Discover the fascinating & rich history of the country of Holland, also known as The Netherlands.

Gate of the old "Amsterdam Civil Orphanage"
Orphanage Gate, Amsterdam
The old Civil Orphanage Gate in Amsterdam.


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The old Civil Orphanage Gate in Amsterdam

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The gate of the old "Civil Orphanage" in Amsterdam between the Kalverstraat and the Nieuwezijds Voorburgwal. In medieval times the building housed a monastery.

The Orphanage was founded in the 16th century by a philanthropic woman named Haasje Claas, who presented to the town seven houses in the Kalverstraat, and since then the institution did flourish and grow rich and great by legacies, this being a popular benefaction among the wealthy people.

It was said that these orphans were so clad that they may be easily identified. Tavern keepers were forbidden to harbor them, and no orphan is permitted to leave the town without a regularly written and signed permit.

The orphans wore special clothing, the dresses and bodices are one-half red and one-half blue, vertically. The boys' trousers, however, are not so divided in color, both legs being of dull black cloth. The girls were called "Amsterdamsche Burgerweesmeisjes" (town wards) and remained in the institution until of age, when they were eagerly sought as maidservants. The boys were apprenticed to tradesmen, and became useful citizens.

Nowadays it houses the "Amsterdam Historic Museum".

Holland, country & city | Holland History | Amsterdam History