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.
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