The God houses of Hertsberge in Bruges

A God House is a charity where the sick and elderly were cared for in the name of God. There are only a few archive notes about the God 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 their 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.

Picture by Pixaby

The God Houses consist of seven typical single-story little houses with dot-facade and on the top an arc-opening, each with a Tudor or Cork Bowl door and only one window. The houses have their own chapel.

Picture by Pixabay

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 organization to help the poor and the sick. Since 1974, the God houses are protected as a national monument.