In 1472, the Franciscans or Order of Friars Minor acquired the Observant. The name of this monastery comes from the Observance, a 15th-century movement of strict reform measures within the Franciscan monasteries. Many monasteries had enriched themselves considerably and moral decline had to be stopped. The monks from Amersfoort strictly observed the rules of the monastery. The complex contained a chapel, a monastery court, a cloister, three buildings and a vegetable garden.
After the Reformation in the 16th century the monks disappeared. The chapel was soon demolished. The other buildings received different functions and were therefore often renovated. There were, for example, the ‘Doelen’ (practice area of the militia), a room for the city doctor and a glassworks.
Some important guests have also stayed there: Prince Frederick Henry in 1640, Tsar Peter the Great in 1716 and the Danish Queen Karoline Mathilde in 1766. In the 19th century, the complex successively became an Artillery and Geniuschool, a “Workshop to keep the begging and a barracks. The Observant was to be demolished in 1970 but was restored in 1982 instead. Since 2005, the ‘Stadscafé’ has been located in this monumental building with a rich history.