De Nieuwe Kerk
The spiraling, spookily-frescoed Nieuwe Kerk casts a long shadow over Dam Square and sits next to the royal palace. It’s ‘new’ only in relation to the Oude (old) Kerk in the Red Light District, which was built in the late 1200s and pre-dates this young upstart by about a century. While an impressive building in its own right, it’s probably best known for its exhibitions, which tend to focus on the art, artifacts and anthropology of other cultures, along with well-trailed displays about other (usually ‘eastern’) religions. From late 2009 until late spring 2010, the main exhibition is about Oman. During summer, extra parts of the interior are opened up for those keen to nose around a tomb or two. This is also the spot for big national ceremonies like the inauguration of Queen Beatrix, Remembrance Day services, and the wedding of the Crown Prince.