The canal-side building at Oudezijds Voorburgwal 232 in Amsterdam was built in 1626 as commissioned by Pieter Parys.
The coat of arms topping the gable depicts the alliance between the builder, the trader Jan-Frederik Mamouchette and his wife Catherina van Heusden.
Some view the remarkably large noses as a charicature, perhaps in reference to a play on words — Ma Mouchette roughly meaning ‘my trunk.’
Others see it as a reference to the Saracen due to trade relations that existed between this house and merchants in Palestine.
In other words, no one is sure what the noses are in reference to.
The building was restored between 1993 and 1997.
Founded sometime in the 14th century for the Beguines, members of a lay Catholic sisterhood, the Begijnhof is one of Amsterdam’s oldest inner courtyards — and one of the city’s best known landmarks.
Below is a photo taken roughly in the same spot but then during the summer. Yes, the large tree is gone, felled during a storm:
Row of houses along Oudeschans, across from the Montelbaanstoren
Oudeschans literally means ‘Old Defense Line.’
When you view the photo is a larger size you’ll notice how crooked the house at the corner is. It’s been like that for as long as I can remember, but more recently experts have warned that changes in the Dutch climate have lead to lower ground water levels, which in turn causes some historic houses in Amsterdam to subside.