The Beguinage: one of the most magical places in Bruges.
The Bruges Beguinage was founded in 1245 and continued in use as a refuge where women could retreat from the turbulent society to follow a secure, useful and peaceful life without the need to take the vows of a Nun.
The latest Beguin left in 1926.
Today a community of Benedict nuns inhabit the site.
You enter the Beguinage over a small bridge and through a gatehouse dating from 1776. The entrance gate closes without fail at 6.30 pm.
The Beguinage is a tranquil coutyard with whitewashed houses set around a grassed area. It is best visited early spring when the central green is full of daffodils.
There is also a church, museum and gift shop that are worth seeing.
It is great to stroll among the trees and flowers of this area and just to relax without disturbing the occupants of the Beguinage.
The Beguinage is listed as Heritage by Unesco.