It is not clear exactly when, but Begijnhof was founded somewhere in the 14th century to house Begijnen. These women lived like virgin sisters, but they were more independent and had more freedom. Furthermore, the Catholic faith was banned in the 16th century. Begijnhof was the only Catholic institution, and those houses were the private property of the women. They had to leave the church. A new, so-called ‘hidden church’ was later built behind the facades of several houses. You can still watch it today.
Cornelia Arens is the most famous Beguine who lived here. She wanted to be buried in the chamber, not in the church. Despite her wishes, she was kept in the church . The next morning her body was no longer in the church but in the cabin. This happened again and again until she decided to put her last resting place here.
The last beguine died in 1971. The houses beyond the courtyard are still residential, but there is no more beguine here.
As you walk to Beijinghof, to your right you will see the Horton Heights (wooden house) built-in 1528. It is one of only two surviving wooden houses in Amsterdam. Originally all the houses in Amsterdam were made of wood, but due to the risk of fire, brick became the mandatory building material. It is still a residence.
Beijinghof is located in the center of Amsterdam. The easiest way to get there is through Spline. You can see a row of white houses with a brown house in here. This is where you will find the gate to Beijinghof.