Monday, December 8, 2008

Hidden Church

L and I headed up to Amsterdam yesterday (Sunday) to meet up with AH and VA for dinner at their apartment. We got to Amsterdam a little early, so we dropped by a museum L read about a couple of months ago: Ons' Lieve Heer op Solder (Our Lord in the Attic)

As a backgrounder: Holland, as you may know, banned Catholic worship from 1578. In the seventeenth century, a merchant by the name of Jan Harman, a Catholic, decided to try to continue his worship by building a clandestine church at the attic of his house. This is what the house looks like from outside:

The house is huge (relative to other Dutch, seventeenth century houses) and the remarkably well-preserved church is on the top floor, hidden through a series of narrow staircases and doorways. As you can see from the picture, the church is actually quite big, and could fit probably around 50 people comfortably:

The house also has a side chapel, tucked away neatly in between the staircases, as well as a confessional, hidden behind two doors:

Interesting stuff.

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