The Begijnhof  is one of the oldest inner courtyard situated within the girth of Amsterdam. The Begijnhof is a “home” to a large group of several historic buildings, which are mostly private dwellings. The courtyard is almost a meter lower than the rest of the city. It is also the site of the English Reformed Church.
Though it is unclear when exactly the inner court was founded, there are signs that date back to the year 1346 when the beguines still lived in houses within the area. The first mention of a courtyard was in the year 1389, where it was originally encircled by water with a solo entrance located at Beguines’ Alley.
Unlike nuns, the beguines still took a vow of chastity but were also able to leave the convent whenever they felt necessary in order to get married. With a rich and rather unique history that visitors are able to discover while wandering about, it is a special and popular place to visit while in Amsterdam.

The Begijnhof is located in the busy center and is  very difficult to find for a tourist. Attend one of the (free) walking tours and you will find yourself amongst tall buildings that are typical Amsterdam-style townhouses that all help to emphasize the court’s relatively private character. The thing that sets apart this court from so many others is the fact that unlike most, the 47 townhouses that are found here do not form any sort of row but rather they each possess individual aspects and facades from the 17th and 18th centuries.

Begijnhof in brief

Place Begijnhof 30, 1012 RM, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
When 1346
Locally Known As Begijnhof
Admission FREE


Did you know that the actual date of the construction and use of Begijnhof is still unknown?


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