Monday, July 14, 2014

Day 2---Amsterdam

July 14, 2014
I am so glad that Germany won the championship of World Cup last night.
Today I joined a walking tour about Amsterdam. The tour guide, Kor, is a real funny guide. He liked an actor when he guided us around the center of Amsterdam. It made this tour become had more fun. What I am interesting is there are two churches in Amsterdam, which were named old church and new church. The reason why they made me so curious is about their name.
Old Church the oldest building and oldest parish church in Amsterdam, which was founded ca. 1213 and consecrated in 1306 by the bishop of Utrecht with Saint Nicolas as its patron saint. After the Reformation in 1578 it became a Calvinist church, which it remains today. In mid-March each year, Catholics arrive at the old church celebrate the "Miracle of Amsterdam” that occurred in 1345. After taking communion, a dying man vomited the Host. When his vomit was thrown into a fire, the Host did not burn and was proclaimed a miracle. The Host was put in a chest and installed at the old church; however, it disappeared during the Reformation. Today, the Old Church is a center for both religious and cultural activities and can be rented for presentations, receptions and dinner parties. Among the events hosted is the prestigious annual World Press Photo awards ceremony.
After the Old Church grew too small for the expanding population of the town, the bishop of Utrecht in 1408 gave permission to build a second parish church. The New Church was consecrated to St. Mary and St. Catharine. The New Church, today, is no longer used for church services but is used as an exhibition space. It is also used for organ recitals. There is a cafe in one of the buildings attached to the church that has an entrance to the church. There is a museum store inside the entrance that sells postcards, books, and gifts having to do with the church and its exhibitions.