The Begijnhof is one of Amsterdam's best known hofjes (almshouses). It consists of a group of houses built around a secluded courtyard and garden which provided modest homes for the Beguines - a group of unmarried religious women who lived together in a close community under vows of chastity.
The Begijnhof has taken measures to enable a safe visit. Buy your tickets in advance and prepare your visit well. Check the link for more information
Although the Begijnhof dates back to the 14th century, most of the gothic facades were replaced in the 17th and 18th centuries. The wooden house (Houten Huys) at Begijnhof 34 is the oldest house in Amsterdam. The Begijnhof chapel also features a series of panels telling the story of the Miracle of Amsterdam.
The Begijnhof is a tranquil oasis in the bustling centre of Amsterdam. The English Reformed Church (Engelsekerk) is at the centre of the courtyard, which is bordered by the busy Kalverstraat and Spui. The last Beguine died in 1971, and one sister was buried in a “grave in the gutter” that's still often adorned with flowers.