I participated in a Dutch artist-in-residency program of 5 days called “De Torenkamer”. This residency is part of the radio show Opium and takes place in a beautiful tower room at the Vondelpark. My plan for the program was to walk and investigate two pilgrimages in Amsterdam and take my findings to create my own sanctuary in “De Torenkamer”. This will be part of my ongoing project ‘Looking for Solace’. Both the pilgrimages I walked had something to do with The Miraculous. 

 The first pilgrimage I went on was “The Lady of All Nations”. This is a chapel built on the instruction of Ida Peerdeman (1905-1996). She had visions of Maria ordering her to build a chapel that would make Maria known under the name ‘The Lady Off All Nations’. She also had a painting made of this new Maria inspired by a vision. In 2002 the visions of Ida Peerdeman got recognition from the church and they officially accepted their supernatural nature.

 The second pilgrimage I walked is known as “The Miracle Procession”, a walk through the centre of Amsterdam in honour of a miraculous wafer. The story goes that on March 15th 1345, a man lay ill in bed in his house on Kalverstraat. He was about to die. A priest administered to the last rites, including the blessed sacrament. After receiving the wafer, the man became sick and vomited in the fire. The next morning the wafer was discovered in the fire, undamaged. It was put into a box and taken by the priest to the parish church, but on two occasions miraculously made its way back to the house on Kalverstraat. This was the beginning of a tradition known as “The Miracle Procession”.

 What I learned from visiting these places is that Miracles can happen anywhere. I never knew about these pilgrimages, but have walked parts of the “Miracle Procession” in normal life a lot. But when I walked it knowing it was a pilgrimage the route began to look different.

 I decided to make a labyrinth in “De Torenkamer”. Some churches have these on their floors so people who cannot take a pilgrimage can feel what it is like. I took pictures trying to find out wat kind of miraculous powers the room possessed. These pictures I displayed in the labyrinth making my own little Pilgrimage.

If you want to now more about my week in De Torenkamer you can read my blog on the Opium website: http://www.radio4.nl/opiumop4/thema/3/de_toren_kamer/151/eva-van-ooijen

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Research:

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 De Torenkamer

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1. De Thomaskerk 2. De kapel aan de Diepenbrockstraat 3. De geplande basiliek 4. De woning waar Maria vanaf 1945 aan Ida Peerdeman verscheen

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Kapel van De Vrouwe van alle Volkeren foto uit het Amsterdams archief.

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Route van De Stille Omgang.

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Tekening van ‘De Heilige Stede’ uit het Amsterdams archief.