Architect: Ernst A.C. Roest (1875 – 1952)
Commissioned by: Gereformeerde Kerk Amsterdam Zuid (Calvinist Church of South Amsterdam)
Year of construction: 1916-1918
Difference in opinion
The Parkkerk (church) underwent turbulent times in its early years. The first minister, Johannes Geelkerken, had two major conflicts with the Reformed Synod. In 1926 he was even removed from office because of a difference in opinion about the Bible story about Eve and the snake. Together with other rebellious ministers, he founded a new church community, the Gereformeerde Kerken in Hersteld Verband (Reformed Churches in Restored Union). He continued his services in the Parkkerk until 1946. Then a new movement started in the Nederlands Hervormde Kerk (Dutch Reformed Church).
Dutch Reformed "Parkkerk" (church), seen from the Vondelpark
The Parkkerk functioned as a church until 1994. It then became a dance centre for a short time. Restoration started in 2004. The church was redecorated and turned into a concert hall for organ music. The tower, whose spire was removed in 1963, was restored to its original state. When the new spire reached its highest point in March 2005, a document was hidden in it giving an account of the restoration.
Netherlands Reformed building, originally Reformed Parkkerk, architect E.A.C. Roest, 1918
In 2006, the concert hall for organs opened its doors. With the enormous Sauer organ at its centre, the Parkkerk is now the home of the Orgelpark. The foundation promotes modern, non-church organ music and regularly organises concerts in the church. Organists and students from the conservatory practice here during the day. For this reason the church is closed to the public outside concert times.
Interior Dutch reformed "Parkkerk", facing the gallery