Since I am on the trail of visiting Haarlem’s famous hofjes/almshouses …
Bruiningshofje is definitely the most charming hofje in Haarlem!
It was founded in 1610 by Jan Bruininck Gerritz from the Mennonite Congregation. Just like other hofjes, it was formed to care for the elderly and poor women, but only those belonging to the Mennonite Congregation are allowed to live in Bruiningshofje. Originally, it had rooms for each six women with a common enclosed private garden. The need for modernization such as running water or gas heating at the beginning of the 20th century resulted in redesigning and renovation into five homes and eventually into four modern dwellings as they are today. The Bruiningshofje is probably the smallest hofje in Haarlem.
If you are interested to visit, Bruiningshofje is freely open to visitors Monday to Friday from 10am – 5pm. Strictly no visitors on Saturdays, Sundays and public holidays. The entrance to the courtyard is hidden behind a metal gate at Botermarkt 9, next to Café Charlie and a residential house number 13. Go past the metal gate and walk along the corridor toward the wooden green door with number “9” on it and a memorial stone above it. Hidden behind this door, I reckon it is Haarlem’s most charming hofje!
Whatever you do, please respect the privacy of residents during your visit. No peeking through windows into their homes!
Address: Botermarkt 9. 2011 XL HAARLEM.