Amsterdam is renowned for its charming canal houses and bustling streets, but behind these facades, countless hidden courtyards await exploration. These tucked-away gems form small oases of tranquility and beauty amidst the city’s hustle and bustle. In this article, we will uncover the courtyards that are definitely worth a visit.
The most enchanting hidden courtyards in Amsterdam
The Begijnhof in Amsterdam is one of the most well-known and beloved courtyards in the city. This historic courtyard dates back to the 14th century and offers a sanctuary of peace in the vibrant heart of Amsterdam. The Begijnhof holds a rich history and showcases stunning examples of traditional architecture.
Enter the courtyard through an elegant gate on the Spui, and as you step inside, you’ll enter a different world. Charming houses surround the Begijnhof, along with a serene inner garden, creating an atmosphere of tranquility and silence. Originally intended for beguines, unmarried women who devoted themselves to a religious life without fully joining a convent.
Hoftuin van de Cromhouthuizen
This hidden courtyard is tucked away behind the beautiful Cromhouthuizen on the Herengracht. It is a green oasis with a formal garden, flower beds, and a charming fountain. The Hoftuin van de Cromhouthuizen provides a peaceful environment, perfect for escaping the city’s hustle and bustle. It’s an ideal place to enjoy a moment of relaxation, have a picnic with friends, or simply soak in the beautiful surroundings. Don’t forget to treat yourself to a delightful cup of coffee or tea at the nearby café to complete your experience.
Claes Claesz Hofje
Claes Claesz Hofje was established in 1647 by Claes Claeszoon Anslo, a prosperous merchant, and his wife. The courtyard resides in the Jordaan neighborhood. Its purpose was to serve as a charitable institution providing housing for elderly single women. The Claes Claesz Hofje consists of several small houses built around a central courtyard, creating a peaceful and communal living environment.
The architecture of the courtyard reflects traditional Dutch style, with gabled houses and a historic charm. Over the years, people have well-preserved the Claes Claesz Hofje, making it a beautiful place to visit.
The Karthuizerhof is a tranquil and secluded courtyard from the 17th century located in the Jordaan neighborhood. It exudes a peaceful atmosphere, offering the perfect spot to relax and enjoy the serenity of the surroundings. As you step into the Karthuizerhof, a beautifully landscaped garden welcomes you with lush green lawns, lovely trees, and vibrant flowers. The classical water pump adds a touch of tradition and timelessness to the setting.
The Karthuizerhof is not only an oasis of tranquility but also a place with a rich history. As you stroll through the courtyard, you can imagine what life must have been like for the monks who once resided here. It’s a special experience to contemplate that this place has been a sanctuary of silence for centuries.
Ons’ Lieve Heer op Solder
While not a traditional courtyard, Ons’ Lieve Heer op Solder is a unique place to discover. It is a hidden church located in a canal house. Step inside and admire the beautifully preserved attic church, complete with an altar, pulpit, and stained glass windows. It is a fascinating place that reflects the religious history of Amsterdam.
Immerse yourself in the enchanting world of Amsterdam’s hidden courtyards and discover the serenity, beauty, and historical significance they hold.