As soon as you go through the gate to the Beguinage, it seems as if you are entering a completely different world. You will find yourself in a sweet, soft and green oasis while still in the middle of the busy city centre of Amsterdam. The Beguinage is located between the Spui and the Nieuwezijds Voorburgwal. It is a small court specially built for the beguines. The beguins are unmarried women or widows of a certain Catholic order. To this day, beguines still live in the Beguinage but it is also a popular tourist attraction due the relaxed athmosphere in this court.
Diversity in the houses at the Beguinage is something that makes the court unique. Often you can see one type of house in this type of courtyards but at the Begijnhof it is a collection of typical Amsterdam houses. By the way, did you know that the oldest house in Amsterdam is located here? This is house with the number 34 and dates from the Middle Ages.
The English Church
The English church on the Beguinage was originally a Beguinage Chapel and was built in 1400. After a few good years, the church was taken over by the Protestants in 1578. This was not voluntary, but the consequence was that the beguins had to give up the church.
Rules of conduct
Make sure you are a guest of the beguines as they still live there. You'll have to behave like this, too. Do not take pictures of the residents and do not take pictures of the interior of the houses. Walk with respect through the garden and enjoy the tranquillity and the houses. Taking pictures is allowed but with respect for the residents.
Not at the Beguinage itself but at the back of it there is a small shop. Here you can buy tourist gifts but also books and prints with more information about the Beguinage. The earnings of this shop are used to maintain the Beguinage.
The entrance is at Beguinage 30 via the gate at the Spui