If you are interested to visit any of Haarlem’s hofjes*, Hofje van Staats should be included on your list. Located walking distance from Haarlem Station, this hofje is certainly one of the FREE things to do in Haarlem.
Hofje van Staats was founded in 1730 for the legacy of a rich Haarlem yarn dealer and trader, Ijsbrand Staats. Staats stipulated in his will that his entire inheritance was destined for the poor. Construction of this courtyard took three years to complete under the guidance of his brother, Cornelis Staats. Hofje van Staats is one of the largest hofjes in Haarlem. It is a beautiful patrician house with an impressive façade including two adjoining properties on each side. The main building is topped with a turret which has a clock, a bell and a weather vane. The family crest of Staats is displayed proudly on the building high above the door. This was once the central entrance and where the regents used to come together to meet and managed all activities. Presently, it is an office for a communication agency.
In 1733, there were 29 houses for single older women over 50 years old belonging to the Dutch Reformed Church. During the restoration in 1990, the number of dwellings were modernized and reduced to 20. The spacious courtyard has remain the same throughout the centuries. All window shutters and doors are painted yellow and black, after the colors of the Staats family coat of arms. The foundation that runs Hofje van Staats also manages another almshouse nearby called Hofje van Noblet.
Should you like to visit …
The entrance to the Hofje van Staats is at the smaller side building. Lookout for a (Dutch) signage at the door stating the opening hours. This door remains unlock Monday to Saturday from 10am to 5pm. It is FREE!
Whatever you do, please respect the privacy of the residents during your visit. No peeking through windows into their homes!
Hofje van Staats
Address: Jansweg 39. 2011KG Haarlem.
Opening Hours: Monday to Saturday from 10am to 5pm.
*A community of charitable almshouses bequeathed by a rich person or a church who offered these accommodation to support the aged and elderly women in need.