Tag Archives: church

One of Three

Wednesday, 31 August 2011

A view of one of the three St. Nicholas churches in Prague – this one located in the Lesser Town Square, and which dates back to 1703.


A St. Nicholas church.

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Oude Kerk

Wednesday, 24 August 2011

The Oude Kerk is Amsterdam’s oldest church, consecrated in 1306. Originally Roman Catholic, the church was looted and desecrated several times during the 16th Century Calvinist Alteration. This contributes to its sparse, simple appearance today. The entry fee was nominal – only a cheek swab and a toe of my choosing – so I could afford to take a peek inside.


Oude Kerk


Oude Kerk

The vaulted wood ceilings – which date back to 1390, and originate in Estonia – provide excellent acoustics, making the Oude Kerk a frequent site for concerts and performances.


Oude Kerk


Oude Kerk


Oude Kerk

Wikipedia notes that:

Rembrandt was a frequent visitor to the Oude Kerk and his children were all christened here. It is the only building in Amsterdam that remains in its original state since Rembrandt walked its halls.

But times change, and the Oude Kerk is now at the very center of the red light district. The red light district is not what springs to mind when those words are spoken – a seedy area, filled with seedy crime and seedy seedy deeds. Amsterdam’s red light district is instead filled with crowds and shops and restaurants, and it just so happens that there are large-pane windows with barely-clad women behind them. These windows are usually capped by a red, glowing light, and at least some of them face out directly on the Oude Kerk, a mere ten feet away.


Oude Kerk

The Oude Kerk is on the left, and prostitutes on the right.

Prostitutes appear in the windows all day, but the crowds seeking them come mostly at night. The crowds consist of both men and women in nearly equal measure, and most come for the titillation of a glimpse of flesh. Flesh the women hawk by either jiggling their jugs or an exaggerated wiggling of their tongues, neither of which seemed that appealing to me. Maybe it’s a cultural thing.

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