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The Begijnhof is one of the many pleasing surprises that to us Amsterdam between its centric streets hides. It surprises to find in the middle of the cosmopolitan atmosphere of this city, a as centric corner as he is begijnhof, of as much peace, as much beauty and silence. As much that the same tourists when they accede by his arc of entrance lower the voice in respect signal to the tranquility that is breathed there.
- How to arrive at the Begijnhof - -
It is very easy to arrive at the zone, although if we walked a little confused we can pass the entrance to us. If we were placed in the centric Damm Place, the Begijnhof hardly is 5 minutes walking. It is only necessary to enter by the commercial street Kalverstraat, a pedestrian street all flood of commerce, to walk meters until near the Spui street. Parallel to the Kalverstraat small narrow street and in her is an a an entrance arc that remains hidden very. This entrance is in Gedempte Begijnensloot.
Also we can enter through Historical Museum, and for it, lowering by the Kalverstraat street, we turned to the right by St. Luciensteeg and soon we crossed Amsterdam Historisch Museum.
- - - history - - -
Although the truth is thought that the first congregation of beguines is of year 1346, is that documentarily, only there are references of which the construction is of year 1389. That one corner of the city was inhabited by a congregation of catholic women who lived like nuns, and who were in charge to educate and to take care of to the poor men and patients only in exchange for lodging.
Within the Begijnhof contruyó a chapel in 1419, of which it emphasizes his bell tower. In 1578, nevertheless, the calvinistas took control of the church, and they yielded soon it to the presbiterianos. The beguines, prepared not to lose their catholic faith constructed clandestine churches in numbers 28 and 29 of the attractive place.
It counts the legend that her more famous beguine, Cornelia Arens, before dying left this which she wanted to be buried in the patio and not in the church, because this one had been profaned by the presbiterianos. Nevertheless, when dying they buried, it in the chapel of the church. During days, they say that its coffin appeared again in the patio they buried whenever it, until finally, they had to bury to him in the patio.
- - The district of the Begijnhof - - -
He is gorgeous, more by his withdrawal and taken care of that by its own style. In their houses still single woman women and students live, until making a total of 140 women. Care consists of a central, landscaped patio and, whose around they are the individual houses, very typically Dutch. However, only two houses it has in the Begijnhof that are of wood, and one of them, the Houten Huis, is oldest of Amsterdam, and dates from year 1470.
In the South side of the place it emphasizes the Engelese Kerk, the English church, of which as we said it emphasizes his bell tower. In the side the west begijnhof emphasizes the chapel, the one that clandestinely constructed the beguines. Also there is a great collection of Biblical plates that cover the outer wall with the Houten Huis, whereas in the North side, in number 19 we can admire a plate with the exodus from the Jews to Egypt.
- - Entered - -
As I said, there are two entrances. By the Spui street, or by the Arc of Gedempte Begijnensloot, but in both cases the entrance is gratuitous. One is not a public park, because all the district is private, and for this reason, do not let enter groups. It is only possible to be entered of individual form in order to respect the silence of his interior.
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