Flemish Béguinages

Flemish Béguinages

The Béguines were women who dedicated their lives to God without retiring from the world. In the 13th century they founded the béguinages , enclosed communities designed to meet their spiritual and material needs. The Flemish béguinages are architectural ensembles composed of houses, churches, ancillary buildings and green spaces, with a layout of either urban or rural origin and built in styles specific to the Flemish cultural region. They are a fascinating reminder of the tradition of the Béguines that developed in north-western Europe in the Middle Ages.

Béguinages flamands

Les béguines, ces femmes qui consacraient leur vie à Dieu sans pour autant se retirer du monde, fondèrent au XIIIe siècle des béguinages, ensembles clos répondant à leurs besoins spirituels et matériels. Les béguinages flamands forment des ensembles architecturaux composés de maisons, d’églises, de dépendances et d’espaces verts organisés suivant une conception spatiale d’origine urbaine ou rurale et construits dans les styles spécifiques à la région culturelle flamande. Ils constituent un témoignage exceptionnel de la tradition des béguines qui s’est développée dans le nord-ouest de l’Europe au Moyen Âge.

أديرة المترهبات الفلمندية

في القرن الثالث عشر، أسست المترهبات اللواتي كنّ يكرّسن حياتهن لعبادة الله من دون الإنكفاء عن العالم ما يُعرف بأديرة المترهبات، وهي عبارة عن مجموعات سكنية مغلقة تلبّي الحاجات الروحية والمادية لهؤلاء المترهبات. وتشكّل هذه الأديرة الفلمندية مجمعات معمارية من المنازل، والكنائس، والأبنية الملحقة بها، والمساحات الخضراء المنظّمة وفقاً لتصوّر مكاني حضري أو ريفي والمبنية حسب الطراز الخاص بالمنطقة الثقافية الفلمندية. ولعلّ هذه الأديرة شهادة إستثنائية على التقليد المتبع لدى المترهبات والذي تطوّر في شمال غرب أوروبا خلال القرون الوسطى.

source: UNESCO/ERI

佛兰德的比津社区

“比津”(Béguines)是指献身上帝,却又不脱离世俗世界的妇女。这些妇女在13世纪建立了“比津社区”,也就是一个个封闭的社区,以满足她们的精神和物质需要。佛兰德比津社区是一处建筑群,包括民居、教堂、辅助建筑以及绿地,社区规划既有城市痕迹,也有乡村特色,反映了佛兰德地区的文化。这些建筑向我们展示了中世纪北欧和西欧形成的比津传统。

source: UNESCO/ERI

Фламандские «Бегинажи»

«Бегины» (Béguines) – так называли женщин, посвятивших свою жизнь Богу, но оставшихся в миру. В XIII в. они основали «бегинажи», замкнутые общины, в которых они могли удовлетворять свои духовные и материальные потребности. Фламандские «бегинажи» представляют собой архитектурные ансамбли, состоящие из жилых зданий, церквей, вспомогательных помещений и озелененных площадок, с планировкой городского или сельского типа, в стиле, характерном для культуры Фламандии. Они являются очаровательным напоминанием о традициях «бегин», сложившихся на северо-западе Европы в средние века.

source: UNESCO/ERI

Béguinages flamencos

Las ”béguines“ eran mujeres que consagraron su vida al servicio de Dios sin retirarse del mundo. En el siglo XIII fundaron los ”béguinages“, recintos que correspondí­an a sus necesidades espirituales y materiales. Los ”béguinages“ flamencos son conjuntos formados por casas, iglesias, dependencias y zonas verdes, que estí¡n estructurados con arreglo a un trazado de carí¡cter urbano o rural. Construidos en los estilos arquitectónicos tí­picos de Flandes, son el testimonio excepcional de una tradición religiosa nacida en el noroeste de Europa en la Edad Media.

source: UNESCO/ERI

フランドル地方のベギン会修道院
ぺギン会とは,12世紀にリエージュで始まった半俗の女子修道会で,以後西北ヨーロッパに普及した。13世紀に建てられたフランドル各地のペギン会の建造物は、その最も典型的な特色を残してる。フランドル地方の様式を示す都市型・郊外型・複合型の住居や教会,付属建造物,緑地帯などの一群の建築構成は、現世にとどまりつつ生涯を神に捧げる修道女の宗教的生活空間とその長い伝統を,今もなお慎ましく物語っている。

source: NFUAJ

Vlaamse begijnhoven

De Begijnen waren vrouwen die hun leven wijden aan God zonder zich terug te trekken uit de wereld. In de 13e eeuw richtten ze de begijnhoven op, omheinde gemeenschappen ontworpen om te voorzien in zowel hun geestelijke als materiële behoeften. De Vlaamse begijnhoven zijn architectonische ensembles bestaande uit huizen, kerken, bijgebouwen en groene gedeelten. De hoven hebben van oorsprong een stedelijk of landelijk karakter en zijn gebouwd in een typisch Vlaamse stijl. De Begijnhoven vormen een fascinerende herinnering aan de traditie van de Begijnen die zich gedurende de Middeleeuwen ontwikkelde in Noordwest-Europa.

Source: unesco.nl

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Flemish Béguinages (Belgium) © OUR PLACE The World Heritage Collection
Outstanding Universal Value

Brief synthesis

The Flemish béguinages are a series of 13 sites in the Flanders Region of Belgium. They bear extraordinary witness to the cultural tradition of the Beguines that developed in north-western Europe in the Middle Ages.

These Beguines were either unmarried or widowed women who entered into a life dedicated to God, but without retiring from the world. In the 13th century they founded the béguinages, enclosed communities designed to meet their spiritual and material needs.

The Flemish béguinages formed architectural ensembles, enclosed by walls or surrounded by ditches, with gates opening to the outside world during the day. Inside, they were composed of houses, churches, ancillary buildings, and green spaces organized in a spatial conception of urban or rural origin, and built in styles specific to the Flemish cultural region.

Criterion (ii): The Flemish béguinages demonstrate outstanding physical characteristics of urban and rural planning and a combination of religious and traditional architecture in styles specific to the Flemish cultural region.

Criterion (iii): The béguinages bear exceptional witness to the cultural tradition of independent religious women in north-western Europe in the Middle Ages.

Criterion (iv): The béguinages constitute an outstanding example of an architectural ensemble associated with a religious movement characteristic of the Middle Ages, associating both secular and conventual values.

 Integrity

The inscribed sites are the most representative béguinages of the Beguine tradition, identified on the basis of their historic and architectural development and their state of conservation. These 13 béguinages testify to their original function, even though many suffered damage during World Wars I and II. They have maintained their residential character as well as the configuration with church or chapel, streets or squares with community and individual houses etc. Today, most béguinages are still clearly defined components of the urban fabric, and considered havens of tranquillity, as they were in the past. In some places, the enclosed character is preserved, although many béguinages lost their enclosed aspect during the French period and the gates were removed. The boundaries of the inscribed areas are sufficient to include the attributes of Outstanding Universal Value, but many of the components have no buffer zone. The béguinages are generally in good condition.

Authenticity

The Beguine movement in Flanders is extinct, but most of the béguinages continue to be sought after as havens of peace and settings appropriate to a lifestyle that is a blend of community and private.

Removed from the lively historic centres, the béguinages preserved a respect for habitat as an essential function and have thus retained, apart from certain generally superficial modifications, the characteristic organization and simple functional architecture that gives them their particular atmosphere of a utopian setting, in which a sense of community and respect for individuality are finely balanced.

No complete construction remains from the Middle Ages, except for certain churches. The earliest Beguine houses were replaced by municipal ordinance by buildings of brick or stone in the 16th and, particularly, 17th centuries, although they generally followed the original layout and area. In the 17th century, the rising numbers of Beguines dictated further construction within the space originally available. In the 18th century, the number of Beguines declined and houses were demolished. New houses or buildings were incorporated into some béguinages in the 19th and 20th centuries.

 Protection and Management Requirements

The 13 Flemish béguinages are listed as monuments, sites or urban sites. In a number of cases, singular buildings such as the church or chapel have been listed separately.

Ownership of the béguinages is quite diverse: in some cases, there is a single owner (generally a local public welfare authority). Elsewhere, the ownership has fragmented to the point where almost every house has a different private owner, which complicates the development of a common management strategy. Nevertheless, as a consequence of the listed character of the béguinages, any intervention on a béguinage and its components has to be approved by the regional monuments and sites administration.

This is not the case for the surroundings of the béguinages, most of which are not protected. Still, the béguinages and their surroundings are generally situated as a whole or in part in planning zones of special cultural, historical, and/or aesthetic interest (CHE Zones), whose main objective is the conservation and development of cultural heritage. However, most béguinages lack a buffer zone. If a buffer zone was identified at the time of inscription, these are now mostly considered insufficient. Therefore, an evaluation is in order, which should suggest a correction and/or extension of the buffer zones of the béguinages and the development of appropriate protection for their settings.

A common management strategy and management system for the whole of the World Heritage property of the Flemish béguinages and for individual béguinages will need to be developed.