The Béguinage site
THE BEGUINAGE SITE
The Béguinage, which dates back to the 13th century, has been included on the UNESCO World Heritage List since 1998. You can stroll past the small houses and around the inner courtyard or visit Saint Matthews Chapel. In the Sint-Annaroom you will find the new experience centre. The 'béguinage' phenomenon has been interpreted afresh using a mixture of authentic heritage and modern media techniques. The Artillery Tower is one of the few remains of the city's medieval fortress. This tower dates back to the 14th century and was originally used as a tower for drinking water. The first bricks in the Church of Our Lady's long history were laid in the 13th century. In 1370, Count Lodewijk van Maele had the Count's Chapel built as his personal mausoleum. Today the church contains a number of important treasures such as 'The Erection of the Cross' by Anthony Van Dijck. The Saint-Martin's church dates back to the 12th century and has been repeatedly rebuilt and restored over the centuries. Inside you can find precious works of art. The church tower houses Kortrijk's first full 19th century carillon.
THE BEGUINAGE EXPERIENCE CENTRE
The St. Elisabeth Béguinage experience centre (Belevingscentrum Begijnhof) is housed in the Saint Anna room. The Saint Anna room with its octagonal stair turret, situated in the middle of the Kortrijk Béguinage, is still being restored. The 'béguinage' phenomenon has been interpreted afresh with a mixture of authentic heritage and modern media techniques. It looks beyond the traditional image of the beguines and instead depicts one of an autonomous community of strong, independent women, who balanced on the edge of the worldy and the divine. An audio guide is available for your visit to the béguinage and the experience centre.