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View from the Westertoren | by B℮n
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View from the Westertoren

The Westerkerk ("western church") is a Protestant church in Amsterdam, built in 1620-1631 after a design by Hendrick de Keyser. The church is in Amsterdam's Jordaan district, at the bank of the Prinsengracht canal. The spire is the highest church tower in Amsterdam, at 85 meters (279 feet). The crown topping the spire is the Emperor's Crown of Maximilian I. Rembrandt van Rijn was buried in the Westerkerk on October 8, 1669.

The Westerkerk is located close to the Achterhuis (now Anne Frank House) where diarist Anne Frank, her family and others hid from Nazi persecution for two years during World War II. The Westerkerk is mentioned frequently in her diary - its clock tower could be seen from the attic of the Achterhuis and Anne Frank described the chiming of the clock as a source of comfort. A memorial statue of Frank is located outside the church.

Near the Westerkerk is the Homomonument, a memorial for men and women persecuted for their homosexuality. On March 10, 1969 Queen Beatrix (then Princess Beatrix) married Prince Claus in the Westerkerk.

 

Photo taken from the Westertoren on the Prinsengracht - Bloemgracht, where my parents used to live.

 

De toren van de Westerkerk is beroemder dan de kerk zelf. Allereerst omdat de Westertoren goed vanuit de omgeving is te zien, en daarom veel is bezongen en beschreven (bijvoorbeeld in het dagboek van Anne Frank, die het carillon van de toren vaak hoorde vanuit haar onderduikadres vlakbij aan de Prinsengracht). De toren staat vlak naast de Jordaan, de bekende volkswijk in de binnenstad van Amsterdam. Vanaf de toren heeft men een mooi uitzicht over de wijk. De bijnaam van de Westertoren is "Lange Jan" of "De ouwe Wester".

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Taken on December 25, 2007