Begijnhof is a collection of historic buildings in Amsterdam that were constructed as a Beguinage, which is a complex to house religious women who are active in their local community. Begijnhof now houses 2 churches, the Catholic Houten Huys and the English Reformed Church.

    The sole inner court is from the Middle Ages and Begijnhof is surrounded by the Singel, part of the circular canal system. It rests lower than other city streets as a result of its age. Begijnhof’s exact age remains unknown, though the courtyard was named in 1389.

    Begijnhof in Amsterdam - one of the highlights of 10 Best Free Things to Do in Amsterdam (Read all about Amsterdam here)

    The height of architecture of Begijnhof

    Begijnhof’s buildings were purposely built tall to promote privacy. They are individual townhomes with a Gothic wooden framework. The Wooden House, restored and one of the oldest buildings of Begijnhof, is known for being 1 of only 2 wooden houses remaining in the middle of Amsterdam and dates back to 1528. It is the oldest wooden house in Amsterdam.

    Restored in 1907 and dating back to 1574, the Begijnesloot gate has a gable stone that depicts Saint Ursula. Each gable stone shows a powerful Roman Catholic persona.

    What to know about Begijnhof

    The chapels of the churches are open the entire day, with priests on hand for confession as well as private conversations. The chapels can also be used for Roman Catholic weddings. They were dedicated to both Saint Ursula and Saint John the Evangelist by their original designer.

    Check online before your visit to ensure that Begijnhof will be open, as the buildings are closed on Dutch public holidays.

    Begijnhof in Amsterdam

    Location: Nieuwezijds Voorburgwal 373, 1012 RM Amsterdam, Netherlands

    Open: Daily from 9 am to 5 pm

    Phone: +31 20 622 1918

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