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Beguinage (Begijnhof), Bruges

4.4
#3 of 21 in Historic Sites in Bruges
Historic Walking Area Historic Site
Enjoy the tranquillity of Beguinage (Begijnhof), a religious community seemingly frozen in time. This particular beguinage was founded in 1245 and housed the beguines of Bruges up until 1937. Today, the community is a monastery for Benedictine nuns. At a time when official religious institutions distrusted the new religious orders coming into being, a beguine was a safe community where female followers lived together, much like nuns but without the strict vows. Take a quiet stroll through the streets past rows of identical white homes. Wander to the southern end, where some of the houses date back to the 15th and 16th centuries. In the left corner behind the garden, you'll find the largest house, which would have housed the grand dame. Work out when and for how long to visit Beguinage (Begijnhof) and other Bruges attractions using our handy Bruges trip builder.
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Where to stay in Bruges

Bruges' tiny city center is the place to be when staying in the medieval town. Don't stray too far from the World Heritage Site when looking for accommodations, and make sure to book in advance, as the historical city center attracts visitors in droves. As a hugely popular tourist destination, Bruges has no shortage of accommodations in varying price ranges. You'll find everything from backpacker hostels to upscale hotels here.
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4.4
  • This is only open during the day and offers a few gardens to explore and a striking square of buildings around a field of grass (long unkempt grass with signs telling you to keep off it) and trees, wi...  more »
  • The sprawling convent is an excellent and tranquil place to walk round while in Bruges. One not to miss as it is a different experience from the very heart of the city.  more »
  • This sprawling convent (for that's what it still is, so please be quiet!) is the antidote for the crowds that can build up in Bruges. Tiny "museum" is worth visiting (fee), where you can pick up a lov...  more »
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  • Pleasant place to visit in lovely surroundings. Good history and not too far to walk from the city centre.
  • Wonderful old beguinage, one of the most famous in the Flanders. A magic atmosphere, especially in the hours when there are less tourists.
  • Very cool place, history and great food. A must see. Me and my wife loved it very romantic too.
  • Serene grounds and interesting rooms showing past lifestyle. The inner courtyard is very peaceful, with a grove of tall trees gently murmuring in the wind. You can sit on one of the benches and relax, and imagine life as one of the women in what was basically a religious work commune. For a fairly reasonable €4 you can see a selection of rooms (kitchen, living room, bedroom, walled garden) which are almost as if they were left untouched for 150 years. The grounds also contain a church but it's quite a boring one, sorry. The entrance and exit give views from a bridge, and onto the Minnewater lake, lots of photo opportunities with swans!
  • The museum is small but good. But the surroundings are really nice and photogenic