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.
Located in Oude Centrum, this hotel is within a 5-minute walk of Sexmuseum and The Old Church. Dam Square and New Church are also within 10 minutes.
Located in Canal Ring, this apartment is steps from Spui and Begijnhof. Amsterdam Museum and Flower Market are also within 10 minutes.
Located in Canal Ring, this historic hotel is steps from Begijnhof and Amsterdam Museum. Royal Palace and New Church are also within 10 minutes.
This city-center hotel is a 3-minute walk from Amsterdam Centraal Station. Dam Square, Nieuwe Kerk, and the Royal Palace are among the many popular destinations within 0.4 km (0.3 mi).
Bordered by a warren of narrow streets lined with pubs, cafés, and restaurants, this hotel faces a small square, and is 400 metres from the central train station. Dam Square, Royal Palace, and Nieuwe Kerk are all within 500 metres of the hotel.
This hotel, built in 1912, is located in the monumental Scheepvaarthuis and adjacent to the harbour. Nieuwmarkt Square and the Public Library are nearby and Central Station is 500 meters away.
Located in Oude Centrum, this luxury hotel is steps from National Monument, Dam Square, and Royal Palace. New Church and The Old Church are also within 5 minutes.
This centrally located hotel connected to a shopping center overlooks the Singel Canal and is a brief walk to bustling Dam Square and yet close to the major sites of The Royal Palace, Flower Market and Anne Frank House.