Before 1240 a community of pious women settled in an area of south Brugge in a low- lying meadow or vineyard. These lay women called Beguines, spent their lives in piety and service without taking the vows that a nun would. Due to war and military fatalities there were more women than men in the medieval low lying countries. The order of Beguines offered women (often single or widowed) a dignified place to live and work. When the order died out many towns took over the begijnhofs for subsidized housing. Believe me when I say you could be so lucky to live in one of the small subsidized cottages of the Begijnhof of Brugge. Today we are strolling from the town square through the curved portals of buildings delving further and further into the neighborhoods of Brugge.
We get further from the town center! I feel like I’m in the country!
We pass over the three-arched stone bridge, the Wijngaard Bridge, to the main gated entrance. Here is a large beautiful meadow and a complex of thirty white stoned gothic buildings dating from the 16th through the 18th centuries, built around a central yard.
Aren’t these just the cutest places to live?
Just follow the garden paths!
Notice the sweet little heart above her head? Another memorable day in Brugge! I hope you enjoyed our walk through the Begijnhof!