The Gods houses of Hertsberge in Bruges

A God's house is a charity where sick and elderly were cared for in the name of god.

There are only a few archive notes about the gods house 'Hertsberge' in Bruges. Located outside the neighboring beguinage, the godshuis was originally a convent for poor beguines. A charter states that the convent was founded in 1335 by 'Griele' and Marzoete van Herdsberghe'.

That's where the houses probably got there name from. The Hertsberge houses may have evolved into God's houses for impoverished elderly women in the course of the late 14th and at the beginning of the 15th century.

The god's houses consist of seven typical single-storey little houses with dot-facade and in the top an arc-opening, each with a Tudor or Cork Bowl door and only one window. The houses have their own chapel.

In 1796, when Belgium was under French occupation,  the French government placed the god house, like almost all of the city's caritative institutions, under a new board, the Civilian Houses of Commons. An organisation to help the poor and the sick. Since 1974, the God houses are protected as a national monument.

You can find the Gods house of Hertsberge at this address: Katelijnestraat 85-91, Bruges.

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