"a sisterhoods of the Roman Catholic Church, founded in the 13th century, comprising religious women who sought to serve God without retiring from the world: the Beguines"
entered the Brugge old city from the south, then walk to the west side, and you'll find the Minnewater park lies. Lake of Love, the citizen of Brugge called it. a park where you able to enjoy the age-old view. the swans, the park, the castle-like restaurants, take a picture here, and you'll get perfect pictures. :)
encircled by a wall and secluded from the town proper by two gates, this Beguinage comprises a green and beautiful courtyard surrounded by small dwellings. this is one of the gates, a bridge over a canal. it's bears the date 1776.
now, practically no Beguines live anymore. but their beautiful Beguinages still exist as museums, cultural centers or houses for elderly people in Brugge. other Beguinages in Belgium situated in Kortrijk, Gent, Lier, Turnhout, Dendermonde, Hoogstraten, Leuven and Diest.
there is one church still exist here, a rebuild and renovated church from 1609. first was built in the 13th century, destroyed by a fire in 1584. renovated into late baroque style church.
the houses also still exist. a lot of houses from the 17th and 18th century, and some were built in the 19th century in neo-gothic style. the largest and most impressive house situated behind the garden, it was the place that the 'grootjuffrouw' or 'grand-dame' lived when she ruled over the Beguinage.
i visited this Beguinage in late November 2011. it was autumn morning. the yellow leafs, the autumn leafs, greets me at that time. the dew, cold air, and the mist.