Museum Ons’ Lieve Heer op Solder is the second oldest public museum in Amsterdam, second only to the Rijksmuseum.
Oudezijds Voorburgwal 38 appears to be a typical Dutch golden age canal mansion like many others in the Amsterdam Canal District. It was built around 1630, and bought in 1661 by merchant Jan Hartman who decorated the whole building into the luxurious state that it's been preserved in up to the present.
The distinguishing feature of this canal mansion is the complete catholic church it houses hidden in the attic.
The name of the Museum roughly translates to "Our Dear Lord in the Attic"
Ons’ Lieve Heer op Solder history
The hidden church in the attic dates from the centuries after the Protestant Reformation and Eighty Years' War, (the Dutch War of Independence against Spain). During this period it became officially illegal to hold catholic mass in the city of Amsterdam, as in most of the Netherlands.
For over two centuries the hidden catholic church served as an active place of worship for it's catholic parishioners, who had to enter via a hidden entrance in the alley next to the building. It was eventually replaced in 1887 by the new catholic Sint Nicolaaskerk across the Central station.
In 1888 the house first opened doors as a museum only two years after the Amsterdam Rijksmuseum became publicly accessible.