Tucked away in the heart of Amsterdam’s inner city lies a small marvel: Our Lord in the Attic Museum: a uniquely preserved seventeenth-century house from the Dutch Golden Age. Explore the narrow corridors and climb the stairs to historically furnished livingrooms, kitchens and bedsteads, leading literally to the highpoint of the museum: an entire church in the attic.
This Catholic church dates from 1663. While it was prohibited to celebrate mass, the authorities turned a blind eye. Indeed, the church symbolises the characteristic (religious) tolerance of the Netherlands, established by the Dutch in the sixteenth century under Willem of Orange. Freedom of religion and of conscience are central themes at the museum today. It makes Our Lord in the Attic far more than a museum: it is a special place in which to contemplate and to experience.
Museum Ons’ Lieve Heer op Solder is the oldest museum in the city, second only to the Rijksmuseum. It receives more than 100,000 visitors every year. A unique monument from the Golden Age, it has been preserved largely due to initiatives taken by private individuals. In 2015, the monument was extended into an additional building at Oudezijds Voorburgwal 38, where the new entrance vestibule was established. The two buildings are connected to each other via an underground passage. Ons’ Lieve Heer op Solder is now a proper in situ museum – where history is tangible and everything is old and authentic, where visitors can truly experience the building and its story, and where a link can even be established with current events.