The Ons’ Lieve Heer Op Solder (Our Lord in the Attic) is a unique museum in a canal house in Amsterdam with a hidden Catholic church in its attic.
The museum added a modern wing in 2015 in the adjacent building which is connected by an underground passageway.
Without doubt, the centrepiece and highlight of the museum is the beautiful small church spanning the attics of 3 adjacent houses. The church can seat up to 150 worshippers and has magnificent decor and its own organ.
Public Catholic services were officially forbidden from the late 16th century after the Protestants took power in 1578. The Op Solder church dates back to 1663 having been built by wealthy Catholic merchant Jan Hartman (1619-1668) who lived in the house with his family.
The city authorities under the influence of William of Orange turned a blind eye to such private places of worship.
The church continued in use up until 1887 and the following year the house was turned into a museum – it is in fact the second oldest museum in Amsterdam (after the Rijksmuseum).
The old house contains a number of restored rooms with various religious artefacts, paintings and period furniture including a 17th century kitchen, typical sleeping quarters and a small confessional room.
Also on display is a large amount of ceramic ware – these were discovered during the last museum renovation. They originate from the cesspit of the house where old pottery was discarded.
The modern wing and underground passage provide additional exhibition space with multimedia presentations.
A visit to the museum takes about 1 hour. Be mindful that the house contains some steep staircases so you will need to have a degree of mobility to reach all areas.
There is an introductory film on show in the basement before entering the old house. The included audio tour (7 languages available ) gives further context and insight at points of interest around the house and church.
The Op Solder Museum is a fascinating place to visit combining elements of a 17th century merchant house, a beautiful hidden church and the underlying themes of tolerance and freedom of worship. It is a peaceful haven from the surrounding red-light district and worth a visit.
You must pre-book a ticket and timeslot online in advance.
Op Solder Museum Essential Info
|Opening Times||1000-1700 (Tue-Fri), 1000-1800 (Sat), 1300-1800 (Sun). Closed Mondays. Open since 5 June 2021.|
|Admission Prices (2021)||€14 for adults, €7 for children 5-17. FREE entry to children 0-4, Museumkaart and Iamsterdam City Card holders.|
|Getting There||The museum is located near the red light district on the Oudezijds Voorburgwal canal not far from Oudekerk. It is a few minutes walk from Dam Square, Nieuwmarkt or Amsterdam Central station. Trams 2/4/12/13/14/17/24 all stop at Dam Square, or take metro 51/53/54 to Nieuwmarkt or metro 52 to Rokin.|
Museum Ons’ Lieve Heer op Solder, Oudezijds Voorburgwal 38, 1012 GD Amsterdam
T: +31(0)20 624 6604, opsolder.nl
Last updated 30 June 2021. This article was first published in 2010 and has been regularly updated.