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The Begijnhof is a well-enclosed courtyard which is one of the oldest courts and a hidden gem in the centre of Amsterdam. The Begijnhof was used as a residence for the Beguines, a group of unmarried or widowed women, who lived a monastic life but never took vows like the nuns. Since the death of the last Beguine in 1971, the Begijnhof has become an important tourist attraction; so much so that it was named one of Amsterdam's top ten attractions. Established somewhere around the early 14th century, the Begijnhof was resided by the Beguines, hence the name Begijnhof. The tiny houses around the Begijnhof were given to the Beguines for free lodging, in exchange for educating and feeding the poor. Although there is no charge for visiting the Begijnhof, you must respect the privacy of the residents of the surrounding houses and not treat them as part of the attraction.
Nieuwezijds Voorburgwal 373, Central-Amsterdam, 1012 RMView Larger Map