Façade of 17th century buildings on the Grand Place, a UNESCO world heritage site and major tourist attraction in the center of the Belgian capital Brussels.
The Beguines were a lay religious movement of women within the Roman Catholic Church founded in the 12th century in the Low Countries. They lived much like nuns, dedicating their live to God, but without making the same formal vows and without withdrawing entirely from the world. The lived in so-called beguinages (or Begijnhof in Dutch), enclosed communities with houses, churches and gardens. The Beguinage of Bruges was founded in 1245 by Margaret of Constantinople, Countess of Flanders. In 1937, it became a monastery for the Benedictine sisters who still live there today. The Flemish beguinages were inscribed on the UNESCO world heritage list in 1998.
The 16th century Maison du Roi (King's House) or Broodhuis (Breadhouse) on Brussels' main square, the Grand Place, a UNESCO world heritage site.