Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Around Amsterdam: De Begijnhof

After visiting The Amsterdam Museum the other day with my Dutchman, we popped into the hidden court yard of The Beijenhof. Tucked away in the old city center, these secluded historic buildings date back to the 14th century, including the oldest wooden house in the city. The original inhabitants were religious women who lived like nuns and helped the poor and sickly in exchange for lodging. Today, single woman still live here and they prefer to keep noise and tourist traffic at a minimum so some areas are closed off to the public.

Although I've passed through many times before, it was my first time to step inside the English Reformed Church situated in this hidden cloister. We sat down for a moment and enjoyed listening to classical tunes and hymns played on an antique piano. I'm not a religious person but there is something soothing and spiritual about sitting quietly in a place of great historic presence with piano notes rolling and echoing though the background.

Outside, lovely tulips and bright flowers filled the garden, along with (and it pains me to say this) noisy, American tourists. Another clear indication that spring has arrived and summer will be here soon!

De Begijnhof 
Beginjhof 30, Amsterdam
Open daily, 9-17h 
(Located near Spui, enter through a small door near the American Book Center 
or along the alley Gedempte Benijnsloot)

PS. I'd like to add more posts about free spots around town. Do you have any suggestions about new places to visit? I'd love to hear them! Be sure to check out my recently updated Amsterdam City Guide Map right here

1 comment:

  1. It took me years to find that hidden court yard. It's an amazing little place.