Discover the hidden hofjes in the Jordaan. The cute courtyards surrounded by pretty buildings were originally constructed by wealthy benefactors and provided housing for low income people, often widows and single women. Some Amsterdam hofjes are still used for this purpose with young students and artists living in them or older men and women.
The most famous Amsterdam hofje is of course the Begijnhof near the Spui.
Many hofjes are open to the public and can be seen by visitors. Just walk into the courtyards and take a look! But please be quiet and respectful of the residents.
Hofjes in the Jordaan
According to Hofjes in Amsterdam there are 19 hofjes in the Jordaan. The website has historical information about each hofje, so if you are interested in additional info definitely take a look at the site.
Not all hofjes are still in use or can be visited, but here are some of our favorites that can be spotted in the Jordaan.
The Bossche Hofje and Raepenhofje are next door to each other on Palmgracht. Female students now live in the 9 units at Raepenhofje, which you can spot by the beautiful red door with the turnip above it. If you have a chance to visit it, check out the stairs. They are very steep, practically ladders, making you wonder how older residents could manage to climb up and down daily back in the 17th century.
The Claes Claesz Hofje is an interesting one to visit as it looks a little different from most of the other hofjes. It has three entrances and several small courtyards rather than one central courtyard surrounded by apartments.
The Karthuizerhof is one of my favorites. The buildings are lovely which is not a surprise considering they were designed by Daniël Stalpaert, who also designed the Scheepvaartmuseum, Oosterkerk and Royal Palace. This hofje has a large courtyard and the lovely windows with wooden shutters on the street side of the building provide a pleasant view for passersby. The hofje is constructed on the site of a former Carthusian Monastery.
Another favorite Jordaan hofje is the Regenboogs-Liefdehofje, simply because the name means “rainbow love.” How cool is that? The hofje originally had more than 40 single room dwellings, the refurbished homes are now rented to music students.
Would you like to visit some of the Jordaan hofjes? Take a look at our map (you can download it as a pdf) and go for a stroll through the neighborhood. Which hofje is your favorite?