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In 1602, on the premises of the former nunnery called Oude Nonnenklooster, the Oude Mannen en Vrouwen Gasthuis was opened, intended to house elderly men and women. The main wing on the north side comprised two parallel wings and featured a decorative entrance and pediment, with the side wings accommodating the governors and governesses as well as elderly men and women.

Renovation of old men and women's house

In the latter half of the eighteenth century, the building was entirely renovated, while keeping its basic shape, using a design by G.F. Maybaum and mayor P. Rendorp. The corridor along the south facade became a covered passageway with 18 shop stalls, the current book market.

Former functions of the Oudemanhuispoort

From 1831 on, the home served as beadhouse, hospital and annex to the Binnengasthuis hospital. In addition, it was home to the Koninklijke Academie van Beeldende Kunsten and its successor as fine arts academy, the Rijksakademie, as well as Museum Van der Hoop (1854-1885). In 1880, the building was taken over by the University of Amsterdam (UvA), with the most recent renovations dating back to the 1960s.

Part of the building is currently being used by the Faculty of Humanities and since March 2019, another part for temporary student housing.

AT5 ‘Oudemanhuispoort’ video

Amsterdam broadcasting network AT5 shot a piece on Oudemanhuispoort in April 2019, as part of its series on Amsterdam Streets entitled De Straten van Amsterdam. Starting at 8 minutes and 40 seconds (08:40) is an interview with UvA historian Petra Brouwer.

Despite its name, the history of Oudemanhuispoort (i.e. Old Man Home Gate), the history of the building does not just involve men, whether old or otherwise. Petra Brouwer, an assistant professor who works in Oudemanhuispoort, explains the history of the location. For instance, what is that woman doing above the archway? [Source: AT5]