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Begijnhof
Vacation Travel Guide

Spend a romantic moment or relax with a picnic lunch in the medieval courtyard of the former Béguinage of Amsterdam.

See one of the original parts of medieval Amsterdam at the Begijnhof. This square is the inner courtyard of the former Béguinage, where Catholic women lived and performed charity work together from the 14th century. The surrounding buildings are now houses, but the courtyard still retains an atmosphere of quiet tranquility. Only single women are allowed to live here.

Enter through the 16th-century Begijnesloot gate and sit on the green lawns to enjoy views of the townhouses, which have facades from the 17th- and 18th-century. The courtyard is lower than street level, because the rest of the city has been built up since medieval times. In the Begijnhof you’ll see an unusual wooden house, which dates from the 15th century. The large areas of lawn were originally bleaching greens, where the Beguines whitened clothing and linens in the sun.

The Beguines’ chapel, originally built in 1397, burned down in two great fires and was rebuilt in the 15th century. In the 16th century Protestants took over Amsterdam and the church and the Beguines were driven to worship secretly. The chapel became an English Reformed Church, but the pious Catholic Beguines built a secret chapel inside two of the private buildings and continued to hold services. The chapel exhibits a modern nine-panel depiction of the Miracle of Amsterdam. Residents tell the story of a sick man who vomited the Host into a fire that did not burn either the Host or the hand of the woman who plucked it out.

The last Beguine, Sister Antonia, passed away in 1971. Residents still live in the courtyard buildings, so it’s best to be discreet and quiet when photographing the scenery.

The Begijnhof is located near the Amsterdam Museum in the city center. Once you’ve been to the inner courtyard, learn about the religious history of the city at the museum. There is also a small shop where you can purchase histories and postcards of the Begijnhof. Entry is free but donations are appreciated. You can explore both the Béguinage and the chapel daily.

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Top Hotels Close to Begijnhof

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4 out of 5
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The price is $145 per night from Apr 17 to Apr 18
Located in Amsterdam City Centre, this eco-friendly hotel is within a 10-minute walk of St. Nicholas Church, National Monument, and Madame Tussauds. Amsterdam ...
4.4/5Excellent! (1,320 reviews)
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"Great food, great service. Highly recommended"

Reviewed on Sep 29, 2020

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The Hoxton, Amsterdam
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Herengracht 255, Amsterdam
The price is $142 per night from May 11 to May 12
Located in Amsterdam City Centre, this hotel is steps from Herengracht Canal and The 9 Streets. Madame Tussauds and Royal Palace are also within 10 minutes. ...
4.7/5Exceptional! (829 reviews)
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Hotel Estheréa
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4 out of 5
Singel 303-309, Amsterdam
The price is $94 per night from Apr 28 to Apr 29
Located in Amsterdam City Centre, this historic hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Madame Tussauds, Dam Square, and Anne Frank House. Leidseplein and Vondelpark ...
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Reviewed on Jan 4, 2021

Hotel Estheréa
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.

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Best Lodging Options Near Begijnhof

Park Plaza Victoria Amsterdam
Park Plaza Victoria Amsterdam
4 out of 5
Damrak 1-5, Amsterdam
The price is $145 per night from Apr 17 to Apr 18
Park Plaza Victoria Amsterdam
The Hoxton, Amsterdam
The Hoxton, Amsterdam
4 out of 5
Herengracht 255, Amsterdam
The price is $142 per night from May 11 to May 12
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Hotel Estheréa
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4 out of 5
Singel 303-309, Amsterdam
The price is $94 per night from Apr 28 to Apr 29
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Pulitzer Amsterdam
Pulitzer Amsterdam
5 out of 5
Prinsengracht 323, Amsterdam
The price is $364 per night from Apr 25 to Apr 26
Pulitzer Amsterdam
Swissôtel Amsterdam
Swissôtel Amsterdam
4 out of 5
Damrak 96, Amsterdam
The price is $110 per night from Apr 25 to Apr 26
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The Highlander
The Highlander
3.5 out of 5
Nieuwezijdsvoorburgwal 98-100, Amsterdam
The price is $66 per night from Apr 18 to Apr 19
The Highlander
Sofitel Legend The Grand Amsterdam
Sofitel Legend The Grand Amsterdam
5 out of 5
Oudezijds Voorburgwal 197, Amsterdam
The price is $373 per night from May 1 to May 2
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W Amsterdam
W Amsterdam
5 out of 5
Spuistraat 175, Amsterdam, NL
The price is $373 per night from Apr 17 to Apr 18
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Radisson Blu Hotel, Amsterdam City Center
Radisson Blu Hotel, Amsterdam City Center
4 out of 5
Rusland 17, Amsterdam
The price is $137 per night from Apr 18 to Apr 19
Radisson Blu Hotel, Amsterdam City Center
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.