No matter what form of transport you take to Ouderkerk aan de Amstel – boat, bicycle or bus – the riverside village just 4 km south of Amsterdam is simply too beautiful to miss. With a population of around 8,500 (most of them strong Calvinistic believers) it belongs to the Western Netherlands, situated in the province of South Holland. The municipality covers an area of 28.53 km² of which 1.42 km² are covered with water.
Ouderkerk was first mentioned as Ouderkerke in the year 1263. Its name derives from the reformed church which was founded in the area in AD 1,000. Ouderkerk was known as a shipping village with an armada of 180 boats in 1954.
On Januari 1, 1985 the former municipalities of Ouderkerk aan den IJssel and Gouderak merged to form the municipality of Ouderkerk. The entire municipality of Ouderkerk consists of the population centres Gouderak, Oudeland, Lageweg, Ouderkerk aan den IJssel and IJssellaan, all situated along the Hollandse IJ river.
Its scenic land- and waterscapes remain a popular destination for cyclists and boating enthusiasts alike, who travel along pleasant roads and waterways bordered by farms and elegant country estates. Located at the spot where the Bullewijk, a picturesque tributary, joins the Amstel, this romantic village of windmills and wooden-shoe factories dates back to the 12th century, making it the oldest village in the Amstelland region.
The Ouderkerk neighbours a row of houses build in 1733. One of these is home to the Oudheidkamer (open Tues-Fri 10am-noon; Sun 1-3pm), which hosts exhibitions and provides historical information. Just next door is the Out Bakery, a century-old family-operated business offering a host of delectable confections made from recipes as old as the bakery itself. Across the bridge is the St Urbanus Catholic Church (1867), a stately masterpiece by P.J.H. Cuypers, architect of the Rijksmuseum and Central Station!
At the Kalverstraat 1 stands the NH-Kerk, built between 1425 and 1428 and open to the public on Saturdays from 09.30 – 11.30 am. Next to the church you can also find the foundation of a smaller tufa church, built from 1,150 to 1,200. Most of the village’s churches can be viewed by appointment only!