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The Begijnhof is a small grassed courtyard surrounded
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The Begijnhof is a small grassed courtyard surrounded by beautiful 17th- and 18th-century houses that were originally built for pious Catholic single women. It's right in the middle of town and reachable by a gateway at the end of a lane leading off one of the city's busiest shopping streets, but it is almost eerily silent. (March 12, 2013)(Credit: AP)

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Amsterdam

From its canals -- which turn 400 this year -- to the newly reopened Rijksmuseum, the Dutch capital offers plenty for tourists in search of history and beauty.