Amsterdam Begijnhof
Amsterdam Begijnhof

Begijnhof in Amsterdam

In the centre of Amsterdam, in the lively, artistic and shopping district of Spui, the Beguinage (Het Begijnhof) is a haven of peace, just off the Spui Book Square with its many cafes and bookshops. ..

Begijnhof
The gateway to the Amsterdam Begijnhof

A lawn, a red brick chapel, surrounded by about 40 houses that form a rampart to the outside bustle. At number 34, a wooden house dating from 1477. At number 29, there is a church, a house transformed in 1578 following the confiscation of the chapel.

For a guaranteed contrast, enter the Beguinage on the north side through the Spui Gate, the door of a brick house wedged between two white houses and identifiable by its bas-relief depicting Saint Ursula, the patron saint of Amsterdam. The pristine courtyard and chapel – a quiet sanctuary away from the bustle and noise of the outside world.
A bit of history…

Built in the 14th century and rebuilt in the 15th following a devastating fire, this place was home to a community of beguines for several centuries. Unlike the nuns, these Catholic women, called the Begijntjes,  did not belong to any religious order and did not take vows of obedience, much less poverty.

They were pious Catholic women, single or widows tolerated by the Protestants who imposed their laws in Amsterdam because they helped and cared for the poor and sick. This Begijn Chapel once contained the holy relic of the Miracle of Amsterdam: namely a puked up host.

he Amsterdam Beguinage - Netherlands
Statue in the Amsterdam Beguinage

How about today?

This beguinage, still inhabited mainly by women (elderly ladies or students), overlooks the triangular square of Spui. This square is home to one of the trendiest brown cafés in Amsterdam (the Hoppe café), a good bookshop, several art galleries and the statue of a famous local figure, the anti-conformist Het LieverdjeIl who advocates and symbolises a certain social disobedience .

It takes a lot to make this neighborhood the meeting place for nerds and students. Every Friday there is an antique book market, and especially every Sunday from March to December from 10am to 6pm, a contemporary art market (Artplein-Spui).

Here you can meet about 25 artists and buy their works directly.This beguinage, still inhabited mainly by women (elderly ladies or students), overlooks the triangular square of Spui. This square is home to one of the trendiest brown cafés in Amsterdam (the Hoppe café), a good bookshop, several art galleries and the statue of a famous local figure, the anti-conformist Het LieverdjeIl who advocates and symbolises a certain social disobedience .

It takes a lot to make this neighborhood the meeting place for nerds and students. Every Friday there is an antique book market, and especially every Sunday from March to December from 10am to 6pm, a contemporary art market (Artplein-Spui).

Here you can meet about 25 artists and buy their works directly.

Art Market
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