Haarlem is a real hofjes city. No less than 22 hofjes are hidden behind doors and access gates. They consist of small houses bordering a lovely courtyard. One of the eldest and most well-known hofjes can be found in the Bakenesser district: the Hofje van Bakenes, also called De Bakenesserkamer.
According to the will of merchant Dirck van Bakenes, De Bakenesserkamer was built in 1395. The hofje has two entrances: one by the Bakenessergracht and one by the Wijde Appelaarsteeg. The houses – that were also called ‘chambers’ due to their small size – were specially built for poor, elderly and single women and widows. The Teylers Hofje is also famous, as it has an impressive entrance. Just like the Teylers Museum, it stems from the legacy of Pieter Teyler van der Hulst.
Nice to know!
The façade stone of Hofje De Bakenesserkamer reads the text ‘Entrance to the Asylum of Dirck van Baekenes for Women eight and two times six’. This riddle has two meanings: (8+2) x 6 = 60 (the age a woman had to be to live here) and 8 + (2 x 6) = 20 (the number of women who could live in the hofje).
|Hofje van Bakenes|
|Address:||Wijde Appelaarsteeg, Haarlem (main entrance Hofje De Bakenesserkamer)|
|Open:||Monday through Saturday from 10.00 to 17.00|