I have walked past this church hundreds of times and often wondered about the inside of this elegant twin-steepled building. Little did I know, this Roman Catholic Church, De Krijtberg, is open freely to the public every day. Everyone is welcomed!
Squeezed among the narrow canal houses along the Singelgracht, De Krijtberg church stood out sharply. When translated, De Krijtberg means “The Chalk Mountain”. Since 1654, there has been a Jesuit church at this location, hidden behind the merchant house “De Crijtbergh”, on the Singel. When Catholic churches were allowed to be built again after the restoration of the episcopal hierarchy in the Netherlands in 1853, three houses on the adjacent plots were demolished for the construction of (this) larger church. De Krijtberg was consecrated on 3 December 1883, dedicated to its patron saint – St. Francis Xaverius.
The architect in charge of this project was Alfred Tepe (1840-1920), a citizen of Amsterdam. He was awarded the contract to “construct a church with two stair towers and among others, two chapels, a sacristy and stairhead” within this tight building site. So De Krijtberg was designed high up in order to allow maximum daylight through stained-glass windows as well as to accommodate the largest number of worshippers with extra seats at the galleries. Tepe was able to ingeniously fit his design remarkably within this three-aisled basilica church, built in neo-Gothic style.
During my visit, I was able to get a hold of a “A Tour of The Krijtberg” flyer in English upon entering the church. It provided me a quick history and highlights on the church interior. De Krijtberg is impressive and very distracting with its rich decorative finishes in all colors. I am always fascinated by such!
A delightful detour which I highly recommend.
Website: https://krijtberg.nl/?lang=en (English)
Address: Singel 446. 1017AV Amsterdam.
Opening Hours: https://krijtberg.nl/address-and-opening-times/?lang=en
Entrance Fees: Free entry
Getting There: 20-minute walk from Amsterdam train station or take tram 2, 11 or 12 and alight at Koningsplein.