Bruges Almshouses: Service entrance and small garden of a typical almshouse
Bruges counts a total of 46 almshouses in the city center. These houses, small and white, with the name of the founder painted on the facade, were built out of social consideration from the 14th century on. They were mainly destined for the elderly and for people from a specific trade. In later times they were also for single women or widows, who prayed for the benefactors. The almshouses were built around an interior garden or in a long row along the street. Sometimes they also had their own chapel. The last almshouse was built in 1959 and most are still senior housing. The almshouses in Rolweg street, formerly occupied by members of the shoemaker trade, are now the Museum of Folklore.