Time Travel: Hiëronymus Gasthuis

Tolsteegsingel - Gasthuis
(photo via gertvr)

Over the centuries, the Dutch have built a number of gasthuizen, which were homes for the poor, elderly, orphans, and the sick. Many of those buildings still survive and are now private homes. They run the gamut of architectural styles, depending on when they were built.

The Hiëronymus Gasthuis was commissioned by the Roman Catholic Parochial Poor Relief. It was built in a Gothic Revival style by Alfred Tepe between 1874 and 1877. When I saw the architect’s name, I knew I’d come across it before. My love of Dracula lore means that I make the quick association between Tepe and Tepes, AKA Vlad Tepes. Add in the Gothic Revival style and the time period during which Tepe worked, and it’s no surprise that his name has stuck in my brain. I’ve even mentioned him here before, as he was the architect of Sint Willibrordkerk, the church with the beautifully colored interior.

As for the Hiëronymus Gasthuis, by 2001, the Catholics were looking to find the building a new purpose. It underwent massive renovation and was transformed into luxury homes. The building is just across a small bridge called the Abstederbrug, near the Centraal Museum and at the end of the Nieuwegracht. The bridge crosses over the Tolsteeg-/Maliesingel, part of the canal that rings the old city center. The bridge is where you’ll also find the statue of the dog, Biru.

The building hasn’t changed much on the outside. It’s still imposing and impressive, with a fantastic view of its own.

5 thoughts on “Time Travel: Hiëronymus Gasthuis

  1. On the Tepes connection – have you read The Historian? A awful book in a great many ways, but does try on the historical details. And the descriptions of eastern european towns and villages are marvellous.

    Oh, by the way: another great post. Love this!

      • And also a setting in Amsterdam that is wonderfully atmospheric!!

        I was hooked on the only crime novels I’ve ever read: Janwillem van der Wettering’s Gripstra and De Grier series, Amsterdam murder squad. I read them for the uniqueness of the Dutch.
        Big fan of modern Dutch poets too!

        Alright, already, let the lady go, now. And anyway it’s time for tea!

  2. Enjoyed your post – especially the juxtaposition of the postcard and current photo. Plus I’ve learned that the Historian engenders mixed reviews but is considered a worthwhile read. (I have the book but haven’t read it.) I’d call that a win-win, thanks!

    • Glad you enjoyed it! I’ve done these kinds of posts in the past, but hadn’t gotten around to doing any recently. Since I was feeling low on inspiration, this seemed a good choice! It also inspired me to bike over again this morning!

      I really enjoyed The Historian for a fun read and I know others who have, as well, but then I know others who never got into it. But I suppose that goes for any book. I hope you enjoy it, though!

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