It was in 1252 that a beguinage was set up in the shadow of the Romanesque church of Saint Peter, now the Gothic collegiate church of Saint Peter and Saint Guidon. This is the smallest beguinage in Belgium and used to house eight beguines. In popular parlance, the beguinage was known as the “Klaphuis”: the chatterbox.
A religious as well as lay institution
The buildings, comprising two wings, surround a delightful enclosed garden and provide a view of the collegiate church.
The Anderlecht Beguinage, both a religious and lay institution, was reserved for poor women. These women practised chastity and obedience but did not have to take perpetual vows and could leave the community.
The Beguinage, which became a hospice following the French Revolution, was converted into a museum in 1930. Today you can discover items from the daily lives of the Beguines as well as archaeological finds and religious and folk art, which retrace the thousand year old history of Anderlecht.
Ubi amici, ibi opes
Your wealth is where your friends are
Erasmus, Adagium n°224 (I, III, 24)