Saturday, 27 April 2019

Flemish Béguinages

The Flemish béguinages are architectural ensembles composed of houses, churches, ancillary buildings and green spaces built for the Béguines, women who dedicated their lives to God

Church of the Béguinage de Hoogstraten
This postcard was sent by Javier

The beguinage of Hoogstraten probably originated around 1380 en prospered in the 17th century, having 160 beguines at its peak. The last beguine left in 1972.
A first chapel was built in 1381. During the 17th century this chapel was replaced by the current baroque church.
The church has a lush interior painted in white. The floor, made of black and white marble, holds several tombstones dating back to the 17th, 18th and 19th century. The paintings in the choir (18th and 19th century) represent the Fathers and Our Lady of La Salette. - in:

Grand Béguinage de Mechelen
This postcard was sent by Javier

Around 1560 the beguinage outside the city walls was destroyed. The beguines re-established themselves inside the city walls, where the Large Beguinage grew up. They bought up existing buildings and built new dwellings, which explains why the Large Beguinage is rather different in character from beguinages in other cities.
Because of its typical Flemish character and unique architecture, the Large Beguinage was declared a UNESCO world heritage site. The little houses are listed. Kindly respect the privacy of the residents as you stroll along the quiet, picturesque streets of the beguinages.
Beguinages were small towns within a town. They had their own bakery, brewery, nursing home, church and bleaching fields. Beguinages were founded in the time of the crusades. - in:

Béguinage de Bruges
This postcard was sent by Amina

The Princely Beguinage Ten Wijngaerde is the only preserved beguinage in the Belgian city of Bruges. There are no more Beguines living there, but since 1927 it functions as a convent for Benedictines, founded by canon Hoornaert. In the same year the houses at the west side were also reshaped and enlarged into the Monasterium De Wijngaard, a priory of Benedictine nuns.

Béguinage de Bruges
This postcard was also sent by Amina

The complex includes a gothic beguinage church and about thirty white painted houses dating from the late 16th, 17th and 18th century. Practically all of these are built around a central yard. - in: wikipedia

Béguinage de Kortrijk
This postcard was sent by Javier

The Saint Elisabeth Beguinage dates back to the year 1238 and was listed as a Unesco World Heritage Site in 1998, a unique piece of history in the heart of the city.

The beguinage has been destroyed several times over the course of the centuries. It was given its current shape in the 17th century. It features some forty Baroque houses with a private front garden.

In the Saint Anna room visitors find out exactly what a beguinage was through authentic heritage and modern media techniques. The very last beguine in the world, Marcella Pattyn, resided at the Kortrijk beguinage from 1960 to 2005. She passed away in her sleep on 14 April 2013. She was 93 years old. - in:

The 13 Béguinages (in red what I have):

  • Béguinage de Hoogstraten
  • Béguinage de Lier
  • Grand Béguinage de Mechelen
  • Béguinage de Turnhout
  • Beguinage de Sint-Truiden 
  • Béguinage de Tongeren 
  • Béguinage de Dendermonde 
  • Petit Béguinage de Gent 
  • Béguinage de Sint-Amandsberg / Gent
  • Béguinage de Diest
  • Grand Béguinage of Leuven 
  • Béguinage de Bruges 
  • Béguinage de Kortrijk 

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