Introducing the best kept secret of Amsterdam
‘Het Begijnhof’: the best kept secret, right in the centre of Amsterdam. Have you found it yet?
You want to escape the madness of the crowded city centre of Amsterdam (Kalverstraat and Spui area)? Look no further. Within a five-minute walk you’ll find ‘het Begijnhof’, situated amongst traditional Amsterdam town houses: an oasis of peace and quiet. A tiny village within the Dutch capital!
Tiny, but interesting facts
The chapel within ‘de Begijnhof’ as well as the tiny houses in the courtyard are well worth visiting. Please note that the courtyard will be closed in the evening.
As far back as 1150, this was a convent-like community, where women lived, promising a life of abstinence. Dedicating their lives to educating and nursing people. So no men allowed, and definitely no sex.
It is still possible to rent a house here, as long as you’re single and female. All houses are occupied by women only. Therefore, respect their privacy when visiting!
Another interesting fact: one of the best-known houses in the courtyard is ‘Het Houten Huys’ (read: the wooden house), at no 34. One of the few houses in the whole of Holland that has been built with mostly wood.
Worlds apart, but definitely worth visiting!
To experience all of this, you can visit the courtyard between 9am and 5pm, every day of the week. Don’t miss it and make sure to include this within your Amsterdam city trip! You can access the Begijnhof through the gate on the north side of the Spui, or at the Gedempte Begijnensloot. Make sure to bring a camera to capture one of Amsterdam’s most beautiful spots. And (gentle)men are welcome too.