Strange that in a city in which you can indulge almost any devilish vice, one of Amsterdam's biggest attractions should be an old church. Not that your soul will be in any better shape after a visit to Paradiso, mind you.
For it's not the sound of heavenly choirs but those of ballistic beats and guitars that reverberate around the rafters here, and have done in myriad forms ever since this church on Leidesplein was reopened as a club and concert venue in 1968.
The Rolling Stones, The Sex Pistols and Nirvana are amongst the bands to have performed here, and as punk began to usurp the hippie counterculture who call Amsterdam their spiritual home in the 1970s, so the Paradiso became the Dutch centre for punk nights, before giving rave culture a big sweaty hug when 'peace and love' and happier drugs came back into fashion in the 1990s.
But whilst styles and sounds might have changed over the years, the interior of the club never really has, which is one of the main reasons Paradiso is such a memorable venue. Beyond the Gothic facade, the main room still retains the same choir stalls and stained glass windows it had a century ago, and the coloured light streaming in as dawn breaks is quite a sight to behold - although the gurns on some of the faces it illuminates are often less pretty.
Paradiso is a major port of call for huge international tours by acts like Razorlight and Amy Winehouse, but for clubbers the real party begins after midnight when it opens for nights such as Dekmantel, featuring techno DJs like Robert Hood and Underground Resistance, whilst No.1 DJ Armin Van Buuren has also staged Armada trance parties here.
However, stunning as the main room is, one of the best things about Paradiso is the other places to explore. With a rabbit warren of corridors throughout the building, the smaller upstairs room plays host to up-and-coming bands like School Of Seven Bells and Andrew Bird, as well as more diverse DJs from local promoters like Kindred Spirits, during the club nights, and wandering between the two can often be something of an adventure in itself, as Bruce Carter from The Whip discovered when the Mancunian rock 'n' ravers played there recently.
"It's the perfect club because the place somehow manages to feel dirty - in a clean way,' says Bruce. "There's a really relaxed atmosphere, even in the seedy little booths. I can't believe how vast the main room is but I prefer the bar room upstairs because I could have stayed in there forever. I left a little piece of my heart in that room and I need to go back and find it as soon as possible."