Photographer's Note

The Holy Corner is the English name for the Oud begijnhof or Old Saint Elisabeth beguinage in Ghent, Belgium. It is one of three beguinages in the city - the other two are the new Saint Elisabeth beguinage and Our Lady Ter Hooyen in the Lange Violettenstraat. Both Saint Elisabeth beguinages were named after Elisabeth of Hungary, also known as Saint Elisabeth of Thuringia.

In the 13th century, a number of devout, unmarried and lay women were given their own premises here by Countess Joanna of Constantinople, daughter to Baldwin IX of Flanders. The beguinage constructed in 1234, and soon named after Saint-Elisabeth.

The beguinage grew into a little town of its own, with a church, a "Grootjuffer" house, an infirmary (with its own chapel), 18 convents, a big laundry meadow (used by the beguines who took in laundry of rich Ghent inhabitants) and a large orchard.

The last beguines left here in 1874, settled in a new beguinage further away from the centre and their old beguinage was left abandonned and left to decay up until well into the 20th century, when they became protected as sites of historical and cultural interest.

Nowadays most houses here are inhabited again, though not by beguines.


This picture was shot during a couple of grey, but very enjoyable days we spent in Ghent. When I was a university student I lived there for a while and next year my daughter is planning to do the same. Ghent is a fine place to live. I just hope for her that student life will be back to normal by then.

Note: in English the city name takes a h to avoid mispronunciations. In Dutch it is spelled Gent.

ChrisJ, pajaran, macjake, jhm, jimmyjimmy, worldcitizen has marked this note useful

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Additional Photos by Benny Verbercht (BennyV) Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2927 W: 35 N: 6385] (33312)
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