The history of the Oude Kerk (Old Church) goes back to 1250, when Amsterdam was only a small colony on the Amstel. The church is the first church in Amsterdam and was an important meeting place for traders. Plays were also performed. Every time the city went through a period of economic prosperity, the church was rebuilt and embellished. Since 1724, little has changed in the church except for restorations. The last restoration lasted from 1955 to 1979, probably the longest ever. The tower (built in the 16th century) has 39 bells and the carillon is one of the most beautiful in the country. For almost 800 years there has been preached, married, buried, walked, acted and music has been played. 10.000 Amsterdam inhabitants rest here, and besides the gravestone of Saskia van Rijn, Rembrandt's first wife, you can admire the tombs of famous sea admirals, a beautiful organ and a pulpit from 1640.