from the aisle ends to surround the choir.

Between 1485 and 1517, side chapels were added to the north and south aisles, the nave’s height was increased in 1510 with the inclusion of  a clerestory.

Between 1550 and 1560, the Maria chapel was added on the north side of the choir. The central crossing and the choir were also increased in height.

1571 brought the addition of the “meeting room  for the guild of our lady”.  Only seven years were to pass before the church became a protestant place of worship!

Much like the puritanical times in England, Calvinism  ripped out the guts of the church, and replaced it with the “squeaky clean”, it barred the merchants who had set up their stalls within the church, and stopped those who had used the church as an hostel.

In the early 18th century 2 organs were installed, one of which is the famous Vater-Müller organ  from 1724.  Later in the 18th century, the Oude kerk gained the, typically Dutch, houses that lean up against the exterior of the building.

The oak roof was painted Prussian blue, however, the wood was rotting under the paint, so between 1912 and 1914 an emergency restoration was carried out, this, unfortunately, was substandard.

In 1951, the fabric of the St Nicholas was in such poor repair that it had become dangerous, and was, therefore, closed. This however, led to public outcry, so in 1955 “stichting de Oude Kerk” was founded with the express purpose of fully restoring the church.  Full restoration took 24 years, and so in 1979 it was re-opened to the public, however no longer as a place of worship, but as a place for diverse cultural events.

As can be seen from this history, the Oude Kerk was never monastic, nor did it have a college of cannons, so the misericords seem to serve no purpose, however, by the style of the clothes in the carvings, someone around 1480 must have decided that they were necessary.


Corpus of misericords at St Nicholas, Oude Kerk, Amserdam


The Official St Nicholas, Oude Kerk website.

Click here for more Dutch Misericords

Click here for more 16th century misericords



Nederlandse middeleeuwse misericords Amserdam Oude Kerk Old Church Holland Netherlands 16th century medieval misericords misericord misericorde misericordes Miserere Misereres N-01.jpg
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Nederlandse middeleeuwse misericords Amserdam Oude Kerk Old Church Holland Netherlands 16th century medieval misericords misericord misericorde misericordes Miserere Misereres N-02.jpg
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Nederlandse middeleeuwse misericords Amserdam Oude Kerk Old Church Holland Netherlands 16th century medieval misericords misericord misericorde misericordes Miserere Misereres N-04.jpg
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Nederlandse middeleeuwse misericords Amserdam Oude Kerk Old Church Holland Netherlands 16th century medieval misericords misericord misericorde misericordes Miserere Misereres N-05.jpg
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Nederlandse middeleeuwse misericords Amserdam Oude Kerk Old Church Holland Netherlands 16th century medieval misericords misericord misericorde misericordes Miserere Misereres N-06.jpg
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Nederlandse middeleeuwse misericords Amserdam Oude Kerk Old Church Holland Netherlands 16th century medieval misericords misericord misericorde misericordes Miserere Misereres N-07.jpg
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Nederlandse middeleeuwse misericords Amserdam Oude Kerk Old Church Holland Netherlands 16th century medieval misericords misericord misericorde misericordes Miserere Misereres N-08.jpg
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Nederlandse middeleeuwse misericords Amserdam Oude Kerk Old Church Holland Netherlands 16th century medieval misericords misericord misericorde misericordes Miserere Misereres N-09.jpg
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Nederlandse middeleeuwse misericords Amserdam Oude Kerk Old Church Holland Netherlands 16th century medieval misericords misericord misericorde misericordes Miserere Misereres N-10.jpg
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Nederlandse middeleeuwse misericords Amserdam Oude Kerk Old Church Holland Netherlands 16th century medieval misericords misericord misericorde misericordes Miserere Misereres N-11.jpg
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Nederlandse middeleeuwse misericords Amserdam Oude Kerk Old Church Holland Netherlands 16th century medieval misericords misericord misericorde misericordes Miserere Misereres N-12.jpg
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Nederlandse middeleeuwse misericords Amserdam Oude Kerk Old Church Holland Netherlands 16th century medieval misericords misericord misericorde misericordes Miserere Misereres N-13.jpg
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Nederlandse middeleeuwse misericords Amserdam Oude Kerk Old Church Holland Netherlands 16th century medieval misericords misericord misericorde misericordes Miserere Misereres N-14.jpg
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Nederlandse middeleeuwse misericords Amserdam Oude Kerk Old Church Holland Netherlands 16th century medieval misericords misericord misericorde misericordes Miserere Misereres N-15.jpg
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Nederlandse middeleeuwse misericords Amserdam Oude Kerk Old Church Holland Netherlands 16th century medieval misericords misericord misericorde misericordes Miserere Misereres N-16.jpg
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Nederlandse middeleeuwse misericords Amserdam Oude Kerk Old Church Holland Netherlands 16th century medieval misericords misericord misericorde misericordes Miserere Misereres S-01.jpg
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