The Begijnhof was originally a convent for pious, charitable single women called Begijnen. Today this historic site, with its gorgeous gabled houses and gardens, has been restored to such perfection that it almost resembles a movie set. With its hundred-year-old trees and charming little gardens, it is an enclave of greenery that provides a welcome contrast to the noise of the city.
Most of the houses were built in the 17th and 18th centuries; the oldest, of wood, goes all the way back to the end of the 15th century. You can see it at #34, at the end of the courtyard.
Women, generally students, still live here today. Appreciate the contemplative atmosphere of the Catholic chapel at #29. Enter the Begijnhof through a little door near the bustling Spui crossroads; pedestrians are welcome.