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A béguinage denotes a community of béguines (French: béguines, from Latin: beguinae), or lay Catholic women living together religiously without taking permanent monastic vows; the term may also refer to the physical and social space that the community occupied in a city or town, usually marked by a wall, a moat, or both, and comprising a chapel, several residences where béguines lived alone or with few companions, a few larger buildings for common life, a hospital for poor and elderly members of the community, and various service buildings like a bakery or farm. Originating in the high Middle Ages, some of the larger béguinages survived well into the modern age, leaving their mark on the cityscape of various Belgian and Dutch cities. Thirteen béguinages that ...

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