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Béguinage, Kortrijk: Overall view with Church of Notre Dame in the background
A complex of buildings including small cottages used by Beguines. These were various lay sisterhoods of the Roman Catholic Church who sought to serve God without retiring from the world, founded in the 13th century in the Low Countries. The béguinage was surrounded by the Count's castle, the ramparts and Saint Martin's Cemetery and is located between the churches of Notre-Dame and Saint-Martin. The Kortrijk beguinage was destroyed several times; in 1302 during the Battle of the Spurs, in 1382 after the Battle of Westrozebeke, and suffered damage in 1684. The extant 41 houses date from the 17th century. A large house with a double gable (1649, the former house of the Grand Mistress, who was the administrator) houses the Beguine Museum, which includes an authentically restored cottage (No. 41 next to the entrance of the court). The complex also includes St. Anne Hall (1682), and a Gothic chapel dedicated to St. Matthew (1464; rebuilt 18th century).