The ‘Houten Huys’ (wooden house)

Begijnhof 34
Tram 1-2-4-5-9-16-20-24-25, halte Spui
Maaike Behm, Maarten Kloos (red.), 25 Buildings you should have seen - Amsterdam, Amsterdam 2002.

Late-Medieval house with wooden skeleton and facade

Amsterdam once had many wooden houses but only a few have been preserved. One such house can be found in the 14th-century Begijnhof, which was built as a religious community for single women.

Some of the houses here have load-bearing stone walls and a medieval timber frame, identifiable by the Gothic detailing. Begijnhof 34 is unusual in that the stone side walls, which were obligatory following a major fire in the city in 1552, are hung on the timber frame. In 1669, timber construction was banned outright, but the wooden facade (which was expensive in those days) of Het Houten Huys (the wooden house) was renovated in 1888. (ARCAM/MB)