The chapel and building complex of the Knights of Sint Jan were traditionally located here. That’s how the Ridderstraat (“Knight street) and the Sint Janstraat got their names. The order of Sint Jan originates from a hospital in Jerusalem that was dedicated to Johannes de Doper.
The widespread Order of Sint Jan, also called the ‘Johannieter’ order, is one of the oldest of its kind and still exists today. It has been a prominent part of European history since the medieval Crusades. Nowadays, the order is known as the Maltezer Order and still contributes to charities and humanitarian aid across the world.
The big fire in 1534 destroyed the chapel and it is believed the fire actually started here. Later on, in 1594, the chapel was changed into a guardhouse, from where the entire defense of Breda was coordinated. They considered building an entirely new defense building during the eighteenth century to be placed right on the Grote Markt, however it was decided eventually to replace the existing building instead. A new arcade was built on freestone columns during the renovation. The columns were repositioned into the gable during the nineteenth century.