Late afternoon sunshine streamed through the windows of Our Lord in the Attic (Museum Ons’ Lieve Heer op Solder) as I continued my exploration of this amazing hidden 17th Century Catholic Church in Amsterdam.
Today we will leave the lavish sanctuary and exquisite old organ and enter my favorite part of the museum: the former living quarters of priest Ludovicus Reiniers and his household staff who moved into the Velvet Burgwal (original name for this building) in 1739.
With nearly all furnishings and exhibits removed for an extensive renovation, this part of Our Lord in the Attic is a deeply serene and quiet escape from the hustle and bustle of the city of Amsterdam.
I love the soft winter light of Amsterdam, and it was on glorious display as it filtered through the old, glass, multi-paned windows and settled into warm puddles on the aged wooden planks of the floor.
In this quiet setting it was so easy to picture the maid humming to herself as she swept and dusted the staircase after dozens of parishioners clomped up and down the steps to and from the worship service.
Or perhaps the priest hunched over a desk cluttered with books, parchment and fountain pens as he prepared next week’s sermon.
I wondered what sort of furniture they had back then. Would the bed have been piled with a thick down comforter? Would the walls have been lined with bookshelves or big wooden wardrobes?
I would’ve loved a big, squishy chair pulled up to one of those splendid old windows, reading for hours in glorious solitude.
I crept precariously down a particularly narrow and twisting staircase and found the kitchen, a delightful place flooded with soft light and lined with blue and white tiles.
Isn’t it so homey? I can easily picture myself at that old wooden table, sharing a cup of tea and plate of cookies with a dear friend.
The tiles lining the walls are aged and chipped now, but I love the country scenes depicted: fishing, swinging, walking with a pet.
I wanted to tie on an apron, haul out mixing bowls and start cooking .
Leaving that splendid old kitchen I entered a light-filled hallway and bid farewell to this most interesting museum. A place rich in history and personalities providing a fascinating glimpse into a bygone world.
I wrapped my scarf tightly around my neck and headed back into the blustering Amsterdam weather.
It was time to go home.
What do you picture yourself doing in an old house like this?