I’m a dorm or private Room. Up to eight, young and old, can stay with me. I have four custom built bunkbeds. In the room there is a shower and a separate toilet. The great thing is that my room has access to the covered patio with fireplace, just step outside and enjoy the ever shining Dutch sun. I’m on the ground floor.
// Hello I’m Ome Willem. I’m a really old local character. That’s why they put me in the room with the doors to the patio. For the fresh air! ‘Just ask normal, that’s crazy enough’, is a saying we old-timers love to say. Oh, and if you pay attention you might just see me walking through Haarlem with a parrot on my shoulder.
An old men’s alms house can be seen as an early precursor to a retirement home. From the 16th century these houses were established because older men are generally less able to care for themselves than older women. There are still some of these houses preserved in the Netherlands, however their uses have changed. For example the former old men’s house in Haarlem has been the Frans Hals museum since 1913. That’s the place to be to find a wonderful overview of paintings made in Haarlem during the Golden Age.