Although it is one of the oldest church buildings in Amsterdam, De Nieuwe Kerk hasn't been used for religious services since the 1980s.
Nowadays the Nieuwe Kerk is used for a variety of art exhibitions and cultural events, as well as official ceremonies of the Dutch royal family.
Nieuwe Kerk history
The name of De Nieuwe Kerk (New Church) is based on it's original role as replacement for the original 13th century Catholic church known as De Oude Kerk (Old Church) of Amsterdam. The second half of the 14th century was a period of fast population growth in Amsterdam, motivating the construction of a bigger church building. The Nieuwe Kerk was first opened in 1409, and was expanded further over the following centuries.
After Amsterdam officially became protestant (during the 'alteratie' in 1578) the Nieuwe Kerk was also taken into use as a protestant church building.
The characteristic gothic style of the church interior was introduced with the restoration of the Church after a big fire in 1645.
At the end of the twentieth century the Nieuwe Kerk building had slipped into a state of dilapidation. In the years between 1960 and 1980 the church building underwent the biggest renovation in its history, after which the management and maintenance of the building was taken over by the National Nieuwe Kerk foundation. This foundation currently also organises most of the exhibitions and cultural events held there.