Luthers Hofje (translation: Lutheran Almshouse) was founded in 1615 by the Lutheran congregation as housing for elderly Lutheran women aged 50 and older. It is located on Witte Herenstraat number 16a, 16c, 16e, 16g and 16i in Haarlem, adjacent to the Lutheran Church. This almshouse was built on the ground of the former Norbertine monastery from 1414. Monks who lived here wore white scapulars and were referred to as ‘Witte Heren’ (White Gentlemen). Hence, the name of the street.
There were originally nine almshouses; four homes adjoining to the church are the oldest built in 1615 while the other five homes were built later in 1648. In 1982, eight of the almshouses merged into four larger homes while one almshouse remained the same. Luthers Hofje was modernized fitted with shower and central heating, thus reducing the number of homes from nine to the present five.
Within the courtyard, there is a manicured garden with a striking water pump in the middle. An unusual addition was a stone outdoor pulpit attached to the Consistoriekamer (translation: Consistory Room or meeting room), from which the regents and the preacher could address the residents. Take notice on the lowered rooftops of the houses against the church. It was a clever way to preserve the light in the church!
Luthers Hofje is one of the smallest hofjes / almshouses in Haarlem. It is open freely for visitors Mondays to Saturdays from 10am – 5pm. Press the green button to enter. The green gate opens and closes automatically.
Do visit Frans Loenenhofje on the same street while you are at it. Check out a former almshouse of Coomanshofje’s gateway further down the street too.
Please respect the privacy of the residents so no peeking through windows into their homes!
Address: Witte Herenstraat right next to number 16. 2011 NV Haarlem.
Opening Hours: Monday to Saturday from 10am – 5pm. Strictly no visitors on Sundays and public holidays.