An oasis of peace in the middle of the busy city center, previously the living environment of a religious women's community.
Directly behind the Amsterdam Museum you can find the Begijnhof, nowadays an oasis of peace in the middle of the busy city center. Around 1150 a group of devout women decided to join a religious community, with the primary purpose of caring for the sick people and providing education. These women were the first 'begijnen' eventhough this name was not used at that time. The women weren't nuns and didn't live in the seclusion of a monastery their entire lives. They didn't know any founders or didn't made lifelong vows, but they had to be unmarried. They could revoke their vows at any time and leave the Begijnhof, to get married for example.
The Begijnhof consisted of small houses and a church, located around a courtyard that was only opened during the day. During the Reformation the 'begijnen' had to give away their church to the English. Since then the curch has been called the "English Church". During the next years the medieval houses were rebuilt or replaced, but the wooden facade of the house at number 34 has been preserved. The house dates from the second half of the 15th century and was reconstructed in 1957 using the original materials. You can visit the Begijnhof in Amsterdam, see opening hours below.
Opening hours and address Begijnhof
Our free city map with walking route developed by Amsterdam Old Town leads you along interesting sights in the old center of Amsterdam.