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The hidden church in the attic

After almost a century of persecution of Catholics in Holland, Jan Hartman converted the attic of his house in 1662 into a clandestine church, hidden from the eyes of the authorities. Today it houses the museum Ons'Lieve Heer op Solder (Our Lord in the Attic) in Amsterdam.

After the Reformation, Amsterdam became a Protestant capital where Catholic worship in public was forbidden. It was at this time that the first secret Catholic churches emerged.

The transformation of the upper floor into a chapel took place between 1661 and 1663, and later a whole clandestine church was created. At a time when Catholicism was persecuted (from 1578 onwards), it was a good place to continue professing one's faith, although the authorities tended to turn a blind eye to the number of small Catholic churches and congregations that continued to exist.

On the upper floor of the Amstelkring Museum is a small chapel with narrow pews and two half-tiers suspended from the roof. It is said that more than 150 worshippers could gather in the church.

The baroque altar is the central axis of the church and its visual center, presided over by the "Baptism of Christ" by Jacob de Wit. There is a delicate removable mahogany pulpit on one of the columns of the altar.

 

Date: 
10/12/2015
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