23 June 2018

Basilica of St. Nicholas

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Basilica of St. Nicholas

On Prins Hendrikkade opposite Amsterdam Central is the 19e century Basilica of St. Nicholas. The church, which was officially called Saint Nicholas in the Veste built in 1884 - 1887 from a design by Adrianus Bleijs. The basilica was built in the years between hotels, residences and other structures, but it is still one of the most striking and eye-catching buildings on the station.

Patron saint of Amsterdam

There are several churches in the city devoted to the patron saint. Thus, the current Old Church was also called St. Nicholas Church and the clandestine church that is known today as Our Lord in the Attic was not dedicated to St. Nicholas. The originally Greek bishop is seen as patron of prostitutes from the 4e century, murderers, thieves, children, merchants and sailors. The connection to Amsterdam trading town at heart is more or less logical.

During the alteration changed the main religion in Amsterdam to Protestantism. The Catholic churches were taken over and used for Protestant worship. Intolerance against the Catholic faith increased and Catholics were forced to hold the Holy Mass in so-called secret churches.

New Catholic churches

Gradually there will be some more tolerance and built new Catholic churches in Amsterdam at the beginning of the 19e century. The Basilica of St. Nicholas is the largest. The choice of location shows that there is renewed religious tolerance in the city. The basilica was in the same period as the Beurs van Berlage and built the Central Station.

The basilica has magnificent neo-Baroque and Neo-Renaissance elements. What is remarkable, because at the time of construction mainly use was made of the Gothic Revival style. The 58 meter high dome is perhaps the most remarkable part of the basilica. The dome consists of parts 2, the inside of which is decorated with a starry sky that is made of glass and lead. Outside on the facade adorns the image of St. Nicholas.

Inside the interior was designed by artists like Pierre Elysee van den Bossche, Jan Dunselman and Jan Dibbets. In 1999 a long and costly renovation of both the interior was completed as the exterior. There are Catholic miss in Dutch and Spanish, and every Saturday Anglican Vespers sung by church choirs.

Miracle of Amsterdam

In 2012 the church was during 125 anniversary by Msgr. Point elevated to basilica. The devotion around the Miracle of Amsterdam on March 15 1345 that fuels it. A dying man had a host spit in the Kalverstraat. The host was together with the vomit burned in a fire, but the next morning the same host was found unharmed back. Every year the Miracle with a silent procession through Kalverstraat commemorated.

The Basilica of Saint Nicholas is an oasis in the busy everyday life.


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