In 1599, the Aalmoezeniersweeshuis (orphanage) was put into operation. The richer orphans of Gouda went to the Heilige Geestweeshuis, while the poorer orphans were sent to the Aalmoezenierweeshuis, which was run by a number of feisty women. Not long after its inception, the building was merged with the adjacent Jeruzalemkapel (Jerusalem Chapel) to form the Weeshuis as we know it today.
A BELOVED ICON
Shortly thereafter, the Weeshuis was closed down. It wasn’t until 1973 that part of the building was brought back into use and became home to a new generation of stories… in the form of books. In 2014, the Public Library of Gouda closed its doors.
Despite the fact that the history of this national monument was not always a rosy one, today the old Gouda Weeshuis is still considered one of the most special and beautiful buildings in the city. The romantic courtyard garden, the red shutters and the iconic gateway; the Weeshuis has a very special place in the hearts of many of Gouda’s citizens.