Monday, December 28, 2009

Bruges, Beguinage, Belgium - say that 3 times fast!

Brugge: Lngang Begijnhof
Bruges: L'entree du Beguinage
Bruges: entrance to the Beguanage
Brugge: Eingang des Beguinenklosters

This postcard is postmarked in 1978 with two 'King Baudouin' Belgium stamps.

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The Beguinage is one of those typical areas in Bruges where one can find more peace and quiet than in the sometimes busy and overcrowded streets of the town center. The Beguinage is a group of houses around a little garden covered with large poplar trees. It was here that during the last seven centuries lived the beguines of Bruges. In 1937 the beguinage became a monastery for the Benedictine sisters who still live here now.

The Beguinage of Bruges was founded in 1245 by the Countess of Flanders, Margaretha of Constantinopel, daughter of Count Baldwin who conquered Constantinopel (now Istambul) during the crusades.

Visitors enter the place via a bridge over the canal. The entrance gate bears the date 1776. A lot of houses, however, are much older than that. Most date from the 17th and 18th century. Some houses were built in the 19th century in neo-gothic style. In the southern part is a little dead end street where still some houses of the 15th-16th century can be found.

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