The Groot Begijnhof of Leuven

Rik Uytterhoeven (Author),

Series: Lovaniensia - 600 Years KU Leuven 8

Category: History, History 1500-1800, History 1800-present, History 500-1500

Language: English

ISBN: 9789058670199

Publication date: March 30, 2000

€9.50 (including 6% VAT)

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Number of pages: 64

Size: 220 x 115 x mm

Stock item: 46251

Standard delivery time for print books:

For Belgium: 5 to 8 working days

For EU: 2 to 3 weeks

For other countries: 4 to 5 weeks


Old, picturesque houses, little cobbled alleys, narrow bridges, the gothic church… The Groot Begijnhof breathes an atmosphere of peace and quiet, of a life almost withdrawn. Unique because of its size, and beautifully restored, it attracts thousands of visitors each year. Rik Uytterhoeven leads us through its striking buildings and reveals its secret corners. He tells the tale of a town within a town, of a living community. A story of beguines: both pious and worldly, both poor and affluent, both dutifully and modest and emancipated women. A story, also, of emperors and popes, lords and clergymen, foundlings, orphans and school children, students and academics. Entering via the gatekeepers’ lodge we walk alongside the church, the Infirmary, and the House of Chièvres, past Our-Lady-of-Steenbergh and The Annunciation… This publication provides a fund of useful information and fascinating detail. Historical data and charming little anecdotes give life to the Enclosure and the women that used to live in it. A handy liitle map and carefully chosen illustrations, of times past as well as the present day, complete the text. A riveting and practical guide for your walks through the captivating Groot Begijnhof.


Leuven and its beguinage

The beguine movement: a historical survey

How did the beguines earn a living?

The gatekeepers’ lodge

Striking figures

Residing in the beguinage

The church of Saint John the Baptist

The last beguine


Grievances and desires

From past glory to a model restoration

A place of refuge for many

A wide spectrum of inhabitants and events

Half-timbered architecture

Each house has its own story to tell

More houses and convents

The area of the Spanish Quarter

The convent of Our Lady of the Presentation

The street of the New Convent

Restoration and new construction

Symphony of Roofs

Rats and mice and common privies

Taking care of the sick and the poor

Splendid baroque

Kerkstraat and Schapenstraat

The Groot Begijnhof: marked contrasts between then and now


Sources of the illustrations

House names and numbers

Rik Uytterhoeven

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