Whenever I cycle along Koudenhoorn street in Haarlem, I often wonder about a certain majestic entrance gate with high columns in Doric style. Is it some kind of a grand city palace? A government building? Maybe a concert hall?
Imagine my surprise when I found out it is a charitable almshouse built for the poor known as the Teylershofje.
Teylershofje was built in 1787 for the legacy of Pieter Teyler van der Hulst, the founder of Teylersmuseum. Teyler was a rich cloth merchant and a banker from Haarlem who died without any family.
Like all other hofjes (plural), Teylershofje was intended for honorable poor ladies but with an age requirement of over seventy years old and without regard to religious denomination. There were 24 dwellings built around a beautiful common garden, 2 sundials were placed within the courtyard and 2 regent rooms located to the left and right of the entrance. In 1989, these dwellings were modernized and reduced to 22 houses. Nowadays, Teylershofje is still populated by women, preferably single woman over 50 years of age, without children and without pets.
Teylershofje is located on the Koudenhorn 64, overlooking the River Spaarne. It is FREE-ly accessible to visitors from Monday to Saturday from 10am to 6pm. No access on Sundays.
If you are in the area, have a wander through. It is one of the biggest almshouses in Haarlem.
Whatever you do, please respect the privacy of the residents during your visit. No peeking through windows into their homes!
Address: Koudenhorn 64. 2011JK. Haarlem.
Opening Hours: Monday to Saturday from 10am to 6pm. No access on Sundays.