De Nieuwe Kerk itself is the masterpiece of the exhibition History & Royalty. 600 Years of History

On Saturday 5 December De Nieuwe Kerk Amsterdam will open its new exhibition History & Royalty. 600 Years of History. Like in an autobiography
De Nieuwe Kerk (est. 1408) will take the visitor back into its own history, one which is inextricably linked with that of Amsterdam and the Netherlands.
The exhibition’s climax is Panorama De Nieuwe Kerk, a new four-metre high film installation presenting the long history of this national church on Dam Square by showing a wave of images. The exhibition will open at the day of St Nicholas’s Eve, which is coincidental but suits the event well, as St Nicholas is the Patron of the city of Amsterdam. In the last week of History & Royalty De Nieuwe Kerk will again host the Great Amsterdam Quiz (Dutch only).

The exhibition is a time trip of more than six hundred years. From the oldest parts of the medieval building, such as the story of the grave of the ‘Knight of Jerusalem’ in one of the chapels, that of the tower that never came, the story of ‘the unknown housewife’, the histories of the various angels in De Nieuwe Kerk or the exciting biographies of the Dutch Republic’s Admirals. Or take all the royal ceremonies, up to the Royal Wedding of Prince Willem-Alexander and Princess Máxima and the king’s investiture. From the sixteenth-century Iconoclasm, the great fire and the seventeenth-century rebuilding of the church, to De Nieuwe Kerk’s literary pantheon and its commemorative stones for great Dutch writers like Hella S. Haasse, P.C. Hooft, Johan Huizinga, Multatuli and Joost van den Vondel.

All of the church’s monuments will star in the show: its stained-glass windows, its medieval frescoes, its grave monuments, its spectacular brass choir screen, its breathtaking organ. For this particular occasion we have opened two cabinets to the public that can usually not be entered: the Churchwardens’ Chamber and the Chancellor’s Chamber.

Live concerts
De Nieuwe Kerk Amsterdam houses the largest historic organ of the country. In the seventeenth-century it was played every day, during History & Royalty it will be played weekly by many excellent musicians, including our regular organ players Henk Verhoef and Bernard Winsemius. All concerts will consist of works by well-known composers. In addition it is they who will inaugurate the New Year by giving the fabulous New Year’s Concert on Friday 1 January.

The Great Amsterdam Quiz
In April 2021 De Nieuwe Kerk, jointly with Ons Amsterdam magazine and Amsterdam-based newspaper Het Parool, will present the second edition of the Great Amsterdam Quiz. The winner of this quiz on facts from Amsterdam’s history will receive the honourary title of Amsterdam Expert of the Year. The quiz will be presented by Johan Fretz, comedian, writer and columnist of Het Parool, and by Koen Kleijn, chief editor of Ons Amsterdam. The exact date will be announced later.

Audiovisual history lessons
During History & Royalty class groups from high school and medium or higher professional education schools can follow a unique audiovisual history lesson at De Nieuwe Kerk Amsterdam. Students will – either alone or in a group of two or three – move through De Nieuwe Kerk’s 600-year history, using the audio guide and all the rich audiovisual material on show in the exhibition.

Background story
Click here to find the background story with lots of extra information about History & Royalty.

The images shown below may be used freely only in publications about the History & Royalty exhibition. It is obligatory to mention the name of the photographer, which is mentioned below each of the photographs.

Download the photo here | Photographer: Wim Ruigrok