For centuries Amsterdam’s Catholics were banned from practicing their faith openly. The city’s main churches had been converted to Protestant houses of worship and Catholics moved their services underground or, in some instances, above ground in the attics of buildings. In fact, many clandestine churches loyal to the Pope were available in Amsterdam and the authorities often knew of their existence, but, as usual, the practical Dutch turned a blind eye to ‘illegal’ activity as long as it wasn’t too brazen. When Catholics were finally allowed to worship freely the hidden churches could no longer service the growing demand of the faithful and a new church was necessary. Finally, in 1887, the neo-Renaissance St. Nicholas’ Church was consecrated. It’s interior is lavishly decorated with red and white marble, gilt ceilings, stained glass and lots of statues of saints. You can listen to choral evensong every Saturday at 17:00.