Ten Wijngaerde (Begijnhof Brugge)

Brugelette, Belgium

Ten Wijngaerde (Begijnhof Brugge)

The Princely Beguinage Ten Wijngaerde (Dutch: Prinselijk Begijnhof Ten Wijngaerde) is the only preserved beguinage in the Belgian city of Bruges. There are no more Beguines living there, but since 1927 it has functioned as a convent for Benedictines, founded by canon Hoornaert. In the same year the houses at the west side were also reshaped and enlarged into the Monasterium De Wijngaard, a priory of Benedictine nuns.

Already before 1240 a community of pious women settled at the domain 'de Wingarde' (old Dutch for vineyard), in the South of the city. This name probably refers to low-lying meadows. The beguinage was founded around 1244 by Margaret of Constantinople, after she requested permission to Walter van Marvis, bishop of Tournai, to move over the tomb chapel on the Burg of Bruges to the Wijngaard. In 1245 it was recognised as an independent parish. In 1299 it came under direct authority of king Philip the Fair and it was entitled as "Princely Beguinage".

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