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Before noise pollution, it was said that if you could hear the bells of Westerkerk, built in 1631 by Hendrick de Keyser, you were in the Jordaan. These days, its freshly scrubbed and painted tower is just a good place from which to view its streets and canals, provided you don't suffer from vertigo: the 85m (278ft) tower sways by 3cm (1.2in) in a good wind. Although the last tour up the 186 steps is at 5pm, and tours are only scheduled in summer, groups may call to book for other times.
It's thought that Rembrandt is buried here, though no one is sure where. The artist died a pauper, and is commemorated inside with a plaque. Though his burial on 8 October 1669 was recorded in the church register, the actual spot was not; there's a good chance he shares a grave with his son, Titus.
From the street you can see that the tower is emblazoned with a gaudy red, blue and gold 'XXX' crown. Not a reference to the porn industry, it's the crown granted to the city in 1489 by Maximillian, the Holy Roman Emperor, in gratitude for treatment he received during a pilgrimage to Amsterdam. The triple-X came to be used by local traders to denote quality. It also emblazons the phallic parking poles scattered throughout the city, which incidentally can be bought for around €85 at the city's material depot (Pieter Braaijweg 10, 561 2111).