Visit the UNESCO Heritage Site
Sivan Askayo visited Flanders as a guest of Visit Flanders. The Flemish beguinages are a unique testimony to the medieval “women’s” movement in Flanders. Beguines were “religious women” either widowed or older unmarried women who wished to live an independent but committed life (in regards to their vows of fidelity and poverty.) These women organized themselves in self-supported communities. The Bruges Beguinage continues to have a religious and social function. To ensure its protection and conservation, the site was added to the UNESCO World Heritage list in December 1998. When I walked through the courtyard it was as if time had stood still.
By Sivan Askayo, AFAR Local Expert
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