The Beguinage is the quite place where unmarried women lived together within a safe isolated space. Their way of living originates from the need to withdraw from the outside world and devote themselves to God. The name "Beguine" derives form the beige colored clothes they wore. Please keep quite while visiting the place, 'cause people still live there.
This picture is from inside the Beguinage or Begijnhof it is very beautiful inside ,flowers every where just a nice place .This is the place where the rich religeous women would stay and life a simple life untill they got married .
They were devoted to God and their religion.
This was a very Cool looking Silver shining Ball and it worked great as a mirror .
I don't know the reason why it was there but it sure was fun taking pictures looking into the Ball mirror.
A very relaxing place to visit for all ages
In the period of the reformation in Breda the beguines lost there church but were allowed to stay in Breda and this is the place where they did.
There is also a new church build just on the right as you enter the beguinage.
There is also a museum located here.
Next to the Walloon church, there's a gate to the beguinage. The first thing, you'll see is a lovely little church and a nice garden surrounded by little houses. It's a lovely place. An oasis of calm...right in the heart of the city.
The beguinage was the only catholic institution that survived in Breda after the Reformation, thanks to its protection by the princes of Orange.
After the Beguines had lost their chapel (the Walloon church) to the protestants, they got a new church in 1837. It's the small building in neo-classical style in the back of the garden.
See some more pics in my travelogue.
you can visite one house of the Begijnhof.
if you take pictures no flash.
the house is very small and if you want to see the "movie" of 14 minutes there are only four seats.
i found it intresting.
open tuesday - sunday (monday closed)
november - april only open on sundays and holidays
Walloon church, that is a church used by Wallonian and French protestants, has been the function of this building since 1590, save an interruption from 1625 until 1649, but originally this was the chapel of the adjacent beguinage, and was founded in ca. 1429. Occassionally services in the French language are held, while the church is also used for concerts.
This is (part of) the BEGUINAGE.
Let me explain a bit about BEGUINES first.
They are not nuns (I have to say "are" because here in Breda there are still some beguines living in this beguinage!) but devout virgins and widows, living together in a close-knit society.
They only had to take 2 vows (nuns more!): that of obedience and chastity and....they were not taken for live......
Here in Breda the BEGUINAGE is in the Catharinastraat and it still has some beguines who live there and a WATERSTAATKERKJE dating from the 19th Century.
This Beguinage can be found in the oldest part of Breda...
The Beguinage was founded in 1240 and such places were safe places for single women who preferred living a simple life.
2 BRONZE ONES and this duo is in the garden of the BEGUINAGE.
This gives us an idea of how life must have been for these women: sharing the little daily trivialities......that won't have been much exciting news, although it must have been a real "GRAPEVINE".......women love talking and sharing whatever they hear......
The beguinage is a court-yard, accessed through a gate, with small houses around it which were once populated by usually rich women who wished to live a religious life without having to become a nun, thus being allowed to leave and get married when the opportunity came. This is the only catholic institution in Breda that survived the religious oppression in the 17th century, although its chapel was confiscated by the protestants and became the Walloon church.
In the 19th century a new church was built, which only has room for 69 people and must be one of the smallest in the country.
The beguinage is open for visitors. Remember that people live here, so act civilized. Don't stare through the windows, things like that. The church is occassionally open for those who want to pray. If the church is closed you may still find the door open; in that case you can see the interior through a glass wall. It should be worth a look.
Beguinages, or in Dutch "Begijnhoven" are places for the somewhat weaker classes. In modern times they are still a part of monastry, convent or simply a church. Here now-a-days elderly people live. In early medieval times however it were the rich "virgins" that were brought here and waited in the safety of the house of God, to be wedded off. Especially the richer families used these homes for their daughters.
When visiting the Begijnhof (Beguinage) you should not forget the chapel. There are two different chapels, but the one I am recommending is the one in the back of the yard. It has the most spectacular glass-in-lead windows that will shimmer a great scala of colours inside on a sunny day.