This column is all that remains of the enormous Chapel of the Holy Site, which was opened in 1347. It was built on the site of the Miracle of Amsterdam, in which the Host consecrated for a man on his deathbed proved indestructible. The chapel became a major pilgrimage site.
By 1531, the medieval city was bursting at the seams. The city fathers desperately needed space to build a wool-weighing house to administer taxes on the city’s valuable trade. They decided to build it in front of the chapel, thinking that the pilgrims could go around.
The Ladies Sacrament Guild, which included some of the wealthiest women in Amsterdam, vigorously protested this desecration. When the council ignored them, more than 300 women gathered at night to destroy the foundation. The four ringleaders of what became known as the Vrouwenoproer (Women’s Riot) were fined the enormous sum of 50 guilders.
One paid it, but the other three went to Brussels to plead their case to their nominal overlord, the Holy Roman Emperor. When he refused to overturn the decision, the women tried to bluff their way back into Amsterdam. They were found out and forced to wait outside until their families paid the fines. After the Alteration, the church was given to Protestants, who eventually destroyed it and sold both the land and the stones. This column is all that remains of the busy pilgrimage site.