Eleazar Noblet, his wife and six children were originally from Amsterdam. In 1737, he bought the country estate “Haerlem Spaarngesicht” on the corner of Nieuwe Gracht and Hooimarkt right here in Haarlem. The last three survivors of his children; Leonard, Sara and Geertruida, had no legal heirs. They decided to construct a common last will to carry on their family’s legacy.
According to the Noblet family’s testamentary, the property must be converted into an almshouse that would bear the name Noblet after the death of the last relative. It was to provide living space for un-married women over fifty years old, belonging to the Dutch Reformed Church and that the regents of the nearby Hofje van Staats would be the executors of their will. The longest living, Geertruida, died in 1757. Hofje van Noblet was founded in 1760.
Hofje van Noblet was built with 20 dwellings. Ten houses on the east side were occupied by ladies who had lived in Amsterdam for at least ten years while ten houses on the west side was intended for women who had lived in Haarlem for ten years or more. In the period 1988-1991, these dwellings were modernized and reduced to 16 houses, with central heating on the first floor, a shower and a second lavatory. But none of these houses are open for viewing. The courtyard itself is rather small and not that interesting. Nevertheless, Hofje van Noblet is part of a handful twenty almshouses still existing in Haarlem. One of the FREE cultural things to do when in Haarlem.
Should you like to visit …
The main entrance of Hofje van Noblet is located on the Nieuwe Gracht overlooking the Spaarne river with a beautiful front garden. The coat of arms of the Noblet family can be found on the façade, right below the clock. There is a donation box located at the courtyard garden for your kind contribution. This almshouse is open to public Monday to Saturday from 10am – 5pm. It is FREE entry!
Whatever you do, please respect the privacy of the residents during your visit. No peeking through windows into their homes!
Hofje van Noblet
Address: Nieuwe Gracht 2. 2011 NE Haarlem.
Opening Hours: Monday to Saturday from 10am to 5pm.