Things to do in Amsterdam – Visit the Secret Church in the Attic

rating icon 5

When we visit cities across Europe, we usually stop in to see the old churches, not because we’re religious, but rather because historically, the churches of Europe were the recipients of the funds allotted for the commissioning of art and architecture.  And, in our travels we’ve had the opportunity to visit a number of historically significant churches including the Duomo di Firenze and the Duomo di Siena in Italy.  But, on a recent trip to Amsterdam, we stumbled upon a somewhat unusual and very unique church, a secret church in an attic, which is now the Museum Ons’ Lieve Heer op Solder, or the Museum of Our Lord in the Attic.

In the Netherlands, the secret churches or ‘schuilkerken’ came about as a result of political and religious change within the Low Countries.  First there was the Protestant Reformation when Christian attitudes and beliefs began to shift. Then there was the Eighty Years’ War, when the Netherlands won their independence from Catholic Spain.  Following the Reformation, Catholic churches were converted to Protestant churches, and following the war in the newly independent Protestant-influenced Republic of the United Netherlands, Catholics were forbidden to worship in public or in a church that looked like a church.

Amsterdam Hidden Attic Church Exterior

The resulting clandestine churches, including Our Lord in the Attic, were hidden from view behind the facades of private residences and canal houses. By the 19th century, Amsterdam was again a more open and tolerant society allowing people of differing faiths to worship freely.

Amsterdam Hidden Attic Church Interior

Amsterdam Hidden Attic Church Interior

Formerly known as Het Hart, Our Lord in the Attic was built in the 17th century home of wealthy merchant Jan Hartman and remained in use as a parish church for over 200 years.

Amsterdam Hidden Attic Church Organ

In 1888, the hidden church was officially opened to the public as a museum and is credited with being the second oldest museum in Amsterdam (Het Rijksmuseum is the oldest).

Amsterdam Hidden Attic Church First Flight Stairs

Amsterdam Hidden Attic Church Third and Fourth Flight Stairs

Visitors to the hidden church museum are allowed to wander through the house, climbing several flights of antiquated stairs to reach the various levels and ultimately the church.

Amsterdam Hidden Attic Church Private Residence of Former Owner Jan Hartman

You’re able to visit the private rooms of the Hartman family, decorated with original artwork and period furnishings.

Amsterdam Hidden Attic Church Confessional

Amsterdam Hidden Attic Church Clergy Bedroom

You’re also able to visit the other areas of the church including the confessional and clergy bedroom.

Getting There:

Museum Ons’ Lieve Heer op Solder is located at Oudezijds Voorburgwal 40 in the heart of Amsterdam’s historical Red Light District.

Ticket Info

Adult Admission = 9.00€ (includes audio guide)

Combideal: With your ticket to Museum Ons’ Lieve Heer op Solder, you’ll receive 3.00€ discount on one adult admission to your choice of the Amsterdam Museum, Cromhouthuizen-Bijbels Museum, Geelvink Hinlopen Huis or Museum Willet-Holthuysen.

Travel tip:

Entrance to the museum is FREE with I amsterdam City Card.

Amsterdam map icon

Gayla Amsterdam Icon

icons destinations page

Review Date
Reviewed Item
Museum of Our Lord in the Attic
Author Rating


  1. Ann

    This looks really cool. I’m heading back to Amsterdam later this year (of course) and I think this will be fun for me. Something a little off the beaten track.

    • Mikestravelguide

      Hi Ann, We hope you get there. It really is a different kind of museum with an interesting history. And, not so crowded, since it’s ‘off the beaten track’ 🙂
      Enjoy your return trip to A’dam!

One Trackback

  1. By Amsterdam, Netherlands: An Accidental Adventure - WHERE TO NEXT 14 Nov ’17 at 3:44 am

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.
Required fields are marked:*


Time limit is exhausted. Please reload CAPTCHA.