The Begijnhof is located directly behind the Amsterdam Museum and is an oasis of peace in the busy city center. The Begijnhof was founded around 1150 by a group of devout women as a religious community. Today the houses are still inhabited.
March 31, 2021
The Begijnhof is a charming 14th-century courtyard in the heart of the city. The buildings that frame this little oasis of peace once belonged to the Beguines, a Christian women's order. You almost forget that you are in the middle of the city when you read a book or just relax. Open: daily 09: 00-17: 00
February 23, 2016
One of the most unique sights in central Amsterdam is behind a door on Spuiplein. This door leads into the Begijnhof, a medieval beguinage where nuns of this Catholic order lived.
It is no longer possible to fully understand when exactly, but sometime in the 14th century this courtyard was donated as a living environment for the beguines. These women lived as nuns, but not within a monastery community and therefore enjoyed more freedom. In the 16th century the Catholic faith was banned, but the beguinage was the only Catholic establishment that remained as the houses were privately owned by the beguines. However, they had to give up the chapel. Later a new church was built behind the facades of some of the houses, a so-called 'schuilkerk' (hideout church). You can still visit them.
Cornelia Arens was the most famous beguine who lived here. She didn't want to be buried in the church, but rather in the gutter. After her death, however, she was buried in the church. The following morning her coffin was no longer in the church, but - according to her last wish - in the gutter. This was repeated several times until it was decided to make the gutter their final resting place.
The last beguines died in 1971. Although the houses in 'Hofje' are still inhabited, they are no longer inhabited by beguines.
January 8, 2021
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