This former hofje (a caritative institution, for poor and/or elderly, often with a hospital connected) has a beautiful façade with a couple of details to discover. Indeed, the façade is the only thing remaining of this former institution. The inscription is a so-called chronogram. If you count all the capital letter as Roman ciphers, you will get the year 1435 – the founding year of the institution. The last building however was erected in 1624. The image gives you an impression about how the hospital may have looked like.
Haarlem had an unusually high number of hofjes and over a dozen of the historical ones are still preserved. The Frans Hals Museum for example was a former hofje.
Towards the end of our day we were walking along Kruisstraat when we passed this beautiful mansion and gardens. The gates were locked so we took our photos from the street.
Research has since revealed that this beautiful Hofje was established in 1769 on the death of the owner Wouterus van Oorschot, a burger of Amsterdam who was born in Dordrecht.
David Van Lennep the owner of the residence on the opposite side of the road arrange for the beautiful fence and gates to be built , and remain permanently locked to prevent entry from the street and retain his view of the beautiful garden.
Leonard Noblet was a rich inhabitant of AMSTERDAM.
He and his two sisters made their house and money available for a HOFJE by Last Will.
The first residents had to be members of the REFORMED CHURCH and at least be 50 years of age.
The HOFJE is separated from the street by a garden and a wrought-iron gate.
The HOFJE now houses 10 old Amsterdam spinsters and 10 from Haarlem.
This why one of his daughters lived in Amsterdam and the other one in Haarlem.
The SUPERVISORS' ROOM is located at the Hooimarkt.
The middle part of the building has a so-called KUIF with a clock in LODEWIJK XV style = rococo.
The coat-of-arms of the family is underneath the cove under the clock.
You can enter the walled garden through the door at the right hand side.
OPEN: 10AM till 6PM and free of charge...
There are 14 hofjes in Haarlem and the VVV (Tourist Office) have a special leaflet with a walk that takes in all of the hofjes in the city centre. The leaflet is only in Dutch but I did have Dutch friends with me so this was not a problem. However even if you are a non Dutch speaker you should be able to work out the route and find each of the Hofjes. Each one is very different and most are hundreds of years old although there is one that is a new build.
The most amazing thing about each one is the peace and quiet you find within - a busy shopping street may be outside but inside you cannot hear the noise of the city at all.
The hofjes are also so wonderfully picturesque and a photographer's delight - all have very pleasant gardens. The residents are very understanding in allowing visitors in to the garden areas of their homes and I am not sure I would like people walking past me as I sat having a drink in my garden in the afternoon. One or two people spoke English too and were genuinely interested to know if England had similar almshouses too and what I thought of theirs.
I will be building a gallery of photos of the hofjes of Haarlem soon (July 09)
Frans Loenen was a descendent of an old merchant family from AMSTERDAM.
At first he lived in Amsterdam, at the Dam and exactly on the spot where now HET KONINKLIJK PALEIS is located but in 1578 he went to live in HAARLEM.
Het HOFJES is separated from the public road by a monumental entrance dating from 1625.
There is also a natural-stone little gate decorated with lots of sculpturing which seems too voluptuous. It is in the style of Lieven de Key and in sharp contract with the simpler buildings in its vicinity!
Frans Loenen founded HET HOFJE in 1607 and in 1736 and 1772 it was extended and almost completely rebuilt.
The houses are situated only at the west and the south side and thus form a letter L around the garden.
At the north the complex is almost completely bordering the LUTHERSE KERK (Lutheran Church).
The Supervisor's house with the INSPECTORS' ROOM lies almost completely against the church.
OPEN: het FRANS LOENEN HOFJE has limited opening hours....ASK at the Tourist Office, our well-known VVV.
It was in 1640 that Jacques van damme and his wife elisabeth Blinckvliet founded het ZUIDERHOFJE.
In their Last Wills they gace Michiel Slachregen order to buy a house with a large yard for the women of the Flemish Community. In 1640 Michiel Slachregen bought a house at the Soyerstraat (Zuiderstraat) with the adjacent orchard in which many fruit trees grew.
In 1644 he bought a second house at the Soyerstraat.
These two houses were the foundation for het HOFJE that was built in the orchard mentioned above.
Het oude HOFJE (THE OLD ONE) was demolished about 1891 and rebuilt by architect A.J. Salm.
The main building consists of two floors and is located at the street.
At both sides of this main building are two wings only 1 floor high.
Het ZUIDERHOFJE was built for members (women)of the DOOPSGEZINDE GEMEENTE, MENNONITES
OPEN: from sun rise till sun down and only partly open to the public.
Building constructor Leendert Viervant build TEYLERSHOFJE in 1785 - 1787.
He designed a remarkable entrance building in Classisictic Style at the SPAARNE (RIVER) SIDE (the street).
You can find Teyler's coat-of-arms here and the year 1785.
Left and right of the entrance building are the SUPERVISORS' ROOM AND THE INSPECTOS' ROOM.
All in all the HOFJE contains 24 houses.
In the middle of the HOFJE is a natural-stone pump but this can't work anymore.
At the end of the garden you will find a gate with a sundial and from that place you have a wonderful view to the top of the entrance tower with the wood piece on top.
This is decorated with a.o. a Mercury staff and a Neptune's Trident , signs that are symbols for TRADE and SHIPPING TRADE.
OPEN: from sun rise till sun down and free of charge...
Guurtje de Waal was the daughter of a rich cloth-merchant as you can read in the memorial plaque, and she founded this HOFJE.
Above the natural stone gate dating from 1661 you can see the family's coat-of-arms.
The official entrance runs through the house that also is the overseer's house.
This HOFJE was too small to also build a REGENTENKAMER (Inspectors' room).
The gate leads to a patio with 4 little houses and 2 more opporite the gate.
The model of the houses dates from 1783.
To meet modern standards one house has been made from the two small one opposite the entrance gate.
OPEN: from sun rise till sun down, free of charge.....
This HOFJE was named after the rich Haarlem merchant and "garenreder" IJbrand Staats and it is situated at the JANSWEG in Haarlem.
In his last Will (1725) he stated that all he owned should be used for the poor and those in need who belonged to the REFORMED PROTESTANT church.
In 1750 the HOFJE was founded and built and Hendrik de Werff designed it.
The building housed 29 old spinsters/widows.
The sculpter Gerrit van Heerstal sculpted the relief that is placed above the door.
It represents CHARITAS.
The woman with a child leaning againgst her thigh points out IJbrand Staats portait carried by two angels.
By opening the entrance door (which you are allowed to do!) you can step into the world of this 18th Century HOFJE.
OPEN: 10AM till 4PM free of charge....
In 1489 Symon van Loo, who was Lord Mayor and Alderman of HAARLEM, founded the HOFJE VAN LOO.
Originally this HOFJE consisted of 4 rows of little houses around a quadrangle "patio".
In 1885 the street became wider so the row of little houses bordering the street had to be demolished.
A gate was placed to serve as a fence.
The REGENTENKAMER (INSPECTORS' ROOM) is located in the house with the 2 stores.
The HOFJE VAN LOO with its white painted little houses and its blue-stone pump from 1770 "breathes" a snug and quiet atmosphere.
OPEN: from sun rise till sun down free of charge...
In 1620 JAN BRUININCK GERRITSZOON founded the BRUININGSHOFJE.
It is a small quadrangle.
The supervisor's house is still in the original state, located at the left hand side of the gate and so are the two little houses at the west side.
After the restoration in 1936 the other two houses at the opposite side were built on the spot of 4 ramshackle houses.
Because of the fact that the supervision was in hands of the family for a very long time there has never been a REGENTENKAMER.
OPEN: from sun rise till sun down free of charge!
This HOFJE is separated from the street by a wall with a round opening.
The two entrance gate open into the garden.
The walls of the complex in U form are plastered and painted white and the roofs are covered with blue roof tiles.
The Mainbuilding, built on the west side has an extra floor.
On the first store a memorial plaque tells the date of doundation: 1440 and the year 1787 tells us when the HOFJE was built here on this very spot.
The atic is decorated with a dormer window with pinacles on both sides.
These former medieval hospitals often developed in almshouses.
The right and the left side wings contain 3 little houses.
The HOFJE is OPEN from sun rise till sun down, free of charge.
This HOFJE (a Lutheran Almshouse) was built on the spot of the Norbertijnen Monastery.
There are 9 little houses for 8 women.
4 of the houses were built against the church, the other 5 are at the North side of the HOFJE.
The most unique thing here is the open-air-pulpit, connected with the REGENTEN KAMER.
The vicar could speak to his audience from here and give them his blessing.
The harden is tasteful and there is a beautiful pump with lantern.
It is OPEN: FROM SUNRISE TILL SUNDOWN without entrance fees.
HOFJES are like BEGUINAGES.
In beguinages only beguines live but there are other HOFJES where e.g. widows lived.
The HOFJE VAN OORSCHOT ALMSHOUSE was built in 1768 in commission of Wouterus van Oorschot. The quite posh HOFJE was built in a U form around the garden.
The 2 wings right and left of the Main building each contain 8 small houses.
On top of the main building you can see a triangle with sculpted coat of arms and other decorations.
The HOFJE is separated from the street by a wonderful monumental wrought iron gate with an entrance in ROCOCO STYLE.
Here too, quietness, singing birds and of course the request to be quiet and make no noise..
OPEN: from 10AM - 5PM
No entrance fees.
garden of oorschot.
on this place there was first the heilige geesthuis (holy spirithouse) 1300.
later there was a childernhouse (orphanage?) in the building.
in 1768 Wouterus van Oirschot instructed to establish this garden.
in the sixties this garden was in the news because they had placed a statue of the first woman EVA without clothes.