About the building

If walls could talk, those of Stedelijk Museum Breda would tell special stories. Almost 800 years ago, the Gasthuis for travelers and the sick started here. Later the function changes into Old Men's House and in the middle of the last century the building gets its cultural destination.

Earliest history

In 1246 the first mention of the Gasthuis appears. In that year, Godfried IV van Schoten, lord of Breda, has it recorded in his will that he is bequeathing the 'hospitale de Breda', or the Gasthuis. The building was originally located outside the city wall and on the road to 's Hertogenbosch. Hence the name Boschstraat. The Gasthuispoort is located next to the Gasthuis. This is where people enter the city. When new fortifications are built in 1531, the Gasthuis will be located within the fortress.


Hospitals provided shelter for poor travelers and pilgrims. Sick residents of the city and even plague sufferers could also go there. They were charities funded by wealthy townspeople. Religious organizations provided care staff. In the course of time, the place grows into an impressive whole with beijerd (passers-by accommodation), chapel and cemetery, brewery, farm and laundry with bleaching field.
In the 16th century, the function changed of the guest house. From now on, the elderly can pay for their old age there.

Monumental facade

Master stonemason Laureys Drijffhout is realizing a new facade. In the service of Frederik Hendrik (prince of Orange-Nassau), he is also responsible for various construction projects in Breda.

You can still admire this facade today: the heavy, solid stone gate with the two flanking figures that look like two old men with their sticks. They are popularly known as Thijs and Geert.

From Gasthuis to Oudemannenhuis

From 1798, the Gasthuis officially became an Oudemannenhuis, a place where men over 60 could spend their old age. The building will be equipped with an infirmary, dormitory and bathroom. There is a special house for the caretaker and nursing staff. 51 men can go here.

After 1900, the government gradually took over care for the elderly. As a result, the popularity of the Old Men's House declined and in 1953 the doors closed for good.

From De Beyerd to Stedelijk Museum Breda

The building was given a new lease of life in 1956 as the cultural center 'De Beyerd'. In 2008, the Graphic Design Museum, later Museum Of The Image, will be located at this location. Boschstraat 22 has been the home of Stedelijk Museum Breda since 2017.

In this striking, centuries-old building that has been fully adapted to the requirements of the 21th century, we are happy to welcome you for special exhibitions and activities. Here you can learn all about the history of the city and its surroundings and how the royal family is connected to Breda. Contemporary art is also featured here.