My favourite hofje. A wild garden full of flowers and a splendid laburnam tree. De Star hofje, also known as the Hofje van Brienen, is like a traditional country garden and was built in 1803-04 by Arnout Jan van Brienen, the Star hofje occupies the site of the Star brewery, which van Brienen bought in 1797. The story goes that van Brienen, accidently locked in his vault, set up the foundation to build the hofje out of gratitude for his release.
Unlike many other hofjes, it was not only meant for single women but for men and elderly couples. By 1850 there were 27 homes in the hofje, 20 occupied by couples and six by unmarried men.
Visitors are invited to make a contribution to the upkeep in a box attached to the pump in the centre of the courtyard.
Zonshofje next door was built on the sight of a clandestine church. A wall plaque showing Noah's Ark harks back to the secret congregation, known as the Noah's Ark who used to meet on this site. In 1765 this congregation linked with another called the Klein Zon, which gave its name to the hofje. When the Rijpenhofje on the Rozengracht came into service in 1913 the Zonshofje fell out of favour and the rooms are now rented to women students.