Subtypes Beguinages - Convents

The most common type of beguine institution was the convent (Latin: conventus, Dutch: convent, French: couvent, German: Beginenkonvent), which was an association of beguines living together or in close proximity of each other under the guidance of a single superior, called a mistress or prioress. In most cases, beguines who lived in a convent agreed to obey certain regulation during their stay and contributed to a collective fund (Simons, 2001).


Similarly, references to beguine houses can also often be found. Although they might not exactly refer to their association as a 'convent', these houses where a very small number of women lived in similar ways as beguines who lived in a convent, can be included in this type. In particular in areas where the beguine movement was not so popular, we can find such beguine houses.



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To the right: Beguinage of Saint-Elisabeth, Ghent, Belgium



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