While most Belgian and Dutch cities have only one beguinage, Ghent is the exception with three of them! The Grand Beguinage Saint-Elisabeth is located west of the center. Construction started already in 1234. Soon it became a prosperous town of its own, with a church, a "Grootjuffer" house, an infirmery with a chapel, 18 convents, a big laundry meadow and a large orchard. Due to the expansion of the city in the 19th century, 600 beguines left the place and the 'village' became part of a larger town. This way, it lost a bit of it's original charm. Only the Provenierstersstraat kept it's really old looks. Elsewewhere, the streets were enlarged and opened to traffic. But still, it's one of the more charming Ghent neighbourhoods. Including a small park with a statue dedicated to Georges Rodenbach (famous for his novel Bruges-la-Morte) by Georges Minne. This statue was intended for Bruges, but they refused it so it came to Ghent ;-) A reconstruction of the original entrance gate can be seen along the Godshuizenlaan and used to be for several decades the entrance of the original Bijlokemuseum (now STAM). More about Ghent beguinages: http://www.elisabethbegijnhof.be/engl...

 

Old Sain-Elisabeth Beguinage   

Old Sain-Elisabeth Beguinage 

Old Sain-Elisabeth Beguinage 

Old Sain-Elisabeth Beguinage 

Old Sain-Elisabeth Beguinage