The Begijnhof, Bruges’ Benedictine Convent

For those of you still curious about yesterday’s post, the photo is from … (drum roll please):

De Wijngaard (The Vineyard) Begijnhof / Béguinage in Bruges, Belgium!

Guessed correctly by  blogger Den Nation.

Begijnhof Béguinage 2011 The béguinage  (French) or begijnhof (Dutch/Flemish) is technically a collection of small buildings, but it was in these places that medieval religious women would live. They wanted to serve God, but didn’t want to withdraw from the world completely, as beguines were not cloistered and lifelong celibacy did not figure into the rules. Each community had its set of norms and rules

The first béguinages were set up in the 12th century in now-French-speaking Belgium. This particular one was founded in 1245 by the Countess of Flanders, Margaretha of Constantinopel. (Her father, Count Baldwin, conquered Constantinopel in a crusade.)

Begijnhof Béguinage 2011

The entrance gate says 1776, but most of the houses are from 17th and 18th centuries.

In 1937, this béguinage became a monastery for the approximately 25 Benedictine sisters who still live there. Apparently it’s quite lovely to visit in spring when the daffodils are blooming.

Have you ever visited this iconic béguinage in Bruges? Have you visited any other such places?

6 thoughts on “The Begijnhof, Bruges’ Benedictine Convent

  1. I was there in the fall and immediately recognized it in your photo yesterday. Also nice to visit when the leaves are in full color!

  2. I visited a few years ago when I went to Belgium. I think it was my favourite place in Bruges because it was so calm and I learned something about Belgium’s history. I also visited the Beguine Museum, once a house belonging to a Beguine.

  3. Oh I didn’t recognise it in the picture the other day but now that you said it, I have actually been there! :) Lovely city.

  4. Lovely post, we have just returned from Bruges and walked past this on our walking tour. It was a beautiful little community.

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