Onze-Lieve-Vrouwe hospitaal

You access the inner courtyard of this hospital (Onze-Lieve-Vrouwhospitaal) through a monumental gate, which bears the date 1658 in its centre. Of the original hospital from 1211 only the two Gothic arches held up by bluestone pillars remain. The inner courtyard is surrounded by the church on the left and the convent on the right and directly in front of the building is the entrance to the hospital. The hospital's inner courtyard is one of the best preserved 17th century sites in Kortrijk. First and foremost 'hospital' (Latin: hospitalis) refers to hospitality and not to illness. The Hospital of Our Lady was located just beyond the city walls and people could spend the night there after the gates had shut. Therefore the hospital was originally a home for vagrants. Later sick poor souls were also cared for there. In 1454 the hospital found itself inside the newly constructed city walls, which meant it was protected against any raids. The poor were offered shelter, nursing and medical care for free and the doctors and surgeons were paid by the city. The street facade along Budastraat demonstrates a stylistically heterogenereous character with its Baroque chapel facade, bay gate to the inner courtyard and the seven bays in two storeys of the convent. 

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