Ever wonder what it’s like to live under the steep, sloping eaves of a 17th century house in the heart of Amsterdam? It’s a lot of stairs, let me tell you. But once you’re up there, you’re in a storybook. You expect Peter Pan to land on the window sill at any moment (well, that would be London, but anyway….)
Take a peek into my friend Ruth’s apartment in the Bejignhof, an enclosed courtyard originally built as a sanctuary for a Catholic sisterhood. The houses are still reserved for occupancy by single women (male visitors allowed, not to worry).
The place is small but airy, on the building’s top two floors. She uses the lower (below top) as living/kitchen/office, and the upper (below bottom) as a bedroom.
The Bejignhof’s stunning houses are mostly from the 1600s, but they also include Amsterdam’s oldest surviving house, Het Houten Huis, from around 1420 (right). The Bejignhof is actually one of Amsterdam’s top tourist attractions; the courtyard is open daily from 9-1.
Ruth, a classical musician who hosts an eclectic, rockin’ Sunday-morning internet radio show, Meeting Point at 8:30AM Eastern time, is an American who’s lived in the Dutch capital for many years (you can access both the show and the chat room at http://dfm.nu).