Just off Amsterdam's main shopping allee you'll find the Begijnhof, a secluded court of almshouses with a quiet innergarden and the English Reformed Church in their midst. Dating from the 14th century, the Begijnhof used to house devout lay-women who did religious work for the adjacent nunnery, mostly in education and nursing. Most of the houses were renovated during the 17th and 18th century and only one of the original medieval wooden houses remains (no 34, dated 1475). True to tradition the Begijnhof still houses the elderly poor, and this island of tranquillity is certainly worth a visit. The Begijnhof can be reached through a doorway on the Spui, or from within the Amsterdams Historisch Museum.