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“Interesting corner of Amsterdam” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Begijnhof

Begijnhof
Gedempte Begijnensloot, Amsterdam, The Netherlands (Dam Square)
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Ranked #23 of 247 Attractions in Amsterdam
Type: Historic Sites, Historic Walking Areas, Cultural
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Attraction details
Fee: No
Recommended length of visit: 1-2 hours
Owner description: Tucked away just off Spui, this delightful collection of houses arranged around an open court is well worth searching out.
Cork, Ireland
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
6 attraction reviews
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
“Interesting corner of Amsterdam”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 10, 2013

A peaceful enclave in a busy, densely-populated city, the Beguinehof started life as a residence for women who did not wish to marry, yet did not wish to become nuns either (the usual options available in such cases in the late Middle Ages). Though the last actual Beguine (as they were known) died in 1971, even today only women live in this residence (which is actually a group of houses facing inwards to an inner courtyard and chapel).

It houses one of only two timber-frame buildings left in Amsterdam (dating from the mid 1500s - the other is now a charming pub at No.1 Zeedijk) it also has a number of those wall plaques used long ago in Amsterdam in lieu of specific street / house addresses.

The only thing I didn't like - as a keen photographer - is that you are not allowed / not supposed to take any pictures there (though of course some people did, I respected the rule). The reason given is laudable enough - not to disturb the tranquility of the people who live there, but surely one or two discreet pics of the gable-wall with the plaques or of the chapel wouldn't have bothered anyone too much.

Visited February 2013
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Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Senior Contributor
42 reviews 42 reviews
39 attraction reviews
Reviews in 17 cities Reviews in 17 cities
19 helpful votes 19 helpful votes
“one of the most scenic and historic places in amsterdam”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 6, 2013

This large almhouse dates back to the late 14th century. It's very characteristic and historic. There used to live Beguines here, a kind of nuns. There are 2 churches, especially the catholic chapel is very beautifull.

Visited April 2012
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Buckeburg, Germany
Senior Contributor
27 reviews 27 reviews
6 attraction reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
“A most wonderful place”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 1, 2013

Not sure how this is hard to find, as it is signposted and also you can't fail to notice the entrance if one does a bit of research beforehand (Google Street View is your friend).

A wonderful place to escape the hussle and bustle of the a shopping trip however.....there are no benches there to sit and enjoy and despite notices saying that photography is banned, people take no notice. Also, it is still a resedential area but when I was there people were shouting at each other despite being a few feet away.

There is a lovely chapel to look inside with a very usefel guide to all the artefacts.

Visited February 2013
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Manchester
Top Contributor
51 reviews 51 reviews
15 attraction reviews
Reviews in 22 cities Reviews in 22 cities
18 helpful votes 18 helpful votes
“Not sure about the fuss”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed February 26, 2013 via mobile

We visited in February so maybe that's half the problem. Gardens were overgrown and dead, the grass was in desperate need of a cut.

I imagine in the summer it would be much prettier, but for the winter months.. I wouldn't bother unless your passing by.

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Perth, Australia
Top Contributor
147 reviews 147 reviews
54 attraction reviews
Reviews in 39 cities Reviews in 39 cities
65 helpful votes 65 helpful votes
“Hidden Gem”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 18, 2013

My husband has visited on several occasions and desperately wanted to share his experience with me on my first visit to Amsterdam. We did have a few hiccups finding it but we did eventually however if you are on your own or not sure what you are looking for you may have some difficulty you are basically looking for a small door in the wall of what is a normal street. Once you find it you are taken back in time to a time when pious single ladies who worked for the church lived here in their own small community. The houses are of the old wooden style built around what could best be described as a village green. It is so peaceful here it is easy to spend some time wandering around the footpath or sitting in the garden near the small church before heading back out into the madness of Amsterdam.

Visited August 2012
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