Amsterdam: Oude Kerk

One of the first historic landmarks we visited on our Amsterdam vacation was the Oude Kerk, the old church. This is an impressive 800 year old piece of amazing and gigantic architecture. Like, real big. Vaulted ceilings that make you feel like an ant. They’d taken out any artificial light sources, which had been added over the years, to give it a more natural and historic feel. Depending on what time of day you visit, the experience differs, with the light so dim in the early morning and late evening that you’re unable to even see the ceilings. We arrived in the afternoon and stuck around a couple of hours, so got a good variation in lighting.

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One of four pipe organs
The largest of four pipe organs

Underfoot, the floor was entirely tombstones. The church was built on a cemetery, and even after built, they continued to bury people in vaults under the floor.

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Many of my favorites had skulls or skeletons, such as this one:

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Detail shots of the same tombstone:

But there were many more skulls — plus something that I can only assume is a 14th century emoticon.

Assorted other interesting tombstones:

As the ambient light fades, the sun really brings out the stained glass.

A wonderful time that concluded with a bite at the church cafe and a trip back to the hostel to recharge after the long, semi-sick day.

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Posted in: Dear Diary

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Brian Enigma

Brian Enigma is a Portlander, manipulator of atoms & bits, minor-league blogger, and all-around great guy. He typically writes about the interesting “maker” projects he's working on, but sometimes veers off into puzzles, software, games, local news, and current events.

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